Starz Greenlights Ava DuVernay Drama Series

Ava DuVernay

Ava DuVernay (Image credit: Array)

Starz announced new scripted series projects from Ava DuVernay and Tanya Saracho as part of its #TakeTheLead Summit Thursday evening.

Starz has given a three-season commitment to the untitled DuVernay project, which follows two polar opposites who become intertwined in a love affair that turns their worlds -- and those of everyone around them -- upside down, said network officials. The project will star Lauren Ridloff and Joshua Jackson, with DuVernay, Ridloff, Jackson, Kat Candler and Paul Garnes serving as executive producers for the series.

“There is nothing like this series on TV and we are thrilled to be in development with Ava, a trailblazer and unparalleled champion of diversity,” said Kathryn Busby, Starz president of original programming. “Lauren is a true inspiration and together with Joshua, a brilliant veteran actor, they will bring their incredible talents to this project -- both in front of and behind the camera. This series exemplifies our #TakeTheLead mission, and we couldn’t be prouder.”

Tanya Saracho

Tanya Saracho (Image credit: Starz)

Vida creator Saracho will develop Lovesong, a half-hour drama that will follow two Mexican-American childhood friends living in London as they both become entangled in a torturous love-triangle with the same singer-songwriter, said the network. Musician Johnny Flynn and Christine Dávila will serve as co-executive producers.

“We are beyond thrilled to partner with Tanya to bring her bold and tantalizing love story to life,” Busby said. “Throughout her career and from Vida to Lovesong on Starz, her dedication to Latin representation embodies the spirit of #TakeTheLead.” ■

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R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.