By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man –@tvanswerman

TV Answer Man, I read your article about watching Winning Time, the Lakers show, and I did watch some episodes over the weekend. It’s great! But now I hear that they cancelled the show?! What is wrong with these people?! Don’t they appreciate quality TV anymore? It’s Not TV, but it’s not HBO anymore, either! — Marcus, Los Angeles.
Marcus, HBO last night aired the second season finale of Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The HBO original drama series, which stars John C. Reilly as Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, explores the personal and professional lives of the team from 1980s through 1984. Winning Time sometimes stretches the truth about the Lakers and their winning ways in the 1980s, but the show is funny, poignant and eerily good at capturing the diverse and unique personalities that made up the team. You will think that Quincy Isaiah is Magic Johnson after watching an episode or two, but the entire cast is terrific, particularly Reilly as the flamboyant and brilliant Buss and Clarke as West, the human logo. If you love sports, you will love this show.

But you won’t love it anymore. At least not for a third season. HBO unceremoniously cancelled the show almost immediately after last night’s season finale. Show creators have been saying the ratings have been down for season two and they have begged fans to watch. But it appears that the pleas went unanswered like a James Harden air ball in a pivotal NBA playoff game.

While poor ratings may have been the cause of the cancellation, HBO (and its streaming service, Max) has become the industry’s leader in giving shows the ax. Under new management (Warner Bros. Discovery), the premium channel has placed a greater emphasis on profits over subscriber numbers.

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— Phillip Swann