The Fate Of John C. Reilly’s Underrated New Series Has Been Decided

A John C. Reilly series that's garnered solid critical reception is getting re-upped for a second season. A welcome surprise for fans.

By Doug Norrie | Updated

john c. reilly

When it comes to NBA basketball, there is always a chance for another season. Didn’t work out this year? No problem because there’s another season of hope just around the corner if you are patient enough. It’s what keeps sports fans in a perpetual cycle of hope. It seems that shows about the NBA are the same way as well and John C. Reilly will be back in his series about the sport. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Winning Time has been renewed by HBO and the Showtime Lakers are about to get a second round of stories from the network. 

This announcement that John C. Reilly and company will be back for a second season of Winning Time comes at a somewhat ironic time considering the real-life Lakers, led by Lebron James, were just eliminated from the actual NBA playoffs after one of the most disappointing seasons in recent memory. Winning Time will suffer no such fate and fans of the story about the team coming on the scene in the early 1980s will be back again. 

The series was created by Max Borenstein and Adam McKay handled directing duties for the pilot episode. Winning Time follows the exploits of the Los Angeles Lakers during this time that saw a major shift in the landscape of the NBA. John C. Reilly plays Doctor Jerry Buss, the owner of the team at the time who helped see a vision for how to bring new life to the team and the league. Part of that was through the star power and overwhelming personality of Earvin Magic Johnson who was embarking on a Hall of Fame career. In the series, he’s played by Quincy Isaiah. Other notables in the cast include Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Adrien Brody as Coach Pat Riley, and Jason Segel as Paul Westhead. Plenty of other notables work their way into the series along the way. 

John C. Reilly and the rest of the fake Lakers’ staff and crew are still in the middle of their first season of Winning Time with the series only five episodes in of the planned ten-episode run. In general, the critical reception of the series has been positive with the Rotten Tomatoes score sitting at 82%. Reilly, for his part, has been complimented for making the narcissistic Buss into an entertaining character through almost sheer willpower. It makes sense considering the actor’s affability and general goofiness that plays well for the 1980s scene. 

While HBO hasn’t released the rating for the John C. Reilly starrer yet, one has to imagine with this latest news that numbers have been good for the series. The announcement that they will come back surely means the show has developed enough of an audience. And we know that this timeline for the Lakers spanned most of the 1980s with the team in championship contention (and having plenty of storylines) throughout the decade. With that in mind, it’s not all that surprising to get another season. The show is based on the book Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s by Jeff Pearlman. And there are more than enough stories in there to cover multiple seasons.