While Winning Time was a hit among basketball fans, it wasn’t enough for HBO to let the Lakers go on to play another season (well, they did, but not in an HBO dramatized version). The series was canceled by the network this week after the season two finale, which ended up being the series finale.
Co-creator Mac Borenstein took to X (FKA Twitter) to express frustration with the way the story ended.
Season two ended right after the 1984 NBA Finals. Of course, there are many more Lakers stories to tell, so there will always be an option of a third season. While the producers had hoped that the viewership would help boost the series, HBO sadly shut down any odds of another season. But that doesn’t mean the show won’t live on. When asked by Vulture if the show could get picked up by another network, EP Kevin Messick replied, “I think the plan is this: If the universe wants more Lakers, the universe knows where to reach us.”
Season two saw a steep decline in viewership, which was partially due to the strike, according to Messick. “We were able to do our junket right before the strike, but we have a big ensemble cast — the Oscar-winning movie stars and new actors — that are all exciting to talk to when you promote a show like ours. It’s not centered on one person. We have a lot of assets to help promote the show and we weren’t able to employ any of them. Yeah, that was definitely a frustration for us.” Imagine how the 1984 Lakers feel!
For now, the first two seasons of Winning Time are up on Max.