Oprah Winfrey and her Selma collaborator, director Ava DuVernay, are teaming up again, this time for a drama series on Winfrey’s cable network that will feature her in a recurring role.
Queen Sugar, based on a novel by first-time author Natalie Baszile, centers on a woman who leaves her upscale Los Angeles lifestyle behind to claim a Louisiana sugar-cane farm she inherited from her father. With her teenage daughter, she adjusts to a new life while rebuilding the farm.
DuVernay will write, direct and produce the series, her first drama for television, while Winfrey will be making her debut as an actor on OWN, her cable network, that’s a joint venture with Discovery Networks. The series is expected to begin filming later this year.
“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” Winfrey says in a statement announcing the project. “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.”
DuVernay added: “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. To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”
Winfrey was a producer of Selma, the Oscar-nominated film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s 1965 voting rights campaign, which DuVernay directed, and Oprah has a supporting role in the film.
SOURCE: USA Today – Gary Levin