By Tambay A. Obenson
Shadow and Act
Well, those of you who’ve been calling – make that screaming – for Oprah Winfrey to pepper up her OWN network lineup with original scripted content created by someone other than Tyler Perry, here ya go…
Ava DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce a new original drama series for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, inspired by the acclaimed novel “Queen Sugar,” by Natalie Baszile, which, per the press release, chronicles “a spirited woman who leaves her upscale Los Angeles lifestyle behind to claim an inheritance from her recently departed father – an 800-acre sugar cane farm in the heart of Louisiana. Her world and identity are turned upside down as she and her teenage daughter attempt to navigate a new and very different environment while rebuilding their farm from scratch. She is met with curiosity and community, with resistance and romance. It isn’t long before a transformation begins and she realizes that she’s been living a lot farther from her Southern roots than mere miles.”
We can assume this is the series DuVernay teased in an interview a couple of weeks ago. It’ll mark her first television drama series, with Winfrey executive producing, and appearing in a recurring role.
“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” said Oprah 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.”
“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,” said DuVernay. “To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”
Production is scheduled to begin later this year.