Antoine Fuqua Developing Los Angeles Lakers Docuseries For Hulu | TV News

 

The Los Angeles Lakers have had plenty of rivals over the years, but their new adversaries are…themselves. That’s because duelling Lakers projects are in the works.

 

For the last six months or so, there’s been plenty of reports about HBO’s in-development series about the Showtime-era Lakers, which has a cast that includes Bo Burnham, John C. Reilly, Jason Segel, and Jason Clarke, but now Hulu is getting in on the act as well.

 

The American streaming platform is reportedly developing a nine-part documentary series with Antoine Fuqua at the helm. The series will detail the past 4 decades of the franchise and contains interviews from over 35 key people within the organization, including Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and legendary coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson.

 

Beginning with Jerry Buss‘ acquisition of the team in 1979, the docuseries will attempt to capture his journey to build, sustain and pass on a family-run sports empire. Like the HBO series, the project will spend time in the “Showtime” era that saw the team win five NBA titles throughout the 1980s.

 

But the series will also go beyond that, detailing the high-stakes drama among the Lakers off the court, exploring the Kobe Bryant and Shaq-led championship teams of the early 2000s, and the cultural impact of the Lakers franchise and recent rebirth of the team, which culminated with a 2020 NBA championship victory.

 

“We are proud to bring this docuseries to the world and shed light on the legendary history of the Lakers”, Fuqua said in a statement. “This expansive look into one of the greatest sports franchises of all time is a project we all feel deeply passionate about”.

 

“The Los Angeles Lakers are one of sports’ most illustrious franchises”, added Hulu’s Belisa Balaban. “Theirs is a history of epic highs and tragic lows, and generations of legendary players and teams who have made a profound impact, not just on the sports world, but on the culture.

 

We are honored to join Jeanie, Antoine and the whole creative team to bring Hulu viewers the very real inside look at the remarkable story of the rise and fall, and rise again of the Lakers.”

 

Obviously this series is heavily inspired by ESPN’s Chicago Bulls docuseries The Last Dance, which aired last year to critical acclaim. It makes sense that the next team from the NBA to cover would be the Lakers, who have long been one of the league’s most popular and dominant franchises.

 

It will be interesting to see what format audiences take to more. Will it be the intimate documentary style that helped make The Last Dance so good? Or will HBO’s scripted series with big stars prove to be more appealing? It might simply depend on which project arrives first.

 

Fuqua has reportedly been working on this series for a while, which will arrive on Hulu in 2022, so it might have the upper hand.

 

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