OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK EXPANDS SCRIPTED SLATE WITH NEW ORIGINAL LIONSGATE DRAMA SERIES "GREENLEAF"
Series From Award-winning Writer/Producer Craig Wright ("Lost," "Six Feet Under") Set Against the Backdrop of a Family-run Megachurch
Los Angeles - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a bold and daring new original drama series from award-winning writer/producer Craig Wright ("Six Feet Under," "Lost") that takes viewers into the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family and their sprawling Memphis megachurch, where scandalous secrets and lies are as numerous as the faithful. The Lionsgate-owned series is set for production later this year.
"When I first read the script, I instantly felt an affinity for the characters and loved Craig's creative vision for a fictional drama on an epic scale," said Oprah Winfrey. "This show is going to be a fun ride and will hopefully have viewers on the edge of their pews week after week."
"With its singular take on a world rarely seen and a fascinating family at its core, 'Greenleaf' has all the makings of a highly addictive drama that embodies the kind of provocative high quality entertainment we champion at Lionsgate," said Kevin Beggs, Chairman, Lionsgate Television Group. "We're thrilled to be working with Oprah and Craig and proud to be part of OWN's expansion in scripted programming."
Said Craig Wright, "To tell this potentially explosive story with Oprah, a partner who has as much respect and affection for the church as I do, whose entire body of work is infused with what I would call a faith-based humanism, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. A blessing, even."
Like so many megachurches in America, Greenleaf is more than just a house of worship. It's a home. It's the center of the community for the thousands of predominantly African-American members who attend services there. But beneath its steeple lies a den of iniquity -- greed, adultery, sibling rivalry and conflicting values -- a multigenerational matrix of deception that involves the church's founding family, but also extends to the congregation and prominent members of the Memphis community and beyond. Yet, amidst all of the mayhem and deception, the power of something greater persists, calling everyone to conscience for their sins.
Most recently, writer/producer Craig Wright was executive producer and writer for "Tyrant" (FX) and "Rush" (Fox Crime Platinum), and was consulting producer on "United States of Tara" (Showtime). Wright served as writer and producer on the acclaimed series "Lost" and "Six Feet Under," was supervising producer on the long-running series "Brothers and Sisters," and created the cult hit "Dirty Sexy Money." He was Emmy nominated for his writing on "Six Feet Under" and received three WGA Award nominations, winning the Dramatic Series award in 2004 for "Lost." He is a graduate of the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and is a former minister.
"Greenleaf" is produced for OWN by Lionsgate. Executive producers are Oprah Winfrey and Craig Wright. The deal was brokered by WME who represents Winfrey and Wright.
About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey's heart and creative instincts inform the brand - and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011 and is available in 85 million homes. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own.
Lionsgate is a premier next generation global content leader with a strong and diversified presence in motion picture production and distribution, television programming and syndication, home entertainment, digital distribution, new channel platforms, video games and international distribution and sales. Lionsgate currently has more than 30 television shows on over 20 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses, including such critically-acclaimed hits as the multiple Emmy Award-winning Mad Men and Nurse Jackie, the broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the hit series Orange is the New Black, the critically-acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.