Who wouldn’t be excited to see what the producing team, who gifted viewers with the much lauded Entourage, has in store for a show involving the game of good ole’ American football?
Ballers, the HBO half-hour series kicks off its ten-episode run June 21, 10pm ET/PT.
The theme: Former football super legend, Spencer Strassmore, (Dwayne Johnson) needs a new gig. He puts together a core team and sets up shop as a financial advisor in the exciting, adventurous setting of Miami. What could go wrong? Ha!
Sports, in particular football, is a major leisure national pastime. There have been few enough series to utilize the subject as its foundation. Friday Night Lights, the most recent that comes to mind, was a high school set football drama. It hung in for five seasons due to, among other reasons, incredible scripting, directing and a first-rate acting ensemble. It was given its due by critics and award nominations, but developed more of a cult following that never caught hold on a global scale. On the other end is Coach, which used the half-hour situation comedy structure and was not only a critical success—with multiple award noms and wins—but built and maintained a presence, going strong for nine seasons—with its TV viewership.
Ballers, a series about reinventing oneself after a life of fame, football and glamour, may just reinvent how we look at life in and around football period. The creators are strong on drama, (Boardwalk Empire, In Treatment), but may need to infuse a healthy dose of comedy into their latest venture to generate a worthy “gots-to-return-for-another-dose” audience. But it’s got the charm and gravitas of its star: Dwayne Johnson. There is that.
Here’s a quick look at Ballers:
Created by Stephen Levinson, Ballers is executive produced by Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia, Peter Berg, Evan Reilly, Rob Weiss, Julian Farino and Denis Biggs.
Spencer (Dwayne Johnson)
Ricky (John David Washington)
Charles (Omar Benson Miller)
Vernon (Donovan W. Carter)
Julie (Jazmyn Simon)
Joe (Rob Corddry)
Jason (Troy Garity)
Annabella (Annabelle Acosta)
Arielle (Tracy Legette)
Ballers, premieres June 21, 10pm ET/PT only on HBO, HBO Go and HBONow.