OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK UNVEILS FIRST LOOK AT NEW ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES "GREENLEAF" IN ADVANCE OF JUNE PREMIERE
Family Megachurch Drama From Lionsgate TV Featuring Oprah Winfrey's Return to Acting on Television Debuts with Two-Night Premiere on June 21 and 22
Created by Emmy-nominated Writer/Producer Craig Wright ("Lost," "Six Feet Under," "Brothers and Sisters"), the Series Stars Merle Dandridge and Emmy-winning Actors Lynn Whitfield and Keith David
Los Angeles - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network unveiled today a first look at its new original drama series "Greenleaf" from Lionsgate TV and Emmy-nominated writer/producer Craig Wright ("Lost," "Six Feet Under," "Brothers and Sisters"). Featuring Oprah Winfrey's first recurring scripted television role in two decades, the family drama set against the backdrop of a sprawling Memphis megachurch will launch with a two-night premiere on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and Wednesday, June 22 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN. The series will regularly air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT for the remainder of its 13-episode first season.
"Greenleaf" centers on the journey of estranged daughter and disillusioned preacher Grace Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge, "The Night Shift") who has returned home after 20 years on the occasion of the mysterious death of her sister, Faith. As she reenters the world of Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, the Memphis megachurch run by her powerful parents Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David, "Enlisted" and "Community") and Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield, "The Josephine Baker Story"), it becomes evident that things are not as virtuous as they seem and that the family's outward display of faith hides sin and misdeeds.
In the season premiere, directed by executive producer Clement Virgo ("The Book of Negroes"), Grace and her teenage daughter Sophia (Desiree Ross, "Falling Skies") are warmly welcomed home by Grace's father, Bishop Greenleaf. Sparked by Grace's return to Memphis, tensions quickly rise. At a family dinner in the Greenleaf mansion, Grace's mother is cold and hostile. Her sister-in-law Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne, "Rake") questions her about her faith and sister Charity (Deborah Joy Winans, "Whitney") erupts with jealousy at the suggestion that Grace might start preaching at Calvary.
Later, Grace's Aunt Mavis (Oprah Winfrey, "Selma") discusses with her the circumstances of Faith's death and reveals some shocking information about Grace's Uncle "Mac" (Gregory Alan Williams, "Terminator Genisys"). Mavis is still estranged from the Greenleaf family and it becomes evident that she intends to use Grace to sow the seeds of its destruction.
The new original drama series "Greenleaf" from award-winning writer/producer Craig Wright ("Lost," "Six Feet Under," "Brothers and Sisters") 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. Born of the church, the Greenleaf family love and care for each other, but beneath the surface lies a den of iniquity -- greed, adultery, sibling rivalry and conflicting values -- that threatens to tear apart the very core of their faith that holds them together. "Greenleaf" stars Merle Dandridge ("The Night Shift") as Grace Greenleaf; Keith David ("Community") as Bishop James Greenleaf; Lynn Whitfield ("The Josephine Baker Story") as Lady Mae Greenleaf; Kim Hawthorne ("Rake") as Kerissa Greenleaf; Lamman Rucker ("Meet the Browns") as Jacob Greenleaf; Tye White ("The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story") as Kevin Satterlee; Deborah Joy Winans ("Whitney") as Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee; Desiree Ross ("Falling Skies") as Sophia; and Oprah Winfrey ("Selma") in a recurring role as Mavis McCready. "Greenleaf" is produced for OWN by Lionsgate Television. 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. The Company has nearly 80 television shows on 40 different networks spanning its primetime production, distribution and syndication businesses. These include the critically-acclaimed hit series Orange is the New Black, the multiple Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men, the hit broadcast network series Nashville, the syndication successes The Wendy Williams Show and Celebrity Name Game (with FremantleMedia), the breakout series The Royals and the Golden Globe-nominated dramedy Casual.
Its feature film business has been fueled by such successes as the blockbuster Hunger Games franchise, the first two installments of the Divergent franchise, Sicario, The Age of Adaline, CBS/Lionsgate's The DUFF, John Wick, Now You See Me, Roadside Attractions' Love & Mercy and Mr. Holmes, Lionsgate/Codeblack Films' Addicted and Pantelion Films' Instructions Not Included, the highest-grossing Spanish-language film ever released in the U.S.
Lionsgate's home entertainment business is an industry leader in box office-to-DVD and box office-to-VOD revenue conversion rates. Lionsgate handles a prestigious and prolific library of approximately 16,000 motion picture and television titles that is an important source of recurring revenue and serves as the foundation for the growth of the Company's core businesses. The Lionsgate and Summit brands remain synonymous with original, daring, quality entertainment in markets around the world. www.lionsgate.com