There is good news for fans of OWN's Queen Sugar and the woman at the helm, Ava DuVernay.
News out of the TCAs today awards Queen Sugar a third season. As the series hit ratings highs last month, that's not a surprise!
Additionally, Oscar-nominated filmmaker DuVernay signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films for television and digital media.
Queen Sugar follows the Bordelon siblings after a family loss throws them together on the family farm.
The series stars Rutina Wesley as Nova, Dawn Lyen Gardner as Charley, and Kofi Siriboe as Ralph Angel, the three siblings whose triumphs and turmoils are under the microscope.
Queen Sugar Season 2 has been averaging 2.4 million viewers on a weekly basis.
At the panel, there was also an announcement about upcoming arcs for the show, including the introduction of the estranged parents of Darla (Bianca Lawson) and a new character called Mother Olivia Brown (Beverly Todd), a beloved and respected matriarchal activist residing in the 9th Ward.
DuVernay continues to use female directors for the series, and has a fresh group tapped for upcoming fall episodes including Garrett Bradley (Alone), Liesl Tommy (Eclipsed) and Christina Voros (The Ladies).
“There is fresh air and room to roam,” DuVernay said. “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.
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.”
OWN has been ramping up incoming talent as their most prolific filmmaker, Tyler Perry, takes his leave from the network.
DuVernay's first look deal with Winfrey's Harpo includes a five-part Netflix series delving into the story of five men who were wrongfully convicted of a rape of a jogger in Central Park in 1989.
“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,” said Winfrey, CEO of OWN and Harpo.
“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.”
What do you think of the renewal of Queen Sugar and DuVernay's other exciting projects?
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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.