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OWN Network signs Rutina Wesley to star in original dramatic series, 'Queen Sugar'

(January 19, 2016) Rutina Wesley ("True Blood") has been tapped for a series regular role in the new original series "Queen Sugar," from award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay ("Selma") for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and produced by Warner Horizon Television.

In the series, Wesley will star as Nova Bordelon, a formidable journalist and activist based in New Orleans. Her life, and that of her brother and their extended family, undergoes significant change when her sister, Charley, returns to Louisiana from Los Angeles to help run the family sugarcane farm.

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and DuVernay, the series is based on Natalie Baszile's acclaimed novel Queen Sugar. DuVernay developed "Queen Sugar" for television, wrote its pilot episode and will direct multiple episodes of the show's first season.

The classically trained Wesley is perhaps best known for co-starring as Tara Thornton in the critically acclaimed drama series "True Blood," which ran for seven seasons on HBO. She had a prominent recurring role on the acclaimed NBC drama "Hannibal" and recently guest starred in multiple episodes of The CW/Warner Bros. Television hit action-drama "Arrow."

Wesley co-starred in the hit 2015 Screen Gems film "The Perfect Guy" and previously appeared on Broadway in David Hare's "The Vertical Hour," opposite Julianne Moore. She began her career with a starring role in the independent feature film "How She Move," which debuted at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. Wesley is a graduate of the drama division of the renowned Juilliard School.

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