HBO is moving ahead with Insecure, ordering to series the comedy pilot written by and starring Issa Rae and directed by Melina Matsoukas. The pickup comes shortly after HBO brass received the pilot, which was well received internally. Co-created and written by Rae and Larry Wilmore, Insecure follows the friendship of two modern-day black women, Issa (Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) and all of their uncomfortable experiences and racy tribulations.
The project originally was set up at HBO in summer 2013. Wilmore subsequently landed his late-night talk show on Comedy Central, so he was not actively involved in the pilot, which brought in Prentice Penny (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) as showrunner. Penny will executive produce the series with 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg, Dave Becky and Jonathan Berry, while Rae is co-executive producer and Wilmore as consultant.
Co-starring in Insecure are Lisa Joyce, who just landed the lead in HBO’s Lena Dunham pilot, a rare case of an actor booking two pilot regular roles, and Jay Ellis.
Insecure features themes Rae tackled in her successful webseries, The Misadventures Of Awkward Black Girl, which won a Shorty Award. Rae’s online content has garnered over 20 million views and nearly 200,000 YouTube subscribers. She has made a number of lists, including Glamour’s “35 Under 35″, Forbes’ “30 Under 30” (twice), Rolling Stone’s 23 Funniest people in America and People magazine’s “One to Watch” list for 2015.
Penny has been on a roll. The Insecure pickup comes a week after a high-profile comedy project produced by Bruno Mars, which he is writing/executive producing, landed at NBC with a put pilot commitment.