OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK AND LIONSGATE ANNOUNCE CAST FOR NEW ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES "GREENLEAF"
Series Stars Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, Lamman Rucker, Deborah Joy Winans, Tye White, Kim Hawthorne and Desiree Ross
Oprah Winfrey to Appear in a Recurring Role
Los Angeles - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and Lionsgate announced today the cast of the new Lionsgate original drama series "Greenleaf" from award-winning writer/producer Craig Wright ("Six Feet Under," "Lost"). The all-star ensemble features Keith David, Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge, Lamman Rucker, Deborah Joy Winans, Tye White, Kim Hawthorne and Desiree Ross. Oprah Winfrey will appear in the series in a recurring role. The show, which will begin production in Atlanta in October, takes viewers into the unscrupulous world of the powerful Greenleaf family and their sprawling megachurch where scandalous secrets and lies are as numerous as the faithful.
Emmy(R) Award-winner Keith David ("Enlisted," "Community") portrays Bishop James Greenleaf, the charming and charismatic but brilliantly manipulative leader of Greenleaf World Ministries. Emmy(R) Award-winner Lynn Whitfield ("The Josephine Baker Story") is the Bishop's imperious wife Lady Mae Greenleaf, a steely woman who loves money and power and will do absolutely anything to protect her position as the First Lady. Merle Dandridge ("The Night Shift") portrays their estranged daughter Grace Greenleaf, a disillusioned former preacher who returns home after fleeing her contentious family 20 years ago. Young actress Desiree Ross ("Falling Skies") plays Grace's teenage daughter, Sophia, who finds her new extended family and extravagant new surroundings a welcome change from her previously isolated, middle-class life in Phoenix.
Lamman Rucker ("Meet the Browns") portrays Jacob Greenleaf, the handsome son of the Bishop who is also associate pastor at the church. Kim Hawthorne ("Rake") plays Jacob's ambitious and combative wife Kerissa Greenleaf. Deborah Joy Winans ("Whitney") portrays Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee, daughter of the Bishop with a gorgeous singing voice and spunky personality that covers her deep-seeded frustration at feeling held back by her father who will not let her preach. Tye White ("American Crime Story") plays Charity's husband Kevin Satterlee, a good-hearted man who performs as a vocalist/musician alongside his wife at the church.
Appearing in a recurring role, Oprah Winfrey ("Selma") portrays Mavis McCready, the sister of Lady Mae Greenleaf and a close confidante of Grace Greenleaf.
The pilot episode will be directed by Clement Virgo ("The Book of Negroes").
"Greenleaf" will premiere in 2016.
The new original drama series "Greenleaf" (working title) from award-winning writer/producer Craig Wright ("Lost," "Six Feet Under") 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. Like so many megachurches in America, Greenleaf World Ministries 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. "Greenleaf" is produced for OWN by Lionsgate. Executive producers are Oprah Winfrey, Craig Wright and Clement Virgo.
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 the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy(R) Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show, the acclaimed drama Manhattan and the breakout series The Royals.