ballers ending

Ballers is nearing the endzone now. The upcoming fifth season of the HBO football comedy will be its last, according to star and executive producer Dwayne Johnson. The fifth and final season will debut this Sunday on HBO.

Dwayne Johnson announced that Ballers will end with its upcoming season 5 on Instagram, sharing, “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rockin’ with us every season.” He wrote in the caption accompanying the video:

“You made us HBO’s highest rated comedy for years and most importantly, you helped create and sustain a platform for other actors to have the opportunity to work hard, grow and become household names. To me, the opportunity Ballers created for so many others, is the real gold of our show.”

The football comedy-drama, which starred Johnson as a football superstar-turned-financial manager, was created by Stephen Levinson (Entourage) and started airing on HBO in 2015. The series follows Johnson’s retired NFL player as he navigates his new career as the financial manager of other NFL players. Its final season will debut this Sunday and run for eight episodes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the fifth season was crafted “with an endgame in mind as a decision on the conclusion of the series was made months in advance.”

The end of Ballers marks the end of an era as Peak TV transitions to the digital streaming age. The series, which is executive produced by Mark Wahlberg, Peter Berg and Andy Garcia, and feels very much like an extension of HBO’s Entourage comedy era, is HBO’s most-watched scripted comedy, with season 4 averaging 834,000 total same-day viewers. (The Rock can apparently count Elizabeth Warren as one of those viewers). But despite being a ratings powerhouse, Ballers was rarely part of the pop culture zeitgeist — I can’t remember anyone talking much about the series in all of its four seasons of airing, except to remark how uncomfortably tight Johnson’s suits looked on him.

Ballers joins a slew of HBO scripted series signing off in 2019, including mega-hits like Game of Thrones and Veep as well as Divorce, The Deuce, Silicon Valley. With Ballers making its final touchdown with season 5, it certainly feels like WarnerMedia shifting gears to focus on its upcoming streaming service, HBO Max. And with Johnson topping the list of highest-paid actors in Hollywood again, we can soon expect even more high-octane movies starring the constantly working actor.

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