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Script Talk: A Conversation with 'The Kings of Napa' Creator Janine Sherman Barrois

WATCH: Script contributor Cherry Davis interviews 'The Kings of Napa' creator Janine Sherman Barrois about her writing journey, her Warner Bros. deal, and the changing entertainment landscape.

I spoke with Janine Sherman Barrois the creator of the The Kings of Napa that premiered on OWNTV on Tuesday, January 11th. Our interview spanned her deal with Warner Bros. and the ten-year journey for the series that was inspired by a wine trip to Northern CA. We also discussed her career starting with the Warner Bros. Writers’ Workshop to her current series The Kings of Napa (OWNTV) and Claws (TNT) and how entertainment has changed from the years of the “Big Four” networks to changes in the entertainment business with cable, streaming services, and online platforms.

It was an interesting conversation via Zoom to speak to someone who’s entertained me for years with TV shows I watched with my family/friends with cast members who looked like me all without knowing her name. My excitement was palatable as Janine spoke about the decisions made for The Kings of Napa that reflects a wealthy successful African American drama that harkens back to the golden age of nighttime soaps. This version is one rarely seen on American TV where the rich and powerful are Black and conscious decisions made from the cuisine, wardrobe and hairstyles of the cast members. As well as it reflecting her own passion for African American artists in the interior designs of the sets.

I watched the premier episode and found it a fun soapsy ride full of drama-bombs that will have me tuning in every Tuesday night. It was such fun to watch that I live tweeted and interacted with Janine and the cast. You can watch the series on Tuesdays 8PM ET/5PM PT the OWNTV App (log on with your service provider), Oprah Website, HULU+ LIVE, YOUTUBE TV, cable and streaming services. I hope you will join the conversation on Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #KingsofNapa for East and West coast watchers.

Watch the full video interview!

The Kings of Napa - OWN


Janine Sherman Barrois graduated from Howard University and made her way to Hollywood where she was accepted into the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Workshop. She’s written and co-produced animated and comedic series but her passion has always been drama. She’s honed her skills working on Third Watch, ER, Criminal Minds, Claws and NAACP Image Award Winning Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker and Emmy Nominated for Octavia Spencer.


The Kings of Napa is focused on a gorgeous and picturesque Napa Valley, California vineyard owned by the Kings, an aspirational African American family whose wealth and status lands them on the pages of design magazines and society pages. The wine business has brought the family success and acclaim, but following the patriarch's sudden exit from the company, his three children must grapple for the reigns to the kingdom — to their own power, wealth, and legacy. 

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