“Queen Sugar” has been renewed for Season 3 at the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), while series showrunner Ava DuVernay has signed a first-look television and digital media deal with Winfrey’s Harpo Films, Variety has learned.
“I’m so proud of Ava and her ability as a filmmaker to challenge the status quo and push for inclusiveness on screen and behind the camera. I love, love, love the work we have been able to create so far. I am looking forward to developing many more meaningful projects together,” Winfrey said.
“Queen Sugar” follows the Bordelon siblings in Louisiana. Season 2 of the series debuted on June 20 with its highest-rated episode ever in key adult and female demos. It is currently averaging 2.4 million viewers per episode in delayed viewing. In addition, Michael Michele, Roger Guenveur Smith and Beverly Todd will join the series in recurring roles later in Season 2. Michele and Smith will play Darla’s (Bianca Lawson) estranged parents, and Todd plays Mother Olivia Brown, a respected matriarchal activist in the 9th Ward.
DuVernay has set an all-female directing team for both seasons of the show. Garrett Bradley, Liesl Tommy, and Christina Voros will join the previously announced Julie Dash to direct upcoming episodes of the second half of this season, airing this fall. The series is produced by Harpo Films and Warner Horizon Television.
The first project under DuVernay’s new deal will be the recently announced limited series “Central Park Five,” based on the true story of five black teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of rape. The five-part series will air on Netflix and is also produced by Participant Media and Tribeca Productions in addition Harpo Films.
“There is fresh air and room to roam. There is an artist-driven atmosphere and an intention to share stories that nourish. There is a spirit of inclusivity and imagination moving at all times,” said DuVernay. “This is the new era of OWN. I’m thrilled to continue to collaborate with Ms. Winfrey as we expand the scope of our storytelling. And I feel fortunate to be a small part of this network at such a wonderful time in its evolution.”