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Ava DuVernay Will Write & Direct ‘Queen Sugar’ – a New Original Drama Series for the OWN Network

Ava DuVernay Will Write & Direct 'Queen Sugar' - a New Original Drama Series for the OWN Network

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 Ms DuVernay teased in an interview a couple of weeks ago. It’ll mark her first television drama series, with Winfrey executive producing, and will also appear in multiple episodes, 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. 

Anyone read the novel? If so, reactions? I’ll pick up a copy for myself, so I can check it out. If you’d like one for yourself, click here.

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Julietta Williams

Natalie Brazizle presented her book at the Orange County ( CA) Links annual’ Meet Prominet African Authors at the Cerritos (CA) Library…rated as in the top fifty labraries in the world last year. She was well received by over 200 hundred guest at the free event. ‘Queen Sugar ‘ is a must read…for me it was page turner. I have known Natalie and her family for over 30 years. Congratulation Natalie. My daughter was a guest on Oprah’s Book Club for ‘Here on Earth’ by Alice Hoffman.


This sounds much better than that crappy love story/murder mystery Hurricane Katrina film. Wish Ms. Duvernay all the best with this project.


Damn, I’ve been putting this book off for quite some time. Now I got to put at the top of my to read list on goodreads. Oh, and GO AVA!


The novel is wonderful, inspiring, thoughtful. It’s a great read and I hope Oprah and OWN do it proud.

Laura Lane McNeal

Natalie Baszile, the author, and I met and became friends as we have the same editor, Pamela Dorman at Pamela Dorman Books/Viking . Queen Sugar is fantastic. She really captured the spirit of the area. As a native of New Orleans, I can attest that’s hard to do if you didn’t grow up in the area. Kudos to Natalie. I’m sure it will be a great success!
Laura Lane McNeal
Author of DOLLBABY


This sound great, I like what Oprah is starting to do with her network, one thing I think she could also do that would be big for her network is bring back the Arsenio Hall show up there.


Yes! Please read it. It was a great read, and this is coming from a lover of zombie fiction.

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