'Queen Sugar' Unveils Season 2 Female Directors, Sets Hulu SVOD Deal

Queen Sugar Premiere - Ava DuVernay - Oprah Winfrey - H - 2016
Mark Davis / Wireimage

Queen Sugar is gearing up for season two.

On Thursday, the Ava DuVernay drama unveiled its lineup of all-female directors for the upcoming season as well as a return date.

OWN and producer Warner Bros. Television also announced a new deal with Hulu that will make the streamer the exclusive SVOD home for Queen Sugar. The first season will be available to stream beginning April 21.

Like season one, season two will feature an all-female directing team that includes returning producer-director Kat Chandler, DeMane Davis (Lift), Cheryl Dune (HBO's Stranger Inside), Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari) and Amanda Marsalis (Echo Park), who will make her episodic television debut on Queen Sugar.

The rest of the directing team for Queen Sugar's 16-episode second season, which launches with a two-night event on June 20 and 21 at 10 p.m, will be announced at a later date.

Queen Sugar was one of the first TV dramas to assemble an all-female directing team. The decision came in the wake of troubling statistics from the Directors Guild of America and other organizations about the lack of female and minority directors in television despite the current Peak TV era that has birthed more than 400 original scripted series. During the 2014-15 TV season, only 16 percent of TV directors were female. 

Since then, several others in Hollywood have also made it their mission to increase the number of women and minorities behind the camera. Prolific producer and director Ryan Murphy launched the Half foundation to ensure that half of all the episodes of television he produces are directed by women and minorities. Hulu's period drama Harlots, which launched last month on the streamer, assembled an all-female directing team as well as an all-female writers room.

"Forward-thinking people and allies of this cause within the industry have the common sense to know that this is systemic," DuVernay told THR last August. "There needs to be more done than applauding one or two people who make it through your door."

DuVernay exec produces the series with OWN head Oprah Winfrey and Monica Macer.