Oprah Winfrey is teaming up with Selma director Ava DuVernay to create a new drama series for her cable network OWN.
The duo are set to co-create a “contemporary drama series” based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile. DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce the series, while Winfrey is also set to executive produce and will appear in multiple episodes of the series in a recurring role.
Queen Sugar follows a spirited woman who leaves her upscale Los Angeles lifestyle behind to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father – an 800-acre sugar cane farm in the heart of Louisiana. Her world and identity are turned upside down as she and her teenage daughter attempt to navigate a new and very different environment while rebuilding their farm from scratch.
This marks the first television series that Oprah Winfrey has acted on since forming OWN in 2011. Equally, Queen Sugar is the first television drama that Ava DuVernay has created in her long career. DuVernay’s previous credits include Scandal, Nine For IX and, of course, Selma.
“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said Oprah Winfrey. “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.”
“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,” added DuVernay. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”