This fall promises a swath of new shows from unique perspectives, but perhaps none more so than Queen Sugar, the new family drama from Selma director Ava DuVernay. The series, which was co-created by Oprah Winfrey and will premiere on OWN in September, centers on the Bordelon siblings, who must return home to run their family’s Louisiana sugar cane farm after tragedy strikes.
In the first trailer, we meet Nova (True Blood’s Rutina Wesley), an activist and the family’s de facto matriarch; Ralph Angel (Awkward’s Kofi Siriboe), an ex-con who’s ready to turn over a new leaf for the sake of his young son; and Charlotte (Dawn-Lyen Gardner), the wife of a basketball superstar who returns home in the wake of a scandal.
While all the typical elements of a sprawling family drama are here, Queen Sugar will also deal with racial tensions in America, especially in the Deep South where the show takes place. DuVernay, who’s fast emerging as one of the most important filmmakers in America, directed the first two episodes, while the rest will be directed by an impressive roster of female directors that includes Tina Mabry, Tanya Hamilton, Neema Barnette, So Yong Kim, Victoria Mahoney, and Salli Richardson-Whitfield.
With a slate of original programming that includes Greenleaf, The Haves and the Have Nots, and Love Thy Neighbor, OWN has yet to find a breakthrough scripted show, but based on the trailer above and the talent involved, that’s about to change. Queen Sugar’s two-night premiere airs September 6 and 7 on OWN.