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.