'Americanah' Drama From Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira Dead at HBO Max

Lupita Nyong'o 86th Annual Academy Awards
Jason LaVeris/WireImage

Issues stemming from the pandemic has sunk another show.

Americanah, the planned limited series starring Lupita Nyong'o and from showrunner and actress Danai Gurira, is no longer moving forward at HBO Max. Sources say Nyong'o had to drop out of the series after running into a scheduling conflict.

Based on the best-selling novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the drama was picked up straight to series with a 10-episode order a year ago. It tells the story of a woman (Nyong'o) born in Nigeria who leaves for America and her extraordinary experiences with love, heartache, adversity and self-discovery. It was poised to be Oscar winner Nyong'o's first role in an American TV series. The project was a passion project for the actress, who first read the novel in 2013 and originally planned to adapt it as a film.  Production was due to begin shooting earlier this year but was among the scores of film and TV projects that was forced to shut down because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Gurira, a Tony-nominated playwright (Eclipsed), was also poised to take on her first showrunning job with Americanah. The cast included Uzo Aduba and Corey Hawkins.

Americanah becomes the latest in a rapidly growing list of scripted originals that has been scrapped because of issues stemming from the pandemic. Schedules for actors, showrunners, directors and locations have been turned upside down following the global shutdown. That's among the handful of reasons many networks and streamers are reversing course on planned originals and renewals.

This week, Showtime pulled the plug on The President Is Missing partially because of the production delay. Meanwhile, renewals for GLOW, On Becoming a God in Central Florida, The Society, I Am Not Okay With This, Stumptown and I'm Sorry have been reversed. More are expected to come as cash-strapped networks, streamers and studios review budgets and schedules.

Variety was first to report the news.