The Bordelons are back, and coming back again.
“What a joy and an honor to continue the stories of Queen Sugar with our partners at OWN and Warner Bros.,” said EP DuVernay today of the early renewal. “On behalf of every producer, editor, costumer, grip, writer, cast member and all departments involved in making this series, we’re delighted to delve into a sixth season and to bring our beautiful audience more of the Bordelon family.”
Set in rural Louisiana and the fictional community of St. Josephine, the Anthony Sparks-showrun Queen Sugar focuses on the trio of Bordelon siblings, played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Rutina Wesley and Kofi Siriboe, and their extended family. A politically and emotionally charged Season 4 finale back in September 2019 welcomed Amirah Vann into the fold, with clear implications to crank the volume, so to speak, for Season 5.
Not that Queen Sugar’s fifth season didn’t have some BTS drama of its own too. Like almost all of Hollywood, the Oprah Winfrey-EP’d series shut down in March as the coronavirus pandemic began its assault on America and the world. Given a renewal right after the Season 4 ender, as Deadline exclusively reported, the show put its tools down for seven months on the 10-episode fifth season.
Taking the pause for an unintended opportunity of sorts, DuVernay used the time to redesign the remaining episode to incorporate the Covid-19 threat, as well as the topics of injustice and corruption that were spotlighted by the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests of last summer and the general election. Production on Season 5 of the show in and around New Orleans didn’t start up again until September and went to nearly the end of 2020.
“When Ava came to us with the idea to revamp the storyline for the new season after production was halted due to the pandemic, we knew it was the right decision to give our viewers Ava’s unique perspective on the very real issues impacting their daily lives and the affect the demand for racial equality has had on the Black community and our society as a whole,” said OWN boss Tina Perry declared today of the all-female-directed series.
“We are proud to announce today the pickup of the show’s sixth season, which will air later this year, enabling us to further explore the compelling story of the Bordelon family,” Perry added. “We are grateful to Ava, her creative team, the incredible cast and tireless crew for all the hard work they have put into the show.”
With all that, Season 5 of the NAACP Image Award-winning Queen Sugar is set to premiere February 16.
It’s a return that OWN’s CEO sees as part of a much-larger picture in America right now.
“The way Ava creates space to allow these characters to embody real-world experiences is television at its finest and we are proud to continue this ground-breaking series,” Winfrey toold Deadline. “I hear from so many people that they see themselves in the Bordelon family, and my hope is that through this kind of storytelling the hearts and minds of people are opened for a deeper understanding and empathy of one another.
As they say in the parish church, “Amen.”
Produced by Warner Bros. Television and DuVernay’s Array Filmworks, Queen Sugar was recognized last year by the Television Academy Honors for its skillful and deft portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South as a prism through which to look at some very real-world issues.