Oprah Winfrey, ‘Selma’ Director Ava DuVernay Team for New Series

Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay

Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay, who teamed up for Oscar-nominated Selma, are creating an original series set to air on Winfrey’s  OWN network with Winfrey set to appear in a recurring role.

DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce the dramatic series based on the novel Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile. The novel tells the story of Charley Bordelon, a woman who leaves her upscale Los Angeles life behind when she unexpectedly inherits an enormous sugar cane farm in Louisiana from her late father. She and her 11-year-old daughter, Micah, move and are forced to adjust to the change in landscape and culture, which has a profound effect on each of their lives.

The project marks DuVernay’s first television series. It’s unclear what character Winfrey will play in the series, but the role will mark her acting debut on OWN.

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

DuVernay commented, “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.”

Production begins later this year. No premiere date has been announced.

(Photo Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for AFI)