EXCLUSIVE: Queen Sugar is coming to an end with its seventh season in 2022.
“It’s a radical act that it lasted so long, and it’s a testimony to every single hand that touched it, and I’m so proud of that,” series creator Ava DuVernay told Deadline today about it. acclaimed OWN drama director produced by Oprah Winfrey.
With tonight’s season 6 finale, the 2016-debut Louisiana series will return next year to what is expected to be a 13-episode finale.
See our full exclusive interview with DuVernay below for more on why Warner Bros. TV and ARRAY Filmworks produced Queen Sugar is concluding and a foretaste of what the final season will be like.
Based on Natalie Baszil’s 2014 novel of the same name, the culturally and politically charged Queen Sugar focuses on the trio of Bordelon siblings, played by Dawn-Lyen Gardner, Rutina Wesley and Kofi Siriboe, and their extended family in the fictional community of St. Josephine. The Paul Garnes EP’s NAACP Image Award-winning series, directed by a female director, also features Tina Lifford, Nicholas L. Ashe, Omar Dorsey, Bianca Lawson and Amirah Vann.
“Queen Sugar is a truly extraordinary series brought to life by Ava’s leadership, her brilliant creative team and the incredible cast and crew, ”said OWN boss Tina Perry on Tuesday.
“Our audience has seen themselves reflected with nuance and care throughout the history of the Bordelon family, including their triumphs and challenges, and most importantly, the love they have for each other throughout,” the cable manager added. Queen Sugar has been an unsurpassed success for OWN, garnering critical acclaim, accolades and a loyal and dedicated audience. We are so grateful for Ava’s partnership and look forward to a fantastic last season. ”
The now penultimate sixth season of Queen Sugar premiered on September 7, 2021.
DEADLINE: So what made you decide it was time for the series to end?
DUVERNAY: As a storyteller, the bravest thing is to know when you are done.
Queen Sugar since I’m my first series where I’ve had to consider when I’m done, I’ve had to push myself to say, do you have anything more to say that needs to be said with these characters? And I’m so proud of what we’ve done, and I’m proud of being brave enough to walk away.
DEADLINE: How do you mean?
DUVERNAY: Well, because it’s tempting, you know, when the studio and the network say go ahead, it’s easier to say yes than to say no. But I know well that no in this case is the most positive answer.
It is also remarkable to me that this show has seen a major regime change both in the studio and the network over the course of the seven seasons. Still, everyone who has worked on this show in the studio and network, overall, whether it was Erik Logan and Tina Perry at OWN or Peter Roth or Channing Dungey at Warner Bros. Television Group and others, has become the biggest cheerleader of the show, which is not always the case when people come in and out.
DEADLINE: Based on the fact that you are now quitting Queen Sugar‘s sixth and now penultimate season tonight, as you enter the final season, have you thought about how you want to end this?
DUVERNAY: Yes. Yes. I know what the end will be.
DEADLINE: And can we taste?
DUVERNAY: (CONGRATULATIONS) I would say it’s about imagining the best path to that end. I did not think about how I get to the end, I just know what the end will be
I’m excited about where it’s all going, so as we start writing more, the adventure becomes taking steps to get to the end of the journey.
I think it will be surprising, but also my hope is that this is like some of the best series where the ending feels like a surprise and it also feels like the only thing that could have been done. That’s my goal, you know? We certainly study the amazing endings of series that we love, and something that feels unexpected but inevitable in the best way is what we strive for.
DEADLINE: So shall we see Nova, Ralph Angel and Charley wake up in a bed with their former selves and say I had this strange dream?
DUVERNAY: Absolutely not. We learn from the past mistakes and successes of our fellow artists.
DEADLINE: One of the things that has been so groundbreaking Queen Sugar are the commitments that you, Oprah and the production made very early in terms of gender, in terms of gender representation, in terms of opening the opening. So you had a series of showrunners with different backgrounds over the different seasons. You had all the female directors, some of whom watched their first or perhaps only second episodic TV experience. When you go into a final season, what does that mean for you now?
DUVERNAY: A lot. You know, Queen Sugar works on two levels.
DUVERNAY: Well, it works at a level of storytelling, the characters, the fans that you know have been such, avid fans of the story and the themes, but it also works at a level that disrupts industrial practices that needed to be shaken up, and in a concrete way not a theoretical way.
So for me, it was an exercise in history and an exercise in systems, and how we could disrupt both. So to answer your question directly Dominic, I feel completely satisfied with what we were able to do on both points.
I mean, I never thought it would go that far, even though I always hoped we would reach seven seasons. I could never imagine when we started the six and now seven seasons later a story of a modern black family living everyday, nothing spectacular, everyday working class people mixed with people who might have some attention or are known would find a so deep audience .I know this kind of collision of different types of black people all within a family, both by color, gender, you know, sexuality, physical abilities, all that in one family, this melting pot of the black family, it’s rare . Taking all that, and making it modern to the present, is a radical act.
It’s a radical act that it lasted so long, and it’s a testimony to every single pair of hands that touched it, and I’m so proud of that.