The TV industry has a new mogul in its midst and she goes by the name of Issa Rae. The 32-year-old multi-hyphenate is prepping her next act at HBO, where her wildly entertaining comedy Insecure, has become one of the prestige network’s signature shows.
According to Deadline, Rae will follow that up with a sprawling drama about a successful black family trying to navigate life as minorities in ‘90s-era Los Angeles. Rae will executive produce the show alongside author Angela Flouroy, whose debut novel The Turner House, was shortlisted for the National Book Award for Fiction. Flouroy will also write the pilot, which will introduce us to the husband-and-wife duo of Sheryl and Jackson, she an “envelope bounds-pushing real estate agent” and he a “conflicted LAPD anti-gang task force recruit.” We’ll also get to meet their teenage children, making this a multi-generational story.
“I’m so thrilled to be working with Angela,” Rae said in a statement. “I was a huge fan of The Turner House and we feel so lucky to bring her beautiful storytelling to HBO.”
Rae—who first gained notoriety thanks to her insightful web series Awkward Black Girl—has quietly become a leading voice of her generation thanks to her unique ability to shine a light on what it’s like to be young and messy in a big city. Sure, the fact that every character is black is its own achievement, even in today’s increasingly diverse cultural landscape. But ow in its second season, Insecure stands out for more than the color of its cast’s skin. With Rae at the helm, it’s become one of sharpest and most insightful comedies on television.
While it’s also set to take place in L.A., Rae’s new show will mark something of a departure for her. In the nineties, L.A. was fraught with social and political turmoil. And thanks to formative events like the Rodney King riots and the O.J. Simpson trial, the long-simmering pressure cooker of racial tension eventually erupted. It’ll be interesting to see how Rae brings her own unique perspective to such a well-chronicled period in American history. But if anyone has the ability to make something feel new and refreshing, it’s Issa Rae.