STARZ Sets New Projects from Ava DuVernay & Tanya Saracho


STARZ revealed at its inaugural #TakeTheLead Summit that it is developing an untitled romantic drama executive produced by Ava DuVernay (Queen Sugar, When They See Us) and is in development on Lovesong, a drama created, written and executive produced by Tanya Saracho (Vida).

The untitled romantic drama follows two polar opposites who become intertwined in a love affair that turns their worlds—and those of everyone around them—upside down. Lauren Ridloff (Eternals, The Walking Dead) and Joshua Jackson (When They See Us, Dr. Death) are executive producing the series alongside DuVernay and will also star in the project.

The project has received a script-to-series commitment for three seasons (18 episodes) upon official greenlight. Kat Candler (Queen Sugar, 13 Reasons Why) will write the first episode and serve as executive producer and showrunner. Paul Garnes (Queen Sugar, Colin in Black & White) will also executive produce. DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks and Warner Bros. Television will produce the project for STARZ.

Kathryn Busby, president of original programming at STARZ, said: “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. 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.”

DuVernay said: “On behalf of my producing partner Paul Garnes and everyone at ARRAY Filmworks, I’m thrilled to develop this passion project with Lauren, Josh and Kat. STARZ and Warner Bros. Television have made a bold production commitment to immediately explore three seasons, and we’re revved up and ready to begin what I hope will be a beautiful journey for all involved.”

Saracho’s Lovesong is a half-hour drama that will follow two Mexican-American childhood friends living in London as they become entangled in a torturous love triangle with the same singer-songwriter. Lovesong will be produced by UCP and Lionsgate Television for STARZ. Through her overall deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, Saracho will executive produce Lovesong along with co-executive producer Christine Dávila, under her production banner Ojalá Productions. Musician and actor Johnny Flynn will also co-executive produce and serve as composer.

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

Saracho said: “This story is very much a child of the pandemic, born from those times when we were yearning for love stories to soothe the soul and light the way through the dark times. This is also when the light of Johnny Flynn’s music found me and lit the way into the story. While I spent five months in London, Johnny was generous enough to lead me through his lived experience of the East London music scene, which now comprises the world of Lovesong. It’s wonderful to be coming home to STARZ to conceive of my new story of love, a place that truly nurtured and supported me while I crafted the love story of the two Hernandez sisters in Vida, and I couldn’t be happier to return to bring this new narrative to life.”