Photo caption: Cicely Tyson; Photo credit: Harpo, Inc
Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that award-winning screen legend Cicely Tyson has joined the cast of filmmaker Ava DuVernay’s new anthology series “Cherish the Day,” her second series on the network since creating the acclaimed “Queen Sugar.”
Each season of “Cherish the Day” will chronicle the stirring romance of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. The season-long narrative will unfold to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday. The series, which will premiere Winter 2020, is created and executive produced by Ava DuVernay through Array Filmworks from Warner Horizon Scripted Television.
Emmy-winner Tyson joins previously announced leads Xosha Roquemore and Alano Miller who play Gently James and Evan Fisher in the new romantic anthology. Tyson (“How To Get Away with Murder”) will play Miss Luma Lee Langston, a legendary star of stage and screen in decades past. Gently James (Xosha Roquemore) is Luma’s live-in assistant and is encouraged by her wise employer to enter into a romance with Evan Fisher (Alano Miller).
“Last November I was honored to present Ms. Tyson with her Honorary Academy Award®, so to have the opportunity to work with this force of nature who has inspired multiple generations with her talent and grace is beyond anything I can describe,” said DuVernay. “I am over the moon that Miss Tyson will bring Miss Luma Lee Langston to life in ‘Cherish the Day.’ Each day that she walks on set is a master class."
Honorary Academy Award® recipient Cicely Tyson is a legendary talent of stage, screen, and television. In 1972, her Oscar nomination for “Sounder” was only the second time in the history of the Academy Awards that an African-American actress was nominated in the Best Actress category. She is the first African-American woman to win an Emmy Award® as Best Lead Actress in a Drama for her titular role in 1974’s “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman.” That same year, she also received a second special Emmy Award® as Actress of the Year. Ms. Tyson received her third Emmy Award® for “The Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All” and has been nominated for her performances in “How To Get Away With Murder,” “Roots,” “King,” “Sweet Justice,” “The Marva Collins Story,” and “A Lesson Before Dying.” In film, Ms. Tyson was nominated for an Academy Award® for “Sounder.” On stage, Tyson won a Tony Award for her starring role as ‘Carrie’ in “The Trip to Bountiful,” making her the oldest living person ever to win an acting Tony. In 2016, President Barack Obama presented Tyson with the nation’s highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, for her contribution to the arts and American culture. Actress, advocate, and humanitarian, Tyson will be inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in the fall of 2019.
With a straight-to-series order, DuVernay (16-time Emmy-nominated “When They See Us”) is executive producing the original anthology series from Warner Horizon Scripted Television as part of her overall deal with the studio. “Cherish the Day” is produced for OWN by Array Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television. Ava DuVernay, Paul Garnes (“Queen Sugar”), Tanya Hamilton (“Queen Sugar,” “Night Catches Us”), and Oprah Winfrey are executive producers.
Filmmaker Tanya Hamilton (“Queen Sugar,” “Night Catches Us”) will direct the “Cherish the Day” series premiere written by DuVernay.
About Ava DuVernay
Winner of the Emmy, BAFTA and Peabody Awards, Academy award nominee Ava DuVernay is a writer, director, producer and film distributor. Her directorial work includes the historical drama “Selma” the criminal justice documentary “13th” and Disney’s “A Wrinkle In Time,” which made her the highest grossing black woman director in American box office history. Based on the infamous case of The Central Park Five, her current project is entitled “When They See Us,” which is streaming globally on Netflix and recently received 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Director and Writer for a Limited Series nominations for DuVernay. Currently, she is overseeing production on her critically-acclaimed TV series “Queen Sugar” and her upcoming OWN series “Cherish the Day.” Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival's Best Director Prize for her micro-budget film “Middle of Nowhere,” DuVernay amplifies the work of people of color and women of all kinds through her non-profit film collective ARRAY, named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies. DuVernay sits on the advisory board of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and chairs the Prada Diversity Council. She is based in Los Angeles, California.
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. OWN is a leading destination for a premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN’s original scripted series include popular drama “Queen Sugar,” “Greenleaf,” “The Haves and the Have Nots,” “If Loving You is Wrong,” family saga “Ambitions” from box office hit-maker Will Packer, and the upcoming drama series “David Makes Man,” from Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney.
OWN’s Saturday night unscripted programming lineup includes “Iyanla: Fix My Life,” “Ready to Love,” “Love & Marriage: Huntsville,” and “Black Love.” OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platformOprah.com. Access OWN anytime onWatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.
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; “Cherish the Day,” “David Makes Man” and “Queen Sugar” for OWN; “The Flight Attendant” for HBO Max, WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service; “Fuller House,” “Medical Police” and “You” for Netflix; “Krypton” for SYFY; “Pennyworth” for EPIX; “Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists” for Freeform; and “The Right Stuff” for National Geographic.
About Array Filmworks
Founded by Ava DuVernay, Array Filmworks develops multi-platform content dedicated to deepening roots of the African-American experience on screen. Under DuVernay's visionary direction the company creates feature films, television shows and branded media. Nominated for the Academy Award and winner of the Peabody and BAFTA for Best Documentary, Array Filmworks' feature “13TH” was one of the most critically-acclaimed films of 2016. Current projects include the acclaimed series “Queen Sugar” for OWN, and the four-part series for Netflix “When They See Us,” based on the infamous case of the Central Park Five. “When They See Us” recently received 16 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. Previous productions to date include: 2012 Sundance Best Director Award Winner “Middle of Nowhere;” 2011 Image Award winner “I Will Follow;” 2008 hip hop documentary, “This Is The Life” and several network documentaries, including “Venus VS for ESPN. Array Filmworks' commissioned short form work includes “August 28: A Day in the Life of a People” for The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture as well as acclaimed fashion and beauty films for Prada and Apple.