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Ava DuVernay Signs TV Production Deal with Warner Bros.

LOS ANGELES – Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG) and Emmy-winning/Oscar-nominated writer/producer/director Ava DuVernay are joining forces for a landmark, multi-year creative partnership. Warner Bros. Television Group President and Chief Content Officer Peter Roth announced. In keeping with Studio practice, financial terms were not disclosed, but it is an exclusive multi-year overall development and production pact for Ms. DuVernay and her Forward Movement production company that takes effect in January 2019. This marks her first overall deal with any studio.

Under terms of the agreement, DuVernay will develop new television projects — including but not limited to drama and comedy series, longform/event series, documentaries, potential digital content and more — for all platforms, including broadcast networks, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and streaming/on-demand platforms.

Peter Roth said, “Ava DuVernay is one of the leading lights in our industry, a brilliantly talented writer, producer, director and entrepreneur whose ability to inspire with her art is exceeded only by her ability to entertain. We have had the great pleasure of working with her on ‘Queen Sugar’ and ‘The Red Line,’ and we are extremely excited about the new stories she has to tell.”

Ava DuVernay said, “I’ve had nothing but beautiful experiences working with Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul. They love and support artists in wonderful and nourishing ways. They work within a traditional studio headed by Kevin Tsujihara that is stirring with untraditional energy and fresh protocols for intentional, inclusive image-making. Warner Bros. is a terrific partner about matters of visibility and belonging for all kinds and cultures of people, which is our mission at Forward Movement. I couldn’t be happier to call Warner Bros. TV my production home.”

This partnership continues WBTVG’s on-going strategic commitment to collaborate with the finest creators in our industry and support their vision by taking advantage of the artistic freedoms that an independent studio can provide.

WBTVG’s relationship with Ms. DuVernay began in 2015, when Warner Horizon Scripted Television signed on to produce “Queen Sugar,” the drama series that Ms. DuVernay created for OWN and executive produces alongside Oprah Winfrey. The series was renewed for a second season in August 2016 — before the first season even debuted in September 2016. “Queen Sugar” completed its third season in August 2018 and has already been renewed for a fourth, which will debut in 2019. She will continue to serve as executive producer.

A creative and pioneering leader, Ms. DuVernay established an unprecedented initiative by assembling an all-female directing team for each season of “Queen Sugar,” which will continue during the show’s upcoming fourth season. She has also given showrunning opportunities to those who have never before held the position, with a new showrunner taking the helm each season.

In addition to “Queen Sugar,” Ms. DuVernay is an executive producer (along with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter) of Warner Bros. Television’s “The Red Line,” a highly anticipated event series for CBS from writers Caitlin Parrish & Erica Weiss about the devastating effects felt by three different families when an innocent African-American doctor is shot by a white police officer in Chicago.

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