Meet Nkechi Okoro, The Showrunner Behind The CW's New Drama, 'All American'
The world is crawling with Nigerian talent, and in Hollywood, they’re taking over — from movies to TV shows to music. So, it comes as no surprise that the showrunner of All American, the CW acclaimed new teen drama, is a Nigerian-American.
Nkechi Okoro Carroll took over as showrunner after the show’s creator, April Blair stepped aside last week for personal reasons. Nkechi plans to take charge of the storytelling by getting the show to tackle serious issues, ranging from gang violence to NFL protests.
Nkechi grew up in four different countries, Nigeria, Cote D’Ivoire, England and the US. She created several short films that were featured in film festivals on multiple continents, including Africa, Europe and North America.
The success of her short films caught the attention of certain executives in Hollywood, which moved her from working as a senior trader and analyst to taking on several roles at the Fox Broadcasting Company — from story editor for Bones to producer of Rosewood and The Resident.
According to Nkechi, when she read the script for All American, she believed in it and wanted to see it through:
“As the mother of two black boys, I want to see this show on television. So I’ve been involved since the start, and when April stepped down and Greg asked if I would be interested in stepping up into the showrunner position, I was happy and excited to do it.
We’ve got an amazing creative team here, and we look forward to continuing to tell these stories that I think haven’t really been told on network TV.”
All American is based on the real events of former pro football player, Spencer Paysinger’s life, and the show follows Spencer (Daniel Ezra), a rising football star from who is recruited by the football coach at a prestigious high school, introducing him to a world vastly different from his.
But Spencer isn’t leaving his home behind – he’ll live and study in Beverly Hills during the week, then go home to Crenshaw on weekends, creating a more complex fish-out-of-water story, in which they show the ups and downs of both worlds.
Nkechi is keenly interested in continuing to promote diverse voices and experiences in her work, and we look forward to it.