ABC Says No to ‘This Is Us’ Exec Producer’s Pilot ‘Insight’

Hopes were high for a new ABC franchise coming to Chicago, but it looks like that moment will have to wait. The Disney-owned network has decided not to move forward with the hourlong drama entitled Insight, created by This Is Us executive producer and episode writer-director Kay Oyegun. The pilot filmed in the Chicagoland area through May and early June of this year.

Could another network or platform breathe new life into Insight down the road? Possibly, but for now, this series is not moving forward. Here is a quick look at the team behind Kay Oyegun’s vision…

All-Star Cast Helmed the Pilot

Emmy nominee Marsha Stephanie Blake headlined the cast of Insight. Blake played Ellen Roman, the owner of the practice and a brilliant therapist, whose life is shockingly turned upside down when she begins working with a sociopathic patient who may hold the key to the disappearance of her sister five years earlier.

Emmy Nominee Marsha Stephanie Blake led the cast of Insight. Photo Credit: Roger Gibbs.

Blake’s Ellen is smart, beautiful, a natural leader, instantly perceptive, capable of great empathy, fantastic dry sense of whip-smart humor; a deep well of contradictions stemming from a complicated childhood, according to Deadline. She is the founder and main therapist of the “Mindful Insight Therapy Group;” she has both the command and vulnerability to make her the sort of therapist who gives everything she has to her patients. But that devotion, while a strength, is also her biggest weakness.

Blake received both Emmy and Critics Choice award nominations for her role as Linda McCray in Ava Duvernay’s critically acclaimed Netflix miniseries When They See Us. She can currently be seen in The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray limited series for Apple TV+, starring opposite Sam Jackson. She recently completed shooting the lead in the Independent film Brother opposite Aaron Pierre for BRON Studios.

Here is a recent interview of Blake discussing The Last Days of Ptolemy Gray limited series for Apple TV+…

More Insight into the Pilot

The hourlong project was brought to ABC by 20th Television and is written and executive produced by Oyegun. She has worked on the hit NBC drama This Is Us since 2016. Oyegun started on the show as a staff writer during its first season, working her way up to executive producer. Oyegun made her directorial debut on the show in the “Birth Mother” episode which aired on January 12, 2021.

Here is a quick preview of the “Birth Mother” episode Oyegun directed and you can click here to watch it in its entirety…

Top-Notch Chicago Team Behind the Camera

Oyegun had some of the premier Chicago production talent alongside her for this pilot shoot. Christina Varotsis produced the pilot. Varotsis is a cornerstone of the Chicago television production community, with recent credits including the HBO hit Lovecraft Country and the pilot for Single Drunk Female, which was picked up to series. Another Windy City stalwart is RoseMary Prodonovich, who served as Production Supervisor. Her recent television work includes the Amazon series Paper Girls and Season Four of Fargo.

Rounding out the team was Production Coordinator Devon Colwell, Executive Producer Kevin Hooks and Producer Christiana Hooks.

Get to Know Kay Oyegun

Kay Oyegun brings her pilot to Chicago in May

Prior to working on This Is Us, Oyegun wrote for Ava DuVernay’s OWN drama Queen Sugar. She is under an overall deal with 20th Television.

As for Oyegun’s film credits, she adapted the music drama On the Come Up, the follow-up novel from The Hate U Give writer Angie Thomas, for Paramount Players; and sold the comedy feature Assisted Living to Paramount, which is set to star Cardi B, according to Deadline.

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