One door closes, another opens: That’s the old bromide that’s been around a lot longer than this long in the tooth Gen-X’er and it’s rarely seemed more apt with the recent news that Emmy nominee Yvonne Orji – one of the stars of Insecure, a series which was just announced as ending with the conclusion of its fifth season – is developing a comedy series with David Oyelowo (Selma, Come Away) for Disney Plus. Wanna know about the icing on that particularly sweet cake? None other than Oprah Winfrey has been tapped to produce this particular endeavor. So yeah, you could speculate that – in the immortal words of the late, lamented Talk Soup – Yvonne Orji “is having the Best Week Ever.”
Announced via Variety, this new half hour series from Orji and Oyelowo will be a semi-autobiographical comedy entitled First Gen. The story revolves around Orji’s own coming of age as a Nigerian immigrant in America – a real fish out of water premise made all the better because of the truth behind the premise. Oyelowo will also bring his own experiences to the story as a British-born Nigerian-American thespian.
First Gen will not only be written by the versatile and super-talented Orji, but also executive produced by her and Oyelowo under Oyelowo’s production house Yoruba Saxon Productions. This will mark Yvonne Orji’s very first scripted series writing credit, no small feat for a talent of any age. Oprah Winfrey and cohort Carla Gardini will also be joining in on all of the executive producing fun for Harpo Films. Knowing a good thing when they see it, 20th Television will act as the studio for the new project.
Yoruba Saxon and Harpo already have a history going into First Gen: The two production houses teamed up to produce Oyelowo’s 2020 feature film The Water Man, which also happened to be the directorial debut of Oyelowo. That film premiered to mucho acclaim at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival. Getting even more Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, Oyelowo also acted in the feature film Selma which Oprah Winfrey acted in as well as produced.
That’s a pretty superlative team of talent for First Gen and Vents will be anxious to check this out when it premieres. No release date, casting, etc. announced as of yet, but stay tuned Dear Readers for future updates.