The project from Winfrey and the filmmaker is inspired by the Natalie Baszile novel "Queen Sugar," the OWN channel said Monday.
"I loved this book and immediately saw it as a series for OWN," Winfrey said in the announcement. "The story's themes of reinventing your life, parenting alone, family connections and conflicts, and building new relationships are what I believe will connect our viewers to this show." DuVernay added, "From the moment I was introduced to the book, I was captivated by the idea of a modern woman wrestling with identity, family, culture and the echoes of history. To bring this kind of storytelling to life alongside Oprah for her network is wildly wonderful. I'm excited about what's in store."
Winfrey will serve as executive producer and will play a recurring role -- the first time she's acted in a series for OWN, the network said. DuVernay will write, direct and executive produce the drama, her first TV series.
Winfrey, whose film roles include "Lee Daniels' The Butler," appears in DuVernay's film about the 1965 voting rights campaign led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "Selma" is among the nominees for best picture at this month's Academy Awards.