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They Call Me Magic: release date, trailer and everything we know about the docuseries

Magic Johnson smiling in They Call Me Magic
Magic Johnson smiling in They Call Me Magic (Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Earvin "Magic" Johnson is finally telling his own story in They Call Me Magic. In what for some is a project long overdue, Johnson openly discusses his rise to becoming not only an NBA legend, but also a cultural icon that the world has come to respect as a trailblazing entrepreneur and symbol for social change. 

What makes the timing of the docuseries particularly interesting is that it’s being released while Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty is still airing. Viewers that opt to watch both will get to see how Johnson’s perception of his time with the Lakers differs from what is shown in the HBO hit series. 

Additionally, fans of Winning TIme that choose to watch Johnson’s documentary will get more insight into who the basketball great was before being adorned with the affectionate nickname Magic. That’s an era in the scripted show that’s not heavily discussed, but will certainly be covered in the docuseries. 

Here’s everything we know about They Call Me Magic.  

When is the They Call Me Magic release date?  

They Call Me Magic globally premiered on Apple TV Plus on Friday, April 22. All four episodes are currently available to stream. Here is a synopsis for each episode: 

Episode 1: "Junebug" 

"All eyes are on a young basketball sensation from Lansing, Michigan, dubbed Magic, the NBA's 1979 first overall draft pick."

Episode 2: "Buck"

"After clinching the 1980 NBA Championship, Magic's popularity soars. But his personal life is turbulent, and new NBA rivals emerge."

Episode 3: "Earvin"

"Just as life is on the upswing, with marriage and a baby on the way, Magic receives an earth-shattering diagnosis that he's contracted HIV."

Episode 4: "Magic" 

"Fresh off the Dream Team's historic win, Magic stages a comeback while evolving into a business powerhouse and nurturing a growing family."

They Call Me Magic premise 

Earvin "Magic" Johnson in They Call Me Magic

(Image credit: Apple TV Plus)

Apple TV Plus describes the premise of They Call Me Magic by stating the following: 

"With unprecedented access, the docuseries explores Earvin 'Magic' Johnson’s remarkable journey from being the face of the Los Angeles Lakers and cementing himself as an all-time NBA legend, to changing the conversation around HIV and transforming into a successful entrepreneur and community activist. From his humble beginnings in Lansing, Mich., to becoming the global force he is today, They Call Me Magic features intimate interviews with Magic, his family, and an all-star lineup as the docuseries charts the cinematic life of one of the biggest cultural icons of our era." 

They Call Me Magic cast 

Given this is a Magic Johnson-approved docuseries about himself, it should come as no surprise that he is the star of They Call Me Magic. Viewers will get a chance to hear from the NBA great himself as he talks about the high and low moments of his accomplished life. 

Helping Magic recount stories and offer their opinions are a slew of his acquaintances, friends and family. Among those featured in the series are Cookie Johnson, EJ Johnson, Larry Bird, LL Cool J, Snoop Dogg, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Jordan (who had his own extremely popular documentary in The Last Dance), Shaquille O’Neil, former President Barack Obama, Fred Stabley Jr., Dwyane Wade, Jerry West and Michael Wilbon. 

They Call Me Magic trailer 

If you’re a fan of Magic Johnson or appreciate good documentary content, They Call Me Magic should appeal to you based on the trailer.  

How to watch They Call Me Magic 

They Call Me Magic is an Apple TV Plus original series. Those wanting to watch it will need a subscription. Currently, the streaming platform offers a subscription for $4.99 per month. 

If you’re not a subscriber yet and want to try Apple TV Plus before you commit to a monthly expense, the platform offers free trials. The lengths of those trials usually vary from seven days to three months depending on the other Apple products you’ve already purchased and the promotion Apple has going on at the time. 

Terrell Smith has a diverse writing background having penned material for a wide array of clients including the federal government and Bravo television personalities.  When he’s not writing as Terrell, he’s writing under his pseudonym Tavion Scott, creating scripts for his audio drama podcasts. Terrell is a huge fan of great storytelling when it comes to television and film. Some of his favorite shows include The CrownWandaVision, Abbot Elementary and Godfather of HarlemAnd a fun fact is he's completely dialed into the TLC 90 Day Fiancé universe.