Kat Candler, who served as producing director on the second season of Queen Sugar, has been named executive producer/showrunner for the hit OWN drama’s upcoming third season. She replaces Monica Macer who served as showrunner in Season 2. Macer, in turn, replaced Season 1 day-to-day showrunner Melissa Carter. Like her processors, Candler will work closely with Queen Sugar creator/executive producer Ava DuVernay.
In other staffing changes heading into Season 3 of the Warner Horizon Scripted TV-produced series, which will start production in 2018, Paul Garnes has been upped from co-executive producer to executive producer, and indie filmmaker DeMane Davis, who directed two episodes of Queen Sugar‘s second season, will take over Candler’s former role as producing director.
Candler and Garnes will serve as executive producers alongside DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey.
“Kat has an incredible eye and brings her beautifully nuanced artistry to our vision for the series. Paul has been paramount to the growth and blossoming of the series since our very first season. And DeMane Davis is a vibrant leader on set who I’m pleased to have join us in a new producerial role,” said DuVernay. “I’m truly thrilled to work alongside these dynamic storytellers as we continue our Queen Sugar journey together.”
Queen Sugar recently had the midseason premiere of its second season on OWN on Tuesday, which averaged 1.737 million viewers in Live+Same Day, the series’ the most-watched episode since the Season 2 premiere in June. Starring Rutina Wesley, Dawn-Lyen Gardner and Kofi Siriboe, the series chronicles the complicated lives and loves of three estranged siblings in Saint Josephine, Louisiana.
Candler joined the series as a director in season one, handpicked by DuVernay to be part of the show’s all-female directorial team, before being tapped as producing director in Season 2. Prior to Queen Sugar, Candler’s film Hellion played in competition at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and she was a participant at the Sundance Creative Producing Lab. Her TV work also includes directing episodes of Being Mary Jane, 12 Monkeys and 13 Reasons Why.
Garnes is a frequent collaborator of Queen Sugar creator DuVernay. He produced the film Middle of Nowhere, which was written and directed by DuVernay and won the John Cassavetes Award at the Independent Spirit Awards. He also was executive producer on the DuVernay-directed feature Selma before joining Queen Sugar in Season 1 as producer/line producer, rising to exec producer in Season 2. Garnes’ TV credits also include Underground, Being Mary Jane and The Game, on which he was as line producer.
Davis’ two feature films premiered in dramatic competition at the Sundance Film Festival, including Lift, starring Kerry Washington, which was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards. Davis currently directs commercials for Sweet Rickey, a female-helmed production company.