Government Cheese: David Oyelowo is set to star in a dramedy series that is nearing a pickup order at Apple. The show is titled “Government Cheese” and is based on the short film of the same name made by Paul Hunter. Hunter serves as co-creator on the series version with Aeysha Carr (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “The Carmichael Show”). “Government Cheese” follows Hampton Chambers (Oyelowo), a man recently released from prison who struggles to keep his criminal past at bay and win back his family, all while processing moments of divine intervention that seem to happen with increasing frequency. For more, read the exclusive story on Variety.
Alessandro Nivola (seen below) will co-star with André Holland in the six-episode limited series The Big Cigar on Apple TV+, which tells the tale of Black Panther leader Huey P. Newton’s flight to Cuba. The Big Cigar, according to Deadline, tells the extraordinary, hilarious, almost-too-good-to-be-true tale of how Newton relied on Bert Schneider (Nivola), the Easy Rider producer, to evade a nationwide manhunt and escape to Cuba while being pursued into exile by the FBI. The storyline may sound like a drama, but according to Deadline, it is actually a true story.
Maya Rudolph and Natasha Lyonne’s Animal Pictures is formalizing its relationship with Apple TV+: The streamer has signed a first-look deal with Animal Pictures, led by president Danielle Renfew Behrens. Under the multi-year deal, Apple will get the opening shot at series and digital feature projects developed at the company. The deal comes just a few days after Apple TV+ debuted Loot, a comedy series starring Rudolph and produced by Animal Pictures. Natasha currently stars in the Netflix series Russian Doll.