Gillian Jacobs, Wood Harris Join HBO’s Los Angeles Lakers Series

Gillian Jacobs Wood Harris
Courtesy of Greg Allen/Invision/AP/Wood Harris

Gillian Jacobs and Wood Harris have both joined HBO’s upcoming drama series about the Los Angeles LakersVariety has learned.

The untitled series was ordered at HBO in December 2019. It is described as chronicling the professional and personal lives of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, one of sports’ most revered and dominant dynasties, in what came to be called the Showtime Era.

Jacobs will appear as Chris Riley. Her husband Pat (Adrien Brody) might be the one wearing the whistle, but Chris Riley is the one with a plan. Therapist by trade, Chris Riley uses her emotional expertise and strategic genius to shape the Lakers into champions.

Harris will appear as Spencer Haywood. In 1970, Spencer Haywood took the NBA to the Supreme Court, winning the right to join the league before graduating college, therefore paving the way for future greats like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant. But the groundbreaking court case also won him a label: troublemaker. Haywood’s willingness to fight for his rights stymied the next 9 years of his career. Joining the Lakers roster reignites his hope for a championship win – but, first, he’ll have to face his own demons.

Jacobs is known for her roles on shows like NBC’s “Community,” “Love” at Netflix, and the recently released “Invincible” at Amazon. She has also starred in features such as “Life of the Party,” “Hot Tub Time Machine 2,” and “I Used to Go Here.”

She is repped by UTA, Authentic, and LGNAFC.

Harris is no stranger to HBO audiences, having starred as Avon Barksdale in the premium cabler’s drama series “The Wire.” His other TV credits include “The Breaks,” “The New Edition Story,” “Empire,” and the upcoming series “Power Book III: Raising Kanan.” On the film side, he is known for roles in “Creed” and “Creed 2,” “Remember the Titans,” and “Blade Runner 2049.”

He is repped by Gersh and Artists First.

The series also stars: John C. Reilly as Jerry Buss, Jason Clarke as Jerry West, Quincy Isaiah as Magic Johnson, Solomon Hughes as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Gaby Hoffmann as Claire Rothman, Hadley Robinson as Jeanie Buss, DeVaughn Nixon as Norm Nixon, Molly Gordon as Linda Zafrani, Rob Morgan as Earvin Johnson Sr., Bo Burnham as Larry Bird, Jason Segel as Paul Westhead, Michael Chiklis as Red Auerbach, Sally Field as Jessie Buss, Adrien Brody as Pat Riley, Spencer Garrett as Chick Hearn, Kirk Bovill as Donald Sterling, Delante Desouza as Michael Cooper, Stephen Adly Guirgis as Frank Mariani, Tamera Tomakili as Earletha “Cookie” Kelly, and Joey Brooks as Lon Rosen.

The show is based on Jeff Pearlman’s non-fiction book “Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s.” Max Borenstein serves as writer, executive producer, and showrunner. Adam McKay directed the pilot and executive produces through Hyperobject Industries. Kevin Messick of Hyperobject will also executive produce along with Jason Shuman. Jim Hecht co-wrote the story and will also executive produce. Scott Stephens will also executive produce along with Rodney Barnes.