During Fast Company‘s Innovation Festival in New York City, Erik Logan and Sheri Salata, co-presidents of the Oprah Winfrey Network, revealed that Warner Horizon Television—a division of Warner Bros.—has signed on to produce Queen Sugar. It will be a scripted series and is currently being written by acclaimed director Ava DuVernay, who recently directed Selma.
The news comes amid OWN’s recent push toward more scripted and serious faire.
The network’s turnaround, as detailed in our November cover story on Winfrey, was largely dependent on reality shows such as Iyanla: Fix My Life and Welcome To Sweetie Pie’s, as well as soapy dramas from impresario Tyler Perry, such as the blockbuster The Haves and the Have Nots.
Queen Sugar will be based on the book of the same name by Natalie Baszile, which follows the life of a city-loving, career-driven black woman who inherits from her father an 800-acre sugarcane field in Louisiana.
Logan stated that pre-production on Queen Sugar started “this week,” and that DuVernay, who was also on today’s panel, would be working directly with Warner Horizon. The WB division, formed in 2006, currently produces hits such as The Voice and Pretty Little Liars.
“This is a huge week for us as a network,” said Logan.