In an emotional Instagram Video, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson announced that the upcoming fifth season of HBO’s Ballers would be its last. Johnson has starred in the show since its 2015 debut. Since then, the show has earned the distinction of being HBO’s most watched comedy series, with 834,000 same-day viewers per episode in its most recent season.
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In a written statement attached to his post, Johnson said, “My heart is full of gratitude to all of you for rockin’ with us every season. 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. I love you, I thank you and enjoy our final season of BALLERS.”
Ballers comes from the minds behind HBO’s Entourage, with Steven Levinson and Mark Wahlberg serving as executive producers. The show follows retired and semi-retired NFL players as they attempt to adjust to life after the game. Johnson plays a former player turned financial manager who battles both family demons and a pill addiction while navigating the the treacherous waters of his new career. The cast is rounded out by the likes of Rob Corddry, Omar Miller, and John David Washington.
As a former NCAA football player with unrealized dreams of making it to the NFL, the role was very personal for Johnson. In his video, he discusses his attachment to the game of football, as well as the unique opportunity provided by Ballers. He says of the show, “It was . . . an opportunity to play a character who loved the game, and the game wound up being such a critical and defining anchor in his life, and that happened to me too as well.”
Ballers is the latest series that HBO is bringing to an end this year. The decision comes on the heels of series finales for epic drama Game of Thrones and political satire Veep, and precedes the imminent conclusions of Silicon Valley and The Deuce. With newer shows like Euphoria, Barry, and The Righteous Gemstones coming to the forefront, HBO will be moving into 2020 largely with a new lineup.
The fifth and final season of Ballers premieres on Sunday, August 25 on HBO.