Oprah Winfrey & ‘Selma’s’ Ava DuVernay Team for OWN Original Drama

Oprah Winfrey Ava DuVernay OWN
Michael Kovac/Getty

Oprah Winfrey and “Selma” filmmaker Ava DuVernay are creating an original series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, with Winfrey set to appear in a recurring role.

DuVernay will write, direct and exec produce the drama, adapted from the novel “Queen Sugar” by Natalie Baszile, which will follow a spirited woman, along with her teenage daughter, who leaves behind her upscale L.A. lifestyle for her Southern roots by way of an 800-acre Louisiana sugar cane farm she inherited from her recently departed father.

The project marks DuVernay’s first television series and Winfrey’s acting debut on OWN.

“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said 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.”

DuVernay commented, “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 and DuVernay worked together on “Selma,” which is nominated for best picture at the upcoming 2015 Oscars.

Production is scheduled to begin later this year.

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  1. cdhaskell says:

    They look like a winner on their hand and I can’t wait to see when the series finally debut on the OWN Channel.

  2. Jack Tafoya says:

    Do you know what your “Genetic Code” is? You can find out through the Metanumersyllogy system. Learn how to ‘understand’ people through their Genetic Code rather than ‘judge’ them by wealth and appearance.

  3. Jack Tafoya says:

    Please search the ‘Trinity’ word Metanumersyllogy and view a teaching that only one man posses the knowledge of – Jack Tafoya – Author/Teacher. Ex: Oprah is a 31/4 (Genetic Code) rel. to Bill Gates and Nooyi Indla, both 31/4s (with exactly the same birth-dates) well known for their money and influence among other 4s; learned in Metanumersyllogy.

  4. Truly, this is exciting news…we have been long awaiting for more great programming and shows from the OWN Network…certainly this is another Amazing Winning team…Congrats are in order!!!

  5. Yaya Mis P says:

    This announcement is brilliant….. Such an insiteful book to one families story to reflect on our own.
    Bravo for OWN!!!!

  6. thinredlines says:

    Love Queen Sugar and have gotten to know Natalie as we have the same editor! So happy for her and know the series will be great!

  7. thinredlines says:

    Awesome news!

  8. I was surprised when i heard oprah was starting her own network. Seems like it has its ups and downs but she is hanging in there.

  9. Aaaaw…a different American story. Bring it on, Ladies! So many CALI GIRLS by way of the great migration to the West are raised by Southerners…it will be interesting to watch a story about a CALI GIRL returning to her roots and making a new life for herself and her daughter.

  10. Pelta says:

    This will either put OWN on the map or will be ignored just like Tyler Perry’s shows on there.

    • CAM Jr says:

      PELTA, if YOUR idea of “receiving much attenion from the general public or “critics” ACTUALLY means, receiving attention by WHITE people, I STRONGLY urge you to reevaluate YOUR idea of WHOSE “attention” VALIDATES your reason for BEING. ‘Cause if NON-WHITE people wait on WHITE people for “much attention,” they’ll DIE. Tyler Perry has shown BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT that you DO NOT NEED WHITE people to love ANYTHING you do in order to rack up nearly a HALF BILLION dollar NET WORTH! NON-WHITE people MATTER. And their POCKET BOOKS prove that.

      • Pelta says:

        Wow. Seriously? If you actually think that it’s racist for pointing out that Tyler Perry’s shows on OWN have not become critically acclaimed or extremely popular with the general public, then you need to doe some reevaluating. Look at Jane the Virgin, Empire, Blackish, all “non-white” shows that have either become critically acclaimed or ratings hits, or both. And I was not even talking about Perry’s movies, because those are monumental successes. Also, please take a look at my reply to ABJ. Get lost.

    • ABJ says:

      Tyler Perry’s “The Haves and the Have Nots” is the #1 show on OWN. It averages 3 million viewers per episode and is always in the top 20 of original cable show ratings. OWN is averaging around 500k a night. It is defiantly on the map. It’s highest rated show beats Lifetime’s highest rated show, for context.

      • Pelta says:

        I’m not saying ‘The Haves and the Have Nots’ is a failure, it just hasn’t received much attention from the general public or critics. It’s probably due to being cheaply made and very campy like those flimsy daytime soaps. A series like Queen Sugar, if done right, could push the network into critical acclaim.

  11. Sounds like my life…lol

  12. debkbeebe says:

    Great subject, great people, great idea!

  13. TONY says:

    Lets hope its not like the Tyler Perry dung.

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