OWN’s ‘Queen Sugar’ Resumes Season 5 Production With New Focus on COVID-19 and BLM

Queen Sugar Season 4 (Credit: OWN)

Queen Sugar has resumed filming after a halt in production because of the COVID-19 pandemic, OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network announced Wednesday.

The series previously started filming season 5 in March 2020, before it was forced to shut down. Now, the cameras have started rolling on the remainder of the 10-episode season with new episodes set to air in 2021.

During the shutdown, series creator Ava DuVernay decided to revamp the storylines and address the issues facing the country. She re-conceived character arcs to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the Black Lives Matter protest movement and the resulting fallout for people of color.

Related Story: OWN Renews Ava DuVernay’s ‘Queen Sugar’ for Season 5

DuVernay will continue her tradition of hiring all-female directing teams. Episodic director Lauren Wolkstein has been promoted to producing director, alongside helmers Lisa France and Cierra Glaude.

OWN renewed the series for a fifth season last September, and in a statement the network praised DuVernay’s commitment to hiring more women in-front of and behind the camera.

“Ava’s vision for Queen Sugar is one of inspired storytelling, and her execution of that vision has given us a remarkable series that makes us so proud,” said Tina Perry, president of OWN. “Her leadership and creative spirit – including the commitment to exclusively hire female directors and establish an inclusive crew – is unprecedented.”

The first four seasons of Queen Sugar are available to stream exclusively on Hulu.