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NBC makes commitment on Native American family drama 'Sovereign' from Ava DuVernay and Bird Runningwater

Ava DuVernay.
Ava DuVernay. (Image credit: Daniell Levitt, August Images)

Notably the first - and much overdue - Native American family drama for network television, Sovereign has been picked up for a pilot order by NBC. Deadline reports that the series will be written by Sydney Freeland and Shaz Bennett, focusing on a story from Ava DuVernay. 

The series will be produced by DuVernay's ARRAY Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television, with Sarah Bremner, Paul Garnes and Bird Runningwater acting as executive producers. 

Throughout his career, Runningwater has played a major part in guiding the global Indigenous film community by supporting over 140 separate Indigenous filmmakers through his various projects. He himself belongs to the Cheyenne and Mescalero Apache Tribal Nations, and grew up on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico. 

This new project will follow the lives of a sprawling Indigenous family who struggles to control the future of their tribe as they deal with both internal struggles and external frustrations. 

Amelia Emberwing

Amelia Emberwing is the Entertainment Editor and lead critic here at What to Watch. She survives on a steady IV of caffeine, rants, pixie dust and fangirling, and will probably sass you. You can find her on Rotten Tomatoes as an individually approved critic. She's also a member of the Television Critics Association and GALECA.