EXCLUSIVE: Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty returned to HBO on Sunday with 629,000 total viewers tuning in for the Season 2 premiere across Max and linear telecasts.
That’s a bit of a fall from grace, considering the 901,000 people who tuned in for the Season 1 debut in March 2022. By May of that year, Season 1 managed to amass 1.6M same-day viewers for the finale. (Although, it might be worth nothing that Season 1 also most likely benefitted from the buzz of March Madness, when basketball is already top of mind for audiences.)
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HBO generally banks on the growth potential from delayed viewing, as the network previously reported that new episodes of a series tend to only draw 10%-20% of their total viewership on Sunday nights.
Season 1 episodes of Winning Time went on to average about 1.2M viewers per episode on premiere nights, which grew to 6M viewers per episode over time.
Other recent examples include The White Lotus, which premiered in 2021 to 944,000 total viewers. The season averaged about 1.1M viewers on premiere night, and episodes grew to about 9.3M average viewers when all was said and done.
Over time, it will be come more clear how Winning Time Season 2 will stack up.
The show’s sophomore run focuses on the period just after the 1980 NBA Finals through 1984, culminating in the first professional rematch of the era’s greatest stars: Magic (Quincy Isaiah) and the Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird (Sean Patrick Small).
Adrien Brody, John C. Reilly, Michael Chiklis), and Jason Segel also star in Winning Time, alongside Jason Clarke, Gaby Hoffmann, Hadley Robinson, DeVaughn Nixon, Solomon Hughes, Tamera Tomakili, Brett Cullen, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Spencer Garrett, Molly Gordon, Joey Brooks, Delante Desouza, Jimel Atkins, Austin Aaron, McCabe Slye, Thomas Mann, Gillian Jacobs and Rob Morgan.
The executive producers are writer/co-creators Max Borenstein and Jim Hecht, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Scott Stephens, Rodney Barnes, director Salli Richardson-Whitfield and Jason Shuman.
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