Octavia Spencer to Star in Netflix Mini About Black Hair Care Pioneer

Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer is set to star in Netflix’s Madam C.J. Walker, a limited series based on the titular black hair care pioneer, TVLine has learned. The announcement was first made during the streaming service’s portion of the Television Critics Association summer press tour on Sunday.

The series, based on the book On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles, will tell the “untold and highly irreverent story” of how Madam C.J. Walker (aka Sarah Breedlove) “overcame hostile, turn-of-the-century America, epic rivalries, tumultuous marriages and… trifling family to become America’s first black, self-made female millionaire,” per the official logline. The project counts Spencer and NBA superstar LeBron James among its EPs, and Janine Sherman Barrois (Claws) and Elle Johnson as showrunners. Nicole Asher (Toni Braxton: Unbreak My Heart) will pen all eight episodes.

In addition to Madam C.J. Walker at Netflix, Spencer is also set to star in Apple’s forthcoming drama series Are You Sleeping, alongside a star-studded ensemble that includes Lizzy Caplan (Masters of Sex), Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad), Ron Cephas Jones (This Is Us), Elizabeth Perkins (Weeds) and Mekhi Phifer (ER), with Reese Witherspoon onboard as an EP.

Spencer’s previous TV credits include Mom, Red Band Society, Raising the Bar and Ugly Betty.