Series Creator/Executive Producer Ava DuVernay Handpicks All-Female Directorial Team
To Helm New Season
Los Angeles - "Queen Sugar," the critically acclaimed drama series from Academy award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay ("13th," "Selma"), executive producer Oprah Winfrey and Warner Horizon Scripted Television, returns for its second season with a two-night event on OWN Tuesday, June 20, and Wednesday, June 21 (10 p.m. ET/PT each night). The series will regularly air Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Continuing a creative initiative established in the show's first season, series creator DuVernay has once again assembled an all-female directing team for season two including: Kat Candler, DeMane Davis, Cheryl Dunye, Aurora Guerrero and Amanda Marsalis, with additional names to be announced.
Hulu and Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution today also announced a new deal that grants the premium streaming television destination the exclusive subscription streaming rights to all past episodes of "Queen Sugar." The complete first season of "Queen Sugar" will become available to stream exclusively on Hulu beginning April 21, and subsequent seasons will become available to stream following their initial season run on OWN.
The debut season won an NAACP Image Award for Best Drama Series, Television Show of the Year from both ABFF and AAFCA, and was a People's Choice Awards nominee for Favorite Cable Drama. The award-winning first season was the #1 new ad-supported cable series for W25-54 and the #1 new cable series for African-American women and total viewers during the run. Additionally, season one averaged over 2.7 million total viewers in Live+3.
In the series' second season, the contemporary drama returns as the Bordelon siblings struggle to move forward with their lives as they strive to honor the legacy of their father following his unexpected passing. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, "Unforgettable") relocates to Saint Josephine, Louisiana to help run the family business. As the only black female sugarcane mill owner, she must fight to regain her independence while rebuilding her relationships with her estranged siblings. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, "Girls Trip") struggles to transform from a formerly incarcerated single father to a land owner in the eyes of his family as he works to restore his relationship with his son's mother. Nova (Rutina Wesley, "True Blood") finds herself torn between her activism and her desire to be loved. Together, they must learn to rely on one another as they navigate their tenuous bonds as family.
The expansive cast also includes Tina Lifford ("Parenthood") as the siblings' free-spirited Aunt Violet; Omar J. Dorsey ("Ray Donovan," "Selma") as Violet's much younger boyfriend Hollywood Desonier; Dondré T. Whitfield ("Mistresses") as trusted Bordelon family friend Remy Newell; Timon Kyle Durrett ("Single Ladies") as Charley's estranged husband and pro basketball player Davis West; Nicholas L. Ashe ("The Lion King" - National Tour) as Charley and Davis' teenage son, Micah; Ethan Hutchison ("The Path") as Ralph Angel's son, Blue; and Bianca Lawson ("Rogue") as Darla, Blue's mother who battles drug addiction. Additionally, guest star Henry G. Sanders ("Rocky Balboa") recurs as Prosper Denton, a farmer and longtime friend of the late Bordelon family patriarch, Ernest. "Queen Sugar" is produced for OWN by Warner Horizon Scripted Television. The executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Monica Macer. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.
About "Queen Sugar" Season Two Directors:
Kat Candler: Kat Candler returns to season two of "Queen Sugar" as a producing director. Her award-winning film "Hellion" played in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and she was a participant at the Sundance Creative Producing Lab. She is also a grant recipient of the San Francisco Film Society/Kenneth Rainin Foundation. Her television work includes "Being Mary Jane" and an upcoming episode of "12 Monkeys."
DeMane Davis: DeMane Davis has written and directed commercials and independent films. Her two feature films premiered In Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival, including "Lift," starring Kerry Washington, which was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Davis currently directs commercials for Sweet Rickey, a female-helmed production company.
Cheryl Dunye: Cheryl Dunye has made more than 15 films, including HBO's "Stranger Inside." Her debut film, "The Watermelon Woman," was recently restored by Outfest's UCLA Legacy Project for the film's 20th anniversary. Dunye has also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and she is currently at work on her next feature film, "Black Is Blue."
Aurora Guerrero: Aurora Guerrero has more than 15 years of experience as a writer and director. Her first fiction feature film, "Mosquita y Mari," received multiple awards, including Best First Narrative Feature and Best Leading Actress at Outfest, and a 2013 John Cassavetes Spirit Award nomination. She began her career as an assistant to directors on films such as "Real Women Have Curves" and "La Mission."
Amanda Marsalis: In the past decade, Amanda Marsalis has built a career as an acclaimed photographer, shooting advertising campaigns for some of the world's biggest brands as well as editorial images and portraiture of some of entertainment's most notable stars. She made her directorial debut in 2013 with the independent feature film "Echo Park," which premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival, and she makes her episodic television debut with "Queen Sugar."
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand - and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. For more information, please visit http://www.oprah.com/own and http://press.discovery.com/us/own/.
About Warner Horizon Scripted Television
A division of the Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Horizon Scripted Television was founded in 2006 and is one of the entertainment industry's leading producers of dramatic and comedic programming for the cable and subscription/on-demand marketplace. Series produced by Warner Horizon Scripted Television include Animal Kingdom and Claws for TNT,People of Earth for TBS, Pretty Little Liars and Famous in Love for Freeform, Longmire and Fuller House for Netflix, Queen Sugar for OWN and the forthcoming American Woman for the Paramount Network.
Hulu is a premium streaming television destination that offers hundreds of thousands of hours of the best of current season programming, premium original content, films and full seasons of hit series to subscribers with limited commercials for $7.99 per month and commercial free for $11.99 per month. Hulu is the only subscription streaming service that offers current season content from the largest U.S. broadcast networks, as well as acclaimed Hulu Originals including The Mindy Project, The Path, 11.22.63, Difficult People, the Golden Globe® nominated comedy series Casual, and the upcoming The Handmaid's Tale, Future Man and The Looming Tower. Since its launch in 2008, Hulu has been at the forefront of entertainment and technology and continues to redefine TV by connecting viewers with the stories they love.