‘Selma’ Director Launches New Series on OWN

Ava DuVernay is breaking through the walls ‘Selma’ and into a brand-new opportunity with media giant Oprah Winfrey.


The two African-American “directhers” have joined forces to produce a new original drama series, “Queen Sugar”, which is set to air on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) within the next few months.


DuVernay will be wearing multiple hats during the production of “Queen Sugar.” As the writer, director and executive producer, she will bring forth a televised adaptation of the novel “Queen Sugar,” written by Natalie Baszille in 2014.

“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said Winfrey, who will also executive produce and star in the series.


The storyline of “Queen Sugar” is certainly one to be respected. The series will follow the journey of a strong-willed African-American woman, Nova Bordelon, who leaves a promising life in California to obtain her deceased father’s inheritance of an 800-acre sugar cane farm in Louisiana. Together, she and her teenage daughter struggle to adapt to a foreign lifestyle while rebuilding the farm from scratch. Nova will be portrayed by True Blood actress Rutina Wesley.

“The story’s themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show,” said Winfrey.


DuVernay immediately grew attached to “Queen Sugar” after reading the novel and looks forward to the possibilities that exist with OWN.


“From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history,” said DuVernay. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful.”


Programming for the 13-episode series took place through a multi-year exclusive deal with renowned filmmaker Tyler Perry. “Queen Sugar” will be OWN’s first scripted series that is not a product of Perry’s.


According to DuVernay, “Queen Sugar” will showcase the talent of an “all-woman directorial team” which will truly break the stereotypical barriers of Hollywood.