Emmy-nominated Insecure co-star Yvonne Orji is tapping into her experience as a Nigerian-born, first-generation American in First Gen, a half-hour comedy, which is in development at Disney+. She has A-list collaborators on the project in British-born Nigerian-American actor David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey. 20th Television is the studio.
Written by Orji, First Gen 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 executive produces with Harpo’s Winfrey and Carla Gardini and Oyelowo via his Yoruba Saxon Productions.
This is the second collaboration between Oyelowo’s Yoruba Saxon and Winfrey’s Harpo Films. The two companies recently produced Oyelowo’s feature directorial debut, The Water Man, in which Oyelowo also stars. The film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Additionally, Oyelowo headlined Ava DuVernay’s feature Selma, which Winfrey produced and co-starred in.
In 2020, Orji earned a Supporting Actress in a comedy series Emmy nomination and won a Black Reel Award for her role as Molly in HBO’s Insecure. She is repped by UTA, Odenkirk Provissiero, and Del Shaw Moonves.
Oyelowo can currently be seen starring opposite Angelina Jolie in the fantasy drama Come Away, which he also produced, and in George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, which was one of the most-watched titles on Netflix during the holidays and is on course to be watched by 72M households within its first four weeks.
Next, he will be seen in Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, and in Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson. Oyelowo is currently in production on Searchlight Pictures untitled murder mystery thriller, in which he stars alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell. H CAA, Hamilton Hodell and Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano.
Winfrey is an Oscar-winning actress, iconic talk show host, media mogul via her OWN venture with Discovery and a prolific producer via Harpo. In 2020, Winfrey partnered with Lionsgate and The Times to adapt The 1619 Project into a portfolio of content across films, television and various platforms. In 2013, Winfrey was awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. In 2018, she was honored with the Cecil B deMille award by HFPA.
Gardini joined Harpo Films in 2008 and is a producer of film and television in addition to overseeing scripted programming for the Oprah Winfrey Network.
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