For those who wished Entourage had been less focused on the foppish pursuits of the thespian, HBO has picked up the far manlier Ballers, from that show’s producer Mark Wahlberg and his Pain And Gain co-star, Dwayne “It’s Not The Rock, It’s HBO“ Johnson, starring in his first regular TV role. As previously reported, the half-hour dramedy concerns a group of Miami-area athletes at various stages of their career, with Johnson’s retired player the show’s focus, both in terms of storytelling and the practicalities of camera framing. Out of football, he now finds he's playing the game... called life.
Johnson will interact with a group that includes Rob Corddry as a financial advisor who’s always desperate to be included (like Turtle if he were an accountant), Troy Garity as a hotshot sports agent (like Ari if he were yelling about sports), and athletes who are either up-and-coming—like the “highly spiritual” young pro played by Denzel Washington’s son, John David Washington—or over and done, like Omar Benson Miller’s affable retiree who’s looking for his next career step. And as with the characters in so many HBO shows, whatever comic trials they endure will be ameliorated by the fact that, at the very least, these Ballers have each other. Also, lots of money.