Today, Hulu announced that a new expansive, nine-part Original docuseries chronicling the history of the storied Los Angeles Lakers franchise will join the Hulu Originals lineup. The project comes to Hulu from Lakers’ CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss, Emmy® Award-winning director Antoine Fuqua, in association with Fuqua Films, as well as Haven Entertainment and Los Angeles Media Fund.
The series details the past four decades of the Lakers, and contains colorful and emotional new interviews from over 35 people within the organization, including the Buss family, legendary coaches Pat Riley and Phil Jackson, and NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal and team captain Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, among numerous other current and former players. Also featured are interviews with a range of high-profile fans and a treasure trove of archival footage featuring never-before-seen interviews with the Lakers late owner, Jerry Buss.
Starting from his acquisition of the team in 1979, the docuseries captures Jerry Buss’ remarkable journey to build, sustain and pass on a family-run sports empire. The project will offer a fresh and revealing look inside the legendary “Showtime” era that saw the team win five NBA titles and turned the Forum into Hollywood’s hottest ticket throughout the 1980s. The series also details the high-stakes drama off the court and incredible successes of the Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal-led championship teams, as well as the cultural impact of the Lakers franchise and rebirth of the team, culminating with the 2020 NBA championship led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis. At the heart is a story about sports, business and, most of all, family – and how those competing forces must be harnessed to achieve greatness.
“When Dr. Buss bought the Lakers in 1979, he sat alone at center court of the Forum and thought of all the possibilities. But even in his wildest dreams, my father could not have imagined what the next decades would bring for our organization, our league and our city of Los Angeles. I am thrilled that the true story of the Lakers will finally be shared with the world -- and that we are in such capable hands with Hulu and Antoine, a director whose storytelling I’ve admired for years,” said Lakers’ CEO and controlling owner Jeanie Buss.
“We are proud to bring this docuseries to the world and shed light on the legendary history of the Lakers,” said Fuqua. “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. 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,” said Belisa Balaban, VP, Original Documentaries, Hulu.
The series joins Hulu’s acclaimed Original documentary slate including “Hillary,” “I Am Greta,” “Minding the Gap,” “Ask Dr. Ruth” and official 2021 SXSW selections “WeWork: Or the Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn” and “Sasquatch.”
Buss and Fuqua will executive produce the series alongside Haven Entertainment’s Kevin Mann, Michael Mann and Brendan Bragg, Los Angeles Media Fund’s (LAMF) Jeffrey Soros and Simon Horsman and longtime Lakers senior executive Linda Rambis. Rounding out the team will be Emmy Award winners editor Jake Pushinsky and executive producer/writer Steven Leckart. The untitled project is slated to debut on Hulu in 2022.
Hulu is the leading premium streaming service offering live and on-demand TV and movies, with and without commercials, both in and outside the home. As part of Disney’s Media and Entertainment Distribution segment, Hulu is the only service that gives viewers instant access to current shows from every major U.S. broadcast network; libraries of hit TV series and films; and acclaimed Hulu Originals like Emmy® and Golden Globe® Award-winning series “The Handmaid’s Tale” and “The Act”; Golden Globe Award-winning, Emmy Award-nominated and Peabody-winning series “Ramy”; and Emmy Award-nominated series “Pen15” alongside hit series “Little Fires Everywhere” from Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, “Normal People,” “The Great,” “Hillary” and “Solar Opposites”; Oscar® and Emmy-nominated documentary film “Minding the Gap”, Golden Globe-Award winning and Oscar-nominated “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”, and critically acclaimed Hulu Original films “Palm Springs,” “Run” and “Happiest Season.” The service also streams live news, entertainment and sports from 20th Television, The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal, CBS Corporation, The CW, Turner Networks, A+E Networks and Discovery Networks – available all in one place. Upcoming Original releases include true-crime inspired comedy “Only Murders in the Building” starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez, and the book-to-screen adaptation of “Nine Perfect Strangers” starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy.