Every year is a great year for TV shows — there is a lot to be said for breaking stories down into episodes. 2018 was especially amazing, as we met and continued to know some incredible characters, with our favourite being the neurotic Chidi Anagonye from The Good Place.
In the same vein, there are plenty of questions to be asked about what’s in store for television in 2019, but the most important on our mind right now is: How actors of Nigerian descent will come away as breakout stars à la Yvonne Orji in Insecure and Uzo Aduba in Orange Is The New Black?
So, just like we did a few weeks ago with Nigerian-led Hollywood movies of 2019, we have decided to highlight some upcoming Hollywood TV shows that are led or co-led by actors of Nigerian descent. From David Oyelow in Les Misérables to Wunmi Mosaku in Luther, here are some exciting picks.
David Oyelowo in Les Misérables
One of the most versatile actors of his generation, David Oyelowo is set to appear on the small screen in this non-musical, six-episode adaptation of Les Misérables. Published in 1862, the book has become a cultural powerhouse thanks, in no small part, to its 1980s stage musical adaptation.
In the upcoming show, Oyelowo plays the iconic Javert, the story's primary antagonist. Written by the talented Andrew Davies (Pride & Prejudice, House of Cards), the non-musical adaptation focuses on the many layers of Valjean and Javert’s iconic cat-and-mouse relationship.
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje in The Fix
In 2019, Nigerian-American actor, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, best known for his in Suicide Squad and Lost, will star in The Fix, a legal drama about a prosecutor who leaves her life behind after losing the biggest case of her career, but returns when the murderer strikes again.
Adewale plays Sevvy Johnson, a charismatic Oscar-winning actor who was accused of murdering his wife and another woman. During the course of the trial, Sevvy always asserted his innocence. Eight years later, following the murder of his young girlfriend, he’s under suspicion again.
Jovan Adepo in Central Park 5
Since his breakout performance in the Oscar-winning Fences, Jovan Adepo has been hot on our radar. Now, he's set to star in the upcoming Netflix series, Central Park 5 — based on the true story of five teenagers of colour, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.
Adepo will play Anton McCray, one of the wrongfully convicted five. The show is directed by Ava Duvernay (Selma, 13th) and Jovan will be starring alongside Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight), Michael K. Williams (12 Years A Slave) and Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel).
Carmen Ejogo in True Detective
Since her knockout performance in Ava DuVernay's Oscar-winning biopic, Selma, Carmen Ejogo has been getting more deserving roles. Now, she's set to star alongside Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) in the third season of HBO's Emmy-winning anthology series, True Detective.
Ejogo will play Amelia Reardon, an Arkansas schoolteacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980; while Ali is set to play Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas investigating the disappearances.
Wunmi Mosaku in Luther
BAFTA-winning actress, Wunmi Mosaku has been an underrated powerhouse for a while now. She has shown incredible range in a number of acclaimed TV shows, including like Black Mirror, Damilola, Our Beloved Boy, and The End of The F****** World.
In 2019, she goes majorly mainstream playing the co-lead, alongside Idris Elba, in the fifth season of the beloved drama, Luther. She plays Luther's new partner, D.S. Catherine Halliday, and they team up to solve the brutal murders taking place around London.
Wunmi Mosaku in Lovecraft Country
Wunmi Mosaku will also be starring in HBO's upcoming drama series, Lovecraft Country. The show follows 25-year-old Atticus Black, his friend, Letitia and his uncle, George as they embark on a road trip across 1950s Jim Crow America to find Atticus’ missing father.
Wunmi will be playing the role of Rudy, Letitia's half-sister, whose family ties are tested when she’s presented with an offer she can’t refuse. If this sounds intriguing, it's because the series will be executive produced by Misha Green (Underground), J.J. Abrams (Lost) and Jordan Peele (Get Out).
Lolly Adefope in Shrill
Ololade "Lolly" Adefope is a British-Nigerian stand-up comedian and actress. So far, Lolly has appeared on a bunch of lowkey shows and movies. 2018, however, marked a huge change for Lolly, as she landed significant roles in not one, but two American TV shows.
In 2019, Lolly will be starring alongside Saturday Night Live's Aidy Bryant in Shrill, a TV adaptation of Lindy West's book of the same name. The show follows Annie (Bryant), a struggling would-be journalist. Lolly plays Fran, Annie’s best friend and roommate.
She also scored a role in Miracle Workers, a workplace sitcom set in Heaven, alongside Daniel Radcliffe and Steve Buscemi.