At this point, it’s safe to say that former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is one of the biggest stars of the current pop culture era. First bursting onto the Hollywood scene back in 2002 with Mummy spin-off The Scorpion King, Johnson is now routinely ranked as one of the highest grossing actors on Earth, finding success both in front of the camera as a leading man, and behind the scenes as a producer. Not content to merely dominate the film world, 2015 saw Johnson make his first venture into scripted TV via the football-centered HBO dramedy Ballers.
Created by Stephen Levinson (Boardwalk Empire), Ballers stars the once and future Rock as Spencer Strasmore, a newly retired NFL player left wondering what do with his professional life now that his time on the gridiron has ended. Thankfully, Spencer soon gets taken under the wing of struggling financial advisor Joe Krutel (Rob Corddry), who reasons that the former football star’s built-in rapport with his fellow athletes will help the duo’s firm Anderson Financial land big money clients still playing in the NFL. Naturally, the road since then for Spencer and Joe has been anything but smooth.
Those enjoying Ballers so far will be pleased to learn that HBO has opted to renew the series for a third season, a mere two weeks into its recently premiered sophomore run. While the premium cable giant’s press release on the matter doesn’t specify an episode count for the new season, it’ll likely end up getting the network’s standard 10-episode order, at least based on the first two seasons’ totals.
As one might imagine based on the quick renewal, Ballers has been quite the rating success for HBO. Sure, it doesn’t pull down numbers comparable to Game of Thrones, but few shows do. Ballers has also gone over well overall with critics, with season 1 holding an 80% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Much of the praise heaped on the series has unsurprisingly gone to Johnson specifically, who delivers his usual charismatic, likable performance as Spencer. That said, Corddry has gotten his fair share of positive notes from critics as well.
Season 2 isn’t doing quite as well so far, dipping to a 67%. Still, that’s hardly a terrible score, and there are eight more potentially great episodes still to come before season 2 officially wraps up. At the moment, it would appear that HBO sees Ballers as nothing less than a touchdown.
Ballers season 2 airs Sundays at 10pm on HBO.