Nigerian actor Yvonne Orji is working on an autobiographical comedy series for Disney+ with British-born Nigerian-American actor David Oyelowo and Oscar-winning TV personality Oprah Winfrey.
Half-hour show First Gen is in development at Disney+ and is based on Orji’s experiences growing up as a Nigerian immigrant in the US. It follows a child caught between trying to honour her parents and culture and attempting to assimilate into American life.
The show is written by Orji and executive produced with Winfrey’s prodco Harpo Productions and Carla Gardini and Oyelowo via his Yoruba Saxon Productions. 20th Television is the studio.
Orji took to Instagram to express her excitement about the deal, saying: “Thank you David Oyelowo for believing in the dream from JUMP and Lady Oprah for coming on board as our fairy godmother. I’ve been very vocal about my desire to highlight stories from the continent and I’m grateful to have this opportunity to do so.”
Orji is best known for her role as Molly in hit HBO series Insecure, which is set to end after its fifth season. She was nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actress in a comedy for the show in 2020. Orji is repped by UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero and Del Shaw Moonves.
Oyelowo is currently in production on an as-yet-untitled murder mystery thriller with Searchlight Pictures, in which he stars alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell. Winfrey, meanwhile, is an iconic talkshow host, media mogul via her joint-venture channel OWN with Discovery, and a prolific producer via Harpo.