4:08pm PT by THR Staff
OWN Gives 'Queen Sugar' an Early Season 2 Renewal
The Oprah Winfrey Network has given a second-season order to Queen Sugar.
Ahead of the drama's September premiere, OWN has reupped the Ava DuVernay co-created series and added an additional three episodes onto the order.
Queen Sugar, also co-created and executive produced by Winfrey, stars Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe as three siblings who move to Louisiana to claim an inheritance from their recently departed father — an 800-acre sugarcane farm. DuVernay also directed on the series, which hails from Warner Horizon Television.
“When we saw the first cut from Ava we knew right away that we wanted a second season,” said OWN president Erik Logan, who announced the news Monday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. “We think viewers are going to connect with the deeply layered characters and powerful story and are excited to be able to share with them Ava’s director’s cut on premiere night without interruption. We are proud to be a network that supports a filmmaker’s creative vision.”
In addition, OWN has upped the forthcoming second season of its megachurch drama Greenleaf from 13 to 16 episodes. Like Queen Sugar, Greenleaf also was renewed for a second season more than a month ahead of its series bow. (Greenleaf went on to premiere to 3 million viewers and a 2.2 rating among OWN's core demo of women ages 25-54.)
Queen Sugar and Greenleaf mark OWN's first two scripted series not produced by Tyler Perry, who has had several series on the channel, including The Haves and Haves Not.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter in June, Logan discussed a common thread between the two ambitious original series. "I think what [Winfrey] sparks to and what a lot of the creative teams have sparked to has been that both of these are family dramas, but they're also in settings and telling stories that you don't see, and that's what sets them apart."
Queen Sugar will get a two-night premiere on Sept. 6 and 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.