Ballers

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Ballers
Genre Comedy[1]
Created by Stephen Levinson
Starring Dwayne Johnson
John David Washington
Omar Miller
Donovan W. Carter
Troy Garity
London Brown
Jazmyn Simon
Rob Corddry
Opening theme "Right Above It" by Lil Wayne feat. Drake
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Dwayne Johnson
Dany Garcia
Mark Wahlberg
Peter Berg
Evan Reilly
Stephen Levinson
Rob Weiss
Producer(s) Bret Slater
Peter Sussman
David Levinson
Lori Jo Nemhauser
Karyn McKarthy
Editor(s) Colby Parker Jr.
Jeffrey M. Werner
Location(s) Florida
New York
Cinematography Tobias Schliessler
Jamie Reynoso
Camera setup Single
Running time 27 minutes
Production company(s) Closest to the Hole Productions
Leverage Entertainment
7 Bucks Entertainment
Film 44
Release
Original channel HBO
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release June 21, 2015 (2015-06-21) – present
External links
Website

Ballers is an American comedy[1] television series created by Stephen Levinson and starring Dwayne Johnson.[2] The series premiered on the American cable television network HBO on June 21, 2015.[3] The pilot episode was written by Levinson and directed by Peter Berg.[2] On July 10, 2015, the series was renewed for a second season.[4]

Cast[edit]

Main cast[edit]

  • Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore, a retired athlete turned financial manager[2]
  • Rob Corddry as Joe, a financial advisor at Anderson Financial who tries hard to fit in[2]
  • John David Washington as Ricky Jerret, a highly competitive and spiritual pro athlete[2]
  • Omar Miller as Charles Greane, an affable former pro athlete who is searching for his next career[2]
  • Donovan W. Carter as Vernon, a deeply family-oriented pro athlete[2]
  • Troy Garity as Jason, a top-tier sports agent[2]
  • London Brown as Reggie, Vernon's childhood friend who handles his money
  • Jazmyn Simon as Julie Greane, wife of ex-pro athlete Charles Greane[2]

Recurring cast[edit]

  • Dulé Hill as Larry, an executive with the Miami Dolphins
  • Anabelle Acosta as Annabella, girlfriend of Ricky Jerret[2]
  • Taylor Cole as Stephanie Michaels, an ESPN sideline reporter who is romantically involved with Spencer[2]
  • LeToya Luckett as Tina, widow to one of Spencer's closest friends[2]
  • Ella Thomas as Kara Cooley, interior decorator to the pro athletes who is also involved with Ricky[2]
  • Arielle Kebbel as Tracy Legette, a sportscaster for a local TV station who is intimately involved with Spencer[5]
  • Antoine Harris as Alonzo Cooley, Ricky's passive-aggressive teammate
  • Sanai L. Johnson as Bey, daughter of Theresa
  • Richard Schiff as Mr. Anderson, a.k.a "The Old Man", owner of Anderson Financial Management
  • Clifton Collins, Jr. as Maximo Gomez, attorney
  • Carmelo "Q" Oquendo as Pro-NFL Player

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" Peter Berg Stephen Levinson June 21, 2015 (2015-06-21) 2.16[6]
Former Miami Dolphins stand-out Spencer Strasmore and his friend Charles Greene must cope with the realities of life after football. Spencer starts working for a financial advisor, helping sign and mentor his younger friends still in the NFL, while Charles gets a job at a car dealership. Meanwhile, a mistake may cost Green Bay Packers wide receiver Ricky Jerret his roster spot when he's involved in an altercation at a nightclub.
2 "Raise Up" Julian Farino Evan Reilly June 28, 2015 (2015-06-28) 1.85[7]
Spencer struggles to sign Vernon as a client when he clashes with his childhood friend Reggie who handles all his money. Meanwhile, Jason works to renegotiate a contract extension for Vernon with the Dallas Cowboys, but has difficulties. During practice with his new Dolphins team, Ricky discovers that a teammate is not only unfriendly with him but is wearing his number. Now a struggling car salesman, Charles begins to wonder if he retired too early.
3 "Move the Chains" Julian Farino Evan Reilly July 5, 2015 (2015-07-05) 1.70[8]
Spencer and Joe ask their boss, Mr. Anderson for permission to use his yacht to host a corporate event to entice potential clients. After a locker room prank goes too far, Ricky discovers the real reason his teammate, Alonzo has it out for him. Charles grows bored with retirement and remembers his gridiron glory days. Meanwhile at the party, Spencer and Reggie's rivalry reaches a boiling point when he tries to ruin his hospitality by insulting Spencer's upbringing of being adopted.
4 "Heads Will Roll" Julian Farino Rob Weiss July 12, 2015 (2015-07-12) 1.59[9]
In the aftermath of the corporate party, Joe struggles with a hangover and attempting to woo new clients on Mr. Anderson's yacht. Spencer is pressured to see a neurologist regarding his recurrent episodes from a TBI, while handling the conflict Reggie generates around Vernon's contract negotiations. Jason's dealings with the Dallas Cowboys bring in impressive figures that aren't enough for Reggie, and Vernon's inflated ego, and this puts Spencer on the line with their business and personal relationships. Also, Charles is bombarded by constant "sexting" from a woman he doesn't remember from the party.
5 "Machete Charge" Seith Mann Steve Sharlet July 19, 2015 (2015-07-19) 1.64[10]
Spencer begrudgingly comes to Vernon's aid when he is targeted by a woman looking to blackmail him with some incriminating photos during the corporate event. However, her lawyer Maximo Gomez tells Joe his client wants a half million dollar pay-off. Meanwhile, Charles' marriage is on the rocks after Julie finds a picture of a nude woman on his cell phone, which he emailed to himself. On the advice of Annabella, Ricky tries to find common ground with Alonzo by taking him and his brothers to a strip club—his treat. But their spending gets out of hand and he comes up with a crazy plan to put a stop to it.
6 "Everything Is Everything" John Fortenberry Evan Reilly July 26, 2015 (2015-07-26) 1.81[11]
Dealing with his own mental and financial problems, Spencer tries to balance Vernon and Ricky's issues, while Charles goes to Ricky's “fun house” to escape the stress of his marriage. Meanwhile, in order to drive his client’s price down, Joe negotiates with Maximo on common ground at a horseracing track. Also, Ricky bears it all about the story behind his jersey number and his non-existent father during an interview with TV personality Jay Glazer. Later, Spencer finally gives in to Tracy’s concerns and gets an MRI.
7 "Ends"[12] Simon Cellan Jones Rob Weiss August 2, 2015 (2015-08-02)
8 "Gaslighting"[12] Simon Cellan Jones Evan Reilly August 9, 2015 (2015-08-09)
9 "Head-On"[12] Julian Farino Steve Sharlet August 16, 2015 (2015-08-16)
10 "Flamingos"[12] Julian Farino Stephen Levinson & Evan Reilly August 23, 2015 (2015-08-23)

Reception[edit]

Ballers has received generally positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the first season has a rating of 79%, based on 43 reviews, with an average rating of 6.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ballers may not be a game-changer, but it scores points with Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, who brings charm and depth to the NFL version of Entourage."[13] On Metacritic the season has a score of 65 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "About - Ballers". HBO. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Andreeva, Nellie (February 13, 2014). "Dwayne Johnson’s HBO Half-Hour Pilot 'Ballers' Picked Up To Series". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 19, 2014. 
  3. ^ Pedersen, Erik (April 9, 2015). "HBO Launching Comedies 'The Brink' & 'Ballers' With 'True Detective' In June". Deadline.com. Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  4. ^ Fowler, Matt (July 10, 2015). "Ballers Renewed for Season 2". IGN.com. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ http://decider.com/2015/06/24/woman-crush-wednesday-arielle-kebbel-ballers/
  6. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 23, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'True Detective' Wins Night, 'Ballers', 'Naked and Afraid', 'The Last Ship' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (June 30, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: BET Awards Tops Night + 'True Detective', 'Ballers', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  8. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 8, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: Shark Week Wins Night, 'True Detective', ' Ballers', 'The Last Ship', 'Botched', 'Falling Skies' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 8, 2015. 
  9. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 14, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Naked and Afraid XL' Wins Night, 'True Detective', 'Basketball Wives', 'Ballers', 'The Strain' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 14, 2015. 
  10. ^ Bibel, Sara (July 21, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Naked and Afraid XL' Wins Night, 'True Detective', 'Ballers', 'The Strain', 'The Last Ship', 'Tut' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  11. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (July 28, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'I am Cait' Tops Night + 'Naked & Afraid XL', 'Rick & Morty', 'True Detective', NASCAR, 'Ballers' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved July 28, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c d "Schedule Results for Ballers". HBO. Retrieved June 21, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Ballers (2015)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved July 4, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Ballers: Season 1 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 

External links[edit]