Yvonne Oriji (Left) and David Oyewolo (Right)
Courtesy of James Anthony/Disney
Titled “First Gen,” the half-hour show is based on Orji’s personal experiences growing up as a Nigerian immigrant in America. As a child, she’s caught between trying to honor her parents and culture while simultaneously trying to assimilate to American life.
Orji will write and executive produce the project, which will mark her first scripted series writing credit. Oyelowo will executive produce under his Yoruba Saxon Productions banner, with Winfrey and Carla Gardini executive producing for Harpo Films. 20th Television will serve as the studio.
Orji is best known for her role as Molly on the 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. Her other acting credits include “A Black Lady Sketch Show” and “Jane the Virgin” as well as the 2018 comedy film “Night School.” She released the stand up special “Momma, I Made It” in 2020.
She is repped by UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero, and Del Shaw Moonves.
“First Gen” marks the second collaboration between Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon and Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The company’s recently worked together on Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut “The Water Man.” Oyelowo also starred in that project in addition to producing, with Gardini and Winfrey executive producing. Winfrey also produced and appeared in the 2014 film “Selma,” in which Oyelowo starred as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Oyelowo is primarily known for his acting work. He received a Golden Globe nomination for “Selma” as well as the HBO film “Nightingale.” His other feature credits include “Queen of Katwe,” “Interstellar,” “A Most Violent Year,” “The Butler,” and “Jack Reacher.
He is repped by CAA, Hamilton Hodell and Del Shaw Moonves.
Variety's Joe Otterson contributed to this post.