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'Selma' director to make TV series with Oprah Winfrey

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Selma director Ava DuVernay is re-teaming with Oprah Winfrey for the filmmaker’s first TV drama series.

DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce a series based on the novel Queen Sugar for Winfrey’s OWN cable network. Not only that, but Winfrey herself will act in the series—the first time Winfrey has stepped in front of the camera for a scripted role on her network.

Queen Sugar, from author Natalie Baszile, will “chronicle 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.”

“I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN,” Winfrey said. “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.”

While DuVernay added: “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. To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I’m excited about what’s in store.”

No word yet which role from the book Winfrey will play, but we’re told it’s a recurring character in the series.