LOS ANGELES (Black PR Wire) – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has announced it has renewed for a fifth season Ava DuVernay’s critically acclaimed drama series “Queen Sugar” to air in 2020.
Produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television,”Queen Sugar” has been lauded for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South and for DuVernay’s initiative since the series’ inception to hire an inclusive crew and all-female directing team, many of whom were first-time TV directors. Current season four showrunner Anthony Sparks returns for the fifth season.
“Every character feels like family. Our own,” said Oprah Winfrey. “I am excited to see what Ava has unfolding next for the Bordelons.”
DuVernay said she was “thrilled to further explore the beauty, pain and triumph of this African-American family, with hopes that their story will continue to resonate with audiences who see themselves in the Bordelons.” She said it’s “a real honor to create this work with Warner Horizon and OWN as their support is rock-solid and wonderful.”
Led by the talented cast of Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, “Queen Sugar’s” storylines have delved into important topics such as police brutality, addiction and recovery, and systemic racism to name a few.
The series has been awarded the NAACP Image Award for best drama, for three consecutive years was named Best TV Show Drama by the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA), and wasnominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF).
“Queen Sugar” is currently Wednesday night’s #1 original series across all of broadcast and cable for African-American women and total viewers.
At the outset of production DuVernay established an inclusive initiative to hire an all-female directorial team. Since its debut in September 2016, 35 women have directed episodes of “Queen Sugar,” 32 of whom made their television directorial debut on the series.
The inclusive hiring extends in front of and behind the camera, with a dozen female department heads from casting and production design to post-production and music supervision.
The overwhelming response to the series was also evident each week on social media, demonstrating the strong connection viewers have to seeing multi-faceted portrayals of an African-American family on television.
On a recent episode where two characters experience separate triggering events with sexual assault and police brutality, OWN and Warner Horizon Scripted Television worked in partnership with DuVernay’s ARRAY Impact to host a live social conversation #QUEENSUGARTALKS, featuring industry leaders such as Common and Iyanla Vanzant, who answered questions and provided resources to those who may be personally affected by these issues.
From award-winning filmmaker DuVernay (16time Emmy nominated for “When They See Us” and upcoming romance anthology series “Cherish the Day” for OWN), the contemporary drama “Queen Sugar” features the Bordelon family who are fighting to save their family farm to preserve their father’s legacy while navigating their own personal journeys.
The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford as the siblings’ free-spirited Aunt Violet who revealed her Lupus diagnosis to her family while opening her own pie shop; Omar J. Dorsey as Violet’s new husband Hollywood Desonier; and Henry G. Sanders as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest.
Walter Perez plays Romero, Charley’s new romantic interest, while recurring guest star Timon Kyle Durrett portrays Charley’s estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West. Greg Vaughn portrays Calvin, a former cop who reconnects with Nova during her book tour.
“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The season four executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.