COURTESY OF OWN/OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
COURTESY OF OWN/OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK
COURTESY OF OWN/OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK

The Queen of Media and her network are continuing to step out of the Tyler Perry shadow by introducing yet another straight-to-series scripted drama (Ava DuVernay’s Queen Suga was the first). This summer, Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Television will bring writer Craig Wright’s (Lost, Six Feet Under) Greenleaf to OWN, a story of a straggling megachurch in Memphis and a family hosting shameful secrets and lies.

Last summer, Image Award winner Lynn Whitfield (Eve’s Bayou, Madea’s Family Reunion) was cast as Lady Mae, the matriarch of the Greenleaf family; with Merle Dandridge (Sons of Anarchy, All My Children) and Desiree Ross (Falling Skies) playing her estranged daughter, Grace, and granddaughter, Sophia. Emmy winner, Keith David, will play Bishop Greenleaf and Winfrey will have the recurring role of Mavis McCready, Lady Mae’s sister. This will also be Winfrey’s first time back on a television scripted show in 20 years. Terri J. Vaughn (The Steve Harvey Show, Daddy’s Little Girls) and Senegal native, Anna Diop (Everybody Hates Chris, The Messengers) will have recurring roles on the show as well.

There is definitely no other show like this on television right now. Its premiere date has been set for June 21 and 22, a two-day event, but the Tribeca Film Festival will be premiering the show next month at the first-ever Tribeca Tune In Program.

Many “religious-based” shows have been in reality format with very diverse messages.  The last popular “religious-based” scripted show, which was optimistically received by audiences, was the CW’s 7th Heaven. Greenleaf seems to be showing and telling a different side of church not often spoken aloud, but not surprisingly, lived by many. There’s no doubt that there will be those who love the show and those who will opt out of watching, so, from what you can see in the trailer, will you be watching?  Take a look.

Written By: Melody Lanei

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