HBO announced on Sunday that the popular television show about the 1980s LA Lakers, Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty, has been canceled. Fans on social media were divided by the news, with some raging about the cancelation while others laughed at the finale of the series.
According to Josef Adalian of Vulture, HBO's top executives were unhappy with the show's ratings, so they did not want to proceed with a third season. Winning Time executive producers have been hinting about a potential cancellation. Kevin Messick, one of the producers, though, explained that binge-watching hurt the show.
"The Sunday-night viewing is the smallest percentage of how many people ultimately watch a given episode," Messick said.
"It builds over time. A lot of people like to wait and binge more of it so that they can watch it all together, or sometimes they’ll wait for the whole thing to air. They shared all of the information, as they've always done on our shows, week to week."
Fans on social media were split regarding the news of Winning Time's cancellation. Some are sad that a great show ended, and it was unable to end the story. It started with Magic Johnson's HIV diagnosis, but Season 2 ended in 1984, eight years before it happened.
Others found it hilarious that a show about the LA Lakers ended with the Boston Celtics winning the NBA championship. The Lakers got their revenge in 1985 and settled everything in 1987, but it won't be on the show.
One fan said:
"Ending it on Celtics winning is hilarious 😭"
One fan added:
"And it ends on the Celtics winning the ring."
Another fan reckons HBO missed the boat on a potential NBA universe with Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and the Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O'Neal of the early 2000s.
"They dropped the ball," the fan wrote. "They could have extended this to the Jordan and bulls era, and then the Kobe and Shaq era; it could have been epic."
Here are more fan reactions to the end of Winning Time:
LA Lakers owner Jeanie Buss loves her portrayal on 'Winning Time'
Jeanie Buss was very critical of Winning Time when it was first aired last year to the point that actor John C. Reilly, who portrayed Jerry Buss, feared he would have gotten kicked out of a LA Lakers game.
On the Winning Time podcast, Jeanie praised actress Hadley Robinson for portraying her on the show.
"I think she did a terrific job," Jeanie said.
"I think that people who are interested are understanding how I got to be where I am today. Because being the first woman in the NBA to win a championship, maybe there are some people who never heard my name before."