Director-producer DeMane Davis (Queen Sugar, Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker) is expanding her relationship with Warner Bros. Television Group with an overall deal. Terms were not disclosed, but WBTVG confirms it is an exclusive, multiyear agreement.
Under the pact, Davis will reunite with Ava DuVernay, joining her new superhero DC drama Naomi as co-executive producer. Davis will helm multiple episodes throughout the season and also oversee the show’s directing team. Naomi hails from executive producers/writers DuVernay and Jill Blankenship, Array Filmworks, and Warner Bros. Television for The CW. As part of the deal, Davis also will develop new original programming for all platforms, including WarnerMedia’s HBO Max, external streaming services, cable, and the broadcast networks.
“Growing up, I would scarf down Cap’n Crunch while watching Bugs Bunny every Saturday. I imagined a lot of things, but back then seeing him lean up against the Warner Bros. logo, I don’t think I imagined this,” said Davis. “I’m forever grateful to Ava for putting me in this rocket ship. Getting to go ‘home’ and work with her and my Array family on Naomi is a gift.”
This marks Davis’ first overall deal with WBTVG and extends a relationship that began in 2017 when DuVernay gave Davis her television series directing debut on an episode of the Array Filmworks drama series Queen Sugar, produced by the Studio for OWN. DuVernay then tapped Davis to become producing director of Queen Sugar in season three. She helmed several additional episodes of the acclaimed series and supervised the all-female directing team on the show, a DuVernay-created initiative that continues throughout the show’s upcoming sixth season.
After Queen Sugar, Davis continued working with the Studio, directing episodes of The Red Line (from DuVernay’s Array and Berlanti Productions) for CBS and You for Netflix, as well as the last two episodes of the four-part limited series Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam CJ Walker for Netflix, all produced by WBTVG. Davis also directed episodes of Shondaland’s How to Get Away with Murder, Station 19, and For the People for ABC. Most recently, she was co-executive producer of the CBS drama Clarice and directed the two-part season finale.
Davis began her career writing and directing indie features. Both of her films premiered in Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival and internationally at Edinburgh. She’s best known for Lift, which was selected for the prestigious Sundance Director’s and Screenwriter’s Labs, starring Kerry Washington in her first leading role. Lift was honored with two Film Independent Spirit Award nominations before airing originally on Showtime and now is streaming on Amazon. Davis was also honored with the Sundance Institute’s NHK Award for her work on the film.
Davis is repped by APA.