When a person linked to a production implores the public to watch their series, it usually does not indicate anything good. It means that the river sounds and what it leads to is a cancellation. And, a month after Jeff Pearlman warned that “the future of Time of Victory hangs in the balance”, the adaptation of his book, and clearly said that they needed viewers, the decision has been made: the comedy focused on the golden era of the Lakers, the NBA basketball team, will not make it past the second season broadcast in recent weeks on HBO Max.
“It's not the ending I had in mind,” creator Max Borenstein acknowledged, “but I feel nothing but gratitude and love.” Director Salli Richardson expressed along the same lines, who is of the opinion that “when you give everything you have, you can't have regrets” and that, while she hopes to offer “many more hours of television and hopefully many movies” in the future, she can say that she is “as proud as possible” of what they achieved with this “masterful series.”
The first season, which had aired during the second quarter of last year, focused on the transformation suffered by the club in 1979 when businessman Jerry Buss wanted to change the business model and, in the process, turn basketball into a spectacle. In the second, released in August, the Lakers had already managed to get out of their slump but discovered that revalidating their successes and consolidating their basketball model was complicated when the battle of egos was so present in the locker room.
The work of the casting department of Victory Time was brilliant: not only had they convinced actors of the caliber of Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Gaby Hoffmann, Jason Segel or Sally Field but they had found actors with the imposing physique and talent enough both on an acting level and with the ball like Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes to play such iconic players as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
However, the series titled in English Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty was unable to convince the public to maintain interest: if the first season premiered with 901,000 viewers on its first night among HBO subscribers in the United States, the second settled for 629,000.
While the accumulated audiences of fiction are unknown, which are the important figures right now in the world of streaming, the decision made by the channel shows that they were insufficient.
And what could have been one of the detrimental factors of the new episodes? That, despite having such an interesting cast for critics and with faces known to the public, the actors' strike made it difficult to promote the series.