Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay Team Up Again for New OWN Drama Series
After their successful work for the movie “Selma,” movie star Oprah Winfrey and director Ava DuVernay team up yet again, this time for a TV drama series in the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
In an announcement released on Monday, Feb. 2, 2015, OWN will be working on a new TV drama series, though a release date has not yet been set. The series will be written, directed and executive produced by DuVernay. Aside from being a co-executive producer, Winfrey will also be appearing in the series as a recurring role.
Inspired by the book “Queen Sugar” written by Natalie Baszile, the series tells the story of a woman who has been living an extravagant life in Los Angeles with her teenage daughter. That is until she learns of her father’s death, leaving her an 800-acre sugarcane farm in Louisiana upon his will. Setting out into the south to have a look at the property, the mother and daughter work together to manage the farm from scratch, meet new people and adjust to a new life and culture.
Upon reading the book, Winfrey revealed in a statement that she loved it and instantly saw it as an inspiration for a new OWN series, thanks to its familial themes that will connect to viewers. For her part, DuVernay was captivated of the story of a woman adapting to new walks in life, and that she is excited for the said project.
Winfrey created the cable network OWN after her talk show “Oprah” ended back in 2011. The network applies scripted programming through a multiyear exclusive deal with Tyler Perry, who wrote the network’s prime time soap opera “The Haves and the Have Nots.” And this novel-inspired series will be OWN’s first scripted series that was not worked on by Perry.
The series project marks the first TV series DuVernay will be working on. Moreover, this will be the first time that Winfrey will be starring in a series in her own network. Production is set to begin later this year.
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Photo source: Wikimedia Commons/Greg Hernandez