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06 Sep. 2016

“Queen Sugar” now on OWN, Ava Duvernay directs


QUEEN SUGARs author Natalie Baszile

QUEEN SUGAR’s author, Natalie Baszile

Queen Sugar two shotThe Oprah Winfrey Network lives up to its founder’s living legend. Winfrey, the most successful woman in daytime TV history has found her stride, yet again. Tonight, Winfrey’s Oprah Winfrey Network, OWN for short, rolls out the beguiling sibling drama–QUEEN SUGAR–from the incomparable insightful directorial proclivities of Ava Duvernay (“Selma,” “I Will Follow”), based on a novel by Natalie Baszile.

 
The story of a Southern Louisiana family now responsible for their late father’s massive sugar cane farm, the Bordelon siblings must band together for survival and covenant—they must put aside differences, face mammoth challenges and mange critical nuances of: inheritance, machinations and questionable motives from nearly everyone.

Queen Sugar banner 2
Personally, the story reverberates. Particularly, memories from childhood when our father would bring home stalks of sugar cane—a family treat we enjoyed on the front porch.
QUEEN SUGAR captures the essence of a working class family bound by duty, rattled by conflict and death. The characters are mesmerizing and complicated; the story arc is unpredictable and; the location canvasses sweep with the simplicity of farm life somewhere near the Big Easy.

Scene from Ava Duvernay's QUEEN SUGAR on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

Scene from Ava Duvernay’s QUEEN SUGAR on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)

Two-Night Series Premiere Tuesday, September 6 and Wednesday, September 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The series will regularly air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT

 

Rutina Wesley

Rutina Wesley

The contemporary drama “Queen Sugar” chronicles the lives and loves of the estranged Bordelon siblings in Saint Josephine, Louisiana: Nova (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”), a world-wise journalist and activist; Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, “Unforgettable”), the savvy wife and manager of a professional basketball star; and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, “Awkward”), a formerly incarcerated young father in search of redemption. After a family tragedy, the Bordelons must navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives in order to run an ailing sugarcane farm in the New South.

(P) Tuesday, September 6 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: First Things First
In the series premiere, directed by award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“Selma”), Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, “Unforgettable”), a savvy wife and manager of a professional basketball star living an upscale Los Angeles lifestyle returns to her family home – an 800-acre sugarcane farm in the heart of Louisiana – after her father suffers a stroke and she receives alarming news about her husband. There, she reunites with her estranged siblings Nova (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”), a world-wise journalist and activist, and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, “Awkward”), a formerly incarcerated young father in search of redemption. Together, they must navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives in order to run an ailing farm in the New South.

Duvernay directing scene from QUEEN SUGAR

Duvernay directing on set, QUEEN SUGAR

(P) Wednesday, September 7 (10 p.m. – 11p.m. ET/PT) Episode: Evergreen

Dawn Lyen Gardner

Dawn Lyen Gardner

In the second hour of the two-night series premiere, the Bordelon siblings must work together to plan their father’s funeral. Tensions rise between Charley (Dawn-Lyen, Gardner “Unforgettable”) and Nova (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”) as they each seek to honor their father in different ways. Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, “Awkward”) argues with Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford, “Parenthood”) over whether or not it’s appropriate to invite his young son Blue (Ethan Hutchison, “The Path”) to the funeral service. Charley struggles with the fallout of the shocking news surrounding her husband and also learns there are many things they did not know about the state of their father’s farm. In an unexpected encounter, she comes face-to-face with an individual who’s interested in taking the farm off their hands.

Kofi Siriboe

Kofi Siriboe

(P) Wednesday, September 14 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: Thy Will Be Done
Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, “Unforgettable”), Nova (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”), and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, “Awkward”), learn the contents of their father’s will and explore the idea of running their newly inherited farm together as a family. Though Ralph Angel fights to fulfill his late father’s dream, he faces resistance from his siblings. The pressure pushes Ralph Angel to his limit when someone attempts to repossess one of his late father’s possessions. While deciding what to do next, the family considers an undesirably low offer for the land from a local buyer.

(P) Wednesday, September 21 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: The Darker Sooner

Tina Lifford

Tina Lifford

The Bordelon siblings attempt to return to their everyday lives, as Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, “Awkward”) struggles to run the family farm amid setbacks. Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, “Unforgettable”) resumes managing her husband’s troubled professional basketball career and legal issues despite their strained relationship. Nova (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”) seeks justice for a friend’s son who she believes to be wrongfully imprisoned, which gives rise to issues between her and Ralph Angel.

(P) Wednesday, September 28 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: By Any Chance
Nova’s (Rutina Wesley, “True Blood”) pursuit of justice causes issues in her romantic relationship with local cop Calvin (Greg Vaughan, “Days of Our Lives”). Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner, “Unforgettable”) confronts her husband’s accuser, and Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe, Awkward) faces a moral quandary. As the siblings also navigate complications with running their family farm, Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford, “Parenthood”) receives unwelcomed feedback at work and her boyfriend, Hollywood (Omar J. Dorsey, “Selma”), resumes contact with someone from his past.

Dondre Whitfield

Dondre Whitfield

About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.

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