1:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Issa Rae, Laura Dern to Battle Over Cabbage Patch Dolls in HBO Limited Series
Issa Rae and Laura Dern will take a page out of 1980s pop culture for HBO.
The actresses have signed on to star and executive produce the limited series The Dolls for the premium cable network. The project, which is in development, will recount the aftermath of the Christmas Eve riots within two small Arkansas towns in 1983 in which violent customer outbursts erupted over Cabbage Patch Dolls.
The limited series, which will be written by Insecure trio Rae, Laura Kittrell and Amy Aniobi, will explore class, race, privilege and what it takes to be a "good mother."
Dern and her Jaywalker Pictures co-founder Jayme Lemons (Enlightened) and Deniese Davis (Insecure) will also exec produce The Dolls.
The Cabbage Patch riots were a series of fights at retail stores that erupted following the breakout demand for the doll brand that was one of the most coveted pop culture items of the '80s. (The toy line remains in production today.)
Watch a scene from one such riot, below.
The Dolls expands HBO's relationship with Insecure co-creator, star and executive producer Rae, who signed a first-look deal with the premium cable network in 2016. She currently stars in her feature film debut The Hate U Give and will next be seen in Universal's Little, due in the spring. Rae is repped by UTA, 3 Arts and attorney John V. Meigs. Jr.
Dern, meanwhile, recently wrapped production on season two of HBO's awards darling Big Little Lies and The Tale, for which she earned her seventh Emmy nomination. She won an Emmy and Golden Globe for her work in season one of Big Little Lies. The Dolls is her latest foray for HBO, following the late and great Enlightened. Her Jaywalker Pictures banner also has the drama Mr. and Mrs. American Pie in development. Dern next stars in Greta Gerwig's Little Women and opposite Allison Janney in Breaking News in Yuba Country. She is repped by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Jaywalker Pictures is with CAA.
The Dolls arrives as HBO continues to expand its programming offerings under new corporate owner AT&T. The cabler next has series including Watchmen, Demimonde and Lovecraft Country joining the final seasons of Game of Thrones and Veep in 2019.