Earlier this week, New York Times bestselling author Jeff Pearlman implored viewers to check out Winning Time, the dramatized series focusing on the Showtime Lakers (based on Pearlman’s book Showtime). While the show has received positive reviews from critics and seemed likely to go beyond a second season, the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike is one that’s set to shut Hollywood down effectively for the foreseeable future. And with that, Pearlman bluntly stated that the future of the show “hangs in the balance.”

Ahead of this week’s latest episode (Season 2, Episode 3), Pearlman is concerned that there won’t be a Season 3 for viewers to look forward to.

“And to be blunt, I’m worried there won’t be a season three,” he wrote on social media. “And it’s not about me. I’m fine. It’s about a cast of amazing young actors who live this. So, seriously, tell your friends to support Winning Time and show HBO you want it to continue.”

Pearlman later said that the show “needs eyeballs and views to survive” before delving further into what’s at stake here in a video posted to the platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I brought it up before on my feed. We really need people to watch this show. It is not a lock that there will be a Season 3 of Winning Time. And we need the ratings to improve. We need eyeballs. It’s how they measure the success of the show. And right now, I get the impression that they’re in the process of measuring the impact of this show. If you watch Winning Time, I think you know that Winning Time is a f******* brilliant piece of TV from the writers to the actors…It’s just pheromonal.”

Pearlman shared a little inside baseball regarding a story of when HBO first started working on the show. Pearlman got a phone call from someone in production design and was asked what the Summer League uniforms in 1979 were made of. He looked into it, and he found the fabric and design. To his surprise, the production design team recreated the jerseys out of the same fabric to look exactly like it. They did the same thing with basketballs from 1979-80, re-creating it stitch by stitch.

“That is the kind of love and devotion and craftsmanship that is put into this show,” he said. “So, I’m just asking you, please give Winning Time a shot. Tell your friends, and family, to give it a shot, because it’s a great show made with a ton of love.”

Nearly 12 hours later, Pearlman posted another video to his feed, using it as a mechanism to get people to pay attention, while also hoping that they’ll check out Winning Time.

“As I’ve said many times, this show needs help. It needs views,” he said. “It is not getting promoted very well, just being honest. I don’t know why. HBO, Max, whatever, it’s a little confusing, but we need views. So, please consider telling your friends it’s a great show.”

HBO has already optioned another of Pearlman’s books, Three Ring Circus, focusing on the Lakers of the mid-1990s through the mid-2000s. However, the second season of Winning Time only runs through 1984, meaning we still have several years to cover in the Showtime era if HBO wants to fully cover the dynasty. 

But if HBO doesn’t get the viewership it wants, it seems increasingly likely that another season of Winning Time may just not be made, no matter how much Pearlman is pleading otherwise.

[Jeff Pearlman on Twitter]

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.