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Swagger (TV series)

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Swagger
GenreSports drama
Created byReggie Rock Bythewood
Starring
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes18
Production
Executive producers
Running time45–62 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkApple TV+
ReleaseOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29) –
August 11, 2023 (2023-08-11)

Swagger is an American sports drama television series created by Reggie Rock Bythewood. Loosely inspired by the experiences of NBA player Kevin Durant,[1] the series premiered on October 29, 2021 on Apple TV+.[2] In June 2022, the series was renewed for a second season.[3] In November 2023, the series was canceled after two seasons.[4]

Swagger has garnered critical acclaim from critics for its writing, acting (primarily Jackson's and Hill's), production values and social commentary.

Premise

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Swagger explores the world of youth basketball, and the players, their families and coaches who walk the fine line between dreams and ambition, and opportunism and corruption.[5]

Cast

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Main

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  • O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Ike “Icon” Edwards
  • Isaiah Hill as Jace Carson
  • Shinelle Azoroh as Jenna Carson
  • Tessa Ferrer as Meg Bailey
  • Quvenzhané Wallis as Crystal Jarrett
  • Caleel Harris as Musa Rahim
  • James Bingham as Drew Murphy
  • Solomon Irama as Phil Marksby
  • Ozie Nzeribe as Royale Hughes
  • Jason Rivera-Torres as Nick Mendez
  • Tristan Wilds as Alonzo Powers
  • Christina Jackson as Tonya Edwards (recurring season 1, main season 2),[6] Ike's wife.
  • Sean Baker as Naim Rahim (recurring season 1, main season 2),[6] Swagger's deputy coach and Musa's father.
  • Orlando Jones as Emory Price (season 2)[6]
  • Shannon Brown as CJ Ryder (season 2),[6] Cedar Cove basketball player

Recurring

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  • Marc Blucas as Coach Bobby, a rival team coach.
  • Jordan Rice as Jackie Carson, Jenna's daughter and Jace's older sister.
  • Al Mitchell as Coach Warrick, Crystal's basketball coach who abuses his players.
  • Javen Lewis as Vince Charles, a Swagger player.
  • Tracey Bonner as Angie Jarrett, Crystal's mother.
  • Monique Grant as Kiesha Marksby, Phil's mother.
  • Marti O. Pruitt as Jeremiah Jarrett, Crystal's father.
  • Miles Mussenden as Brett Hughes, Royale's father and a financial backer of Swagger.
  • Misha Gonz-Cirkl as Teresa Mendez, Nick's mother
  • Avery Serell Wills Jr. as Ricky, a Swagger player.
  • Nadej K. Bailey as Tamika, Musa's love interest
  • Kurt Lamarr as Coach Charlie Edwards, Ike's father
  • Arischa Conner as Apocalypse Anne
  • Katie Killacky as Eva Murphy, Drew's mother
  • Brian K. Landis as Warren Murphy, Drew's father
  • Caroline Elizabeth Gregory as Amber Gibbons (season 2), Jace's high school girlfriend
  • RJ Thomas as Johnny Fitzpatrick (season 2), Cedar Cove basketball player
  • Wayne Hughes as Seymour Greyson (season 2)
  • Christopher B. Duncan as Camden Ryder Sr. (season 2), CJ's father
  • Vinessa Shaw as Diane (season 2), Chairwoman of the Cedar Cove Prep School Board[7]
  • Arlise Rae Minter as Kathryn Edwards (season 2), Ike's daughter
  • Catherine Owens as Rae
  • Kaci Barker as Drea

Guest

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  • Jetta Strayhorn as Michelle, Crystal's basketball teammate abused by Coach Warrick (season one)
  • Andrew C. Williams as Kai
  • Robert Crayton as Barber Marvin
  • Jared Wofford as Harold Phillips
  • Gwen L. Johnson as Cynthia
  • Tedd Taskey as Mike Reese (season 2)
  • John Carlos as himself[8]

Episodes

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SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110October 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)December 17, 2021 (2021-12-17)
28June 23, 2023 (2023-06-23)August 11, 2023 (2023-08-11)

Season 1 (2021)

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No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"NBA"Reggie Rock BythewoodReggie Rock BythewoodOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)
22"Haterade"Alex HallSamantha Corbin-MillerOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)
33"Mano a Mano"Alex HallEric Simonson & Héctor Oliveras GarcíaOctober 29, 2021 (2021-10-29)
44"We Good?"Rachel LeitermanNorman Vance, Jr.November 5, 2021 (2021-11-05)
55"24 Hour Person"Rachel LeitermanKatrina O'Gilvie & Steve DiUbaldoNovember 12, 2021 (2021-11-12)
66"All on the Line"Nijla Mu'minTeleplay by : Nijla Mu'min
Story by : Nijla Mu'min & Danielle Iman
November 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
77"#RADICALS"Reggie Rock BythewoodReggie Rock Bythewood & George DohrmannNovember 25, 2021 (2021-11-25)
88"Still I Rise"Janice CookeTeleplay by : Samantha Corbin-Miller & George Dohrmann & Steve DiUbaldo
Story by : Samantha Corbin-Miller
December 3, 2021 (2021-12-03)
99"Follow-Through"Janice CookeTeleplay by : Eric Simonson & Danielle Iman & Nijla Mu'min
Story by : Eric Simonson & Danielle Iman
December 10, 2021 (2021-12-10)
1010"Florida"Alex HallTeleplay by : Reggie Rock Bythewood and Norman Vance & Katrina O'Gilvie
Story by : Reggie Rock Bythewood & Hector Oliveras Garcia
December 17, 2021 (2021-12-17)

Season 2 (2023)

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No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten by [9]Original release date [10]
111"The World Ain't Ready"Reggie Rock BythewoodReggie Rock BythewoodJune 23, 2023 (2023-06-23)
122"18"Matthew A. CherrySteve DiUbaldoJune 30, 2023 (2023-06-30)
133"RISE + FALL"Matthew A. CherryTeleplay by : Joy Kecken
Story by : Joy Kecken & Autumn Joy Jimerson
July 7, 2023 (2023-07-07)
144"Through the Fire"Reggie Rock BythewoodJ. M. Holmes & George DohrmannJuly 14, 2023 (2023-07-14)
155"Are We Free?"Reggie Rock BythewoodReggie Rock Bythewood & Racquel BakerJuly 21, 2023 (2023-07-21)
166"Jace + Crystal"Nijla Mu'minSteve DiUbaldo & Autumn Joy JimersonJuly 28, 2023 (2023-07-28)
177"Homecoming"Katina Medina MoraJ. M. Holmes & Rebecca MurgaAugust 4, 2023 (2023-08-04)
188"Journey and Destination"Katina Medina MoraGeorge Dohrmann & Racquel BakerAugust 11, 2023 (2023-08-11)

Production

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Development

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Apple began developing the project in February 2018, and it was ordered in December 2018 as a sports drama television series titled Swagger from Kevin Durant and Reggie Rock Bythewood.[11][12] Bythewood will be the showrunner, writer, director, and executive producer with Durant, Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, Rich Kleiman, and Samantha Corbin Miller executive producing.[13] On June 15, 2022, Apple renewed the series for a second season.[3] On November 30, 2023, Apple announced that the series was canceled after two seasons.[4]

Casting

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In October 2019, Deadline Hollywood reported that Winston Duke was cast as the lead, but in February 2020, Duke suffered an injury on set and was replaced with O’Shea Jackson Jr.[14][15] On July 9, 2020, Quvenzhané Wallis joined the series in the role of Crystal,[16] and on January 15, 2021, Isaiah Hill, Shinelle Azoroh, Tristan Mack Wilds, Caleel Harris, Tessa Ferrer, Jason Rivera, Solomon Irama, Ozie Nzeribe, and James Bingham were all revealed to have been cast.[1] On August 11, 2022, Orlando Jones and Shannon Brown joined the cast as series regulars, while Christina Jackson and Sean Baker were promoted to series regulars for the second season.[17]

Filming

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Alongside the casting of Winston Duke, Deadline Hollywood reported that filming would occur in October 2019.[14] After Duke’s injury in February 2020, filming was delayed due to recasting, and was then delayed even further due to the COVID-19 pandemic. By December 2020, filming restarted in Richmond, Virginia, with filming also taking place in Hopewell, Virginia in March 2021.[18][19][20] In April 2021, filming wrapped for the series.[21]

References

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  1. ^ a b Denise Petski (January 15, 2021). "'Swagger': Apple's Kevin Durant Basketball Drama Adds Nine To Cast". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "Apple's "Swagger," from NBA superstar Kevin Durant, to make global debut on Friday, October 29". Apple TV+ Press. Retrieved 2021-09-10.
  3. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (June 15, 2022). "'Swagger' Renewed for Season 2 at Apple". Variety. Retrieved July 24, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Hatchett, Keisha (November 30, 2023). "Swagger Cancelled After Two Seasons". TVLine. Retrieved November 30, 2023.
  5. ^ Denise Petski (February 5, 2020). "O'Shea Jackson Jr. To Star In Apple's Kevin Durant Basketball Drama 'Swagger' In Recasting". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on February 22, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d Petski, Denise (August 11, 2022). "'Swagger': Orlando Jones & Shannon Brown Join Season 2 Cast, Christina Jackson & Sean Anthony Baker Upped To Series Regulars". Deadline. Retrieved July 16, 2023.
  7. ^ Bell, BreAnne (September 1, 2022). "'Swagger' Adds Vinessa Shaw to Season 2 Cast (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  8. ^ Jones, Monique (July 20, 2023). "'Swagger': Olympian John Carlos Drops Heavy Truths About The Prison Pipeline In Exclusive Clip". Shadow and Act.
  9. ^ "Swagger". Writers Guild of America West. Retrieved May 27, 2023.
  10. ^ "Shows A-Z – Swaqgger on Apple TV+". The Futon Critic. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  11. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 13, 2018). "Apple Developing Series Based on NBA Star Kevin Durant From Imagine Television". Variety. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  12. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 4, 2018). "Apple Orders Kevin Durant Drama 'Swagger' to Series". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  13. ^ "Kevin Durant Basketball Drama Picked Up to Series at Apple". The Hollywood Reporter. December 4, 2018. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  14. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (October 1, 2019). "Winston Duke To Headline Apple's Kevin Durant Drama Series 'Swagger' From Imagine & CBS TV Studios". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  15. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 5, 2020). "O'Shea Jackson Jr. Takes Over Lead Role in Apple Basketball Drama 'Swagger' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  16. ^ Denise Petski (July 9, 2020). "Quvenzhané Wallis To Star In Apple's Kevin Durant Basketball Drama 'Swagger'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 2, 2020. Retrieved January 15, 2021.
  17. ^ Petski, Denise (August 11, 2022). "Swagger: Orlando Jones & Shannon Brown Join Season 2 Cast, Christina Jackson & Sean Anthony Baker Upped To Series Regulars". Deadline Hollywood.
  18. ^ "Film and TV industry bringing $120 million to Central Virginia". WTVR. December 11, 2020. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  19. ^ "Michael Keaton, Rosario Dawson series to film in Hopewell this week". WTVR. March 11, 2021. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  20. ^ Curran, Colleen (5 March 2020). "Kevin Durant's 'Swagger' filming in downtown Richmond". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved March 22, 2021.
  21. ^ Otterson, Joe (2021-04-14). "Christina Jackson Joins FX Pilot 'Spook Who Sat by the Door'". Variety. Retrieved 2021-05-12.
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