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Native American Drama From Ava DuVernay in the Works at NBC

October 23, 2020
October 23, 2020

NBC is developing a drama about a Native American family in a first for network TV.

NBC is developing a drama about a Native American family — a first for network television.

The project, titled Sovereign, comes from Ava DuVernay’s Array Filmworks and Warner Bros. TV, where the Queen Sugar creator and Selma director has an overall deal. Writer-exec producer Sydney Freeland is a member of the Navajo Nation, and co-EP Bird Runningwater belongs to the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache Tribal Nations, and grew up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico.

Sovereign has a put pilot commitment at NBC. The potential series chronicles the lives, loves and loyalties of a sprawling Indigenous family struggling to control the future of their tribe against outside forces and themselves.

Freeland and Shaz Bennett are writing the script from a story by DuVernay. All three will executive produce. Runningwater, the director of Sundance Institute’s Native American and Indigenous Program, will shepherd the project with Freeland and Bennett and be a co-exec producer along with Array’s Sarah Bremner and Paul Garnes.

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