HBO has handed out a series order for the half-hour dramatic comedy series Ballers, which stars Dwayne Johnson. The actor confirmed the news through his Twitter page, with a message that includes a photo from the set.
The series follows a group of former and current professional football players, with Dwayne Johnson portraying Spencer Strasmore, whose playing days are behind him. Omar Benson Miller plays Charles, another former athlete searching for a new career, with John David Washington, the son of Denzel Washington, playing a competitive and spiritual athlete named Charles. Rob Corddry stars as the financial adviser Joe, Troy Garity portrays a sports agent named Jason, and Donovan Carter plays a family-oriented athlete named Vernon. The cast is rounded out by Jazmyn Simon as Julie, the wife of a former player, Taylor Cole as Michaels, an ESPN sideline reporter who is romantically involved with Spencer, and Letoya Luckett as Tina, widow to one of Spencer's closest friends.
Stephen Levinson, who has produced HBO shows Boardwalk Empire and Entourage with his producing partner Mark Wahlberg, wrote the pilot script in his writing debut. He will also executive produce alongside Mark Wahlberg, showrunner Evan T. Reilly, Peter Berg, who directed the pilot episode, Dwayne Johnson's manager Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia and Rob Weiss. Production is slated to begin later this year, although it isn't known how many episodes HBO ordered.
The series marks Dwayne Johnson's first starring role on a TV series, although he hosted and executive produced the TNT reality competition series The Hero.