HBO Renews ‘Ballers’

HBO has given the greenlight to a second season of its sport-themed series Ballers, the network said Friday.

The series, which stars Dwayne Johnson and follows the lives of former and current football players, drew 8.9 million viewers across HBO's branded platforms in its June 21 debut episode. The mark is the most watched first episode of a half-hour series on HBO since 2009, according to network officials.

"The charismatic and hugely talented Dwayne Johnson, along with the rest of the Ballers cast, has truly struck a chord with the HBO audience," according to Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. "We are thrilled with the overwhelming response the series has received and look forward to another exciting season."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.