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16 May. 2016

New church drama on OWN


GREENLEAF, new dramatic series

Two-Night Series Premiere Tuesday, June 21 at 10 p.m ET/PT and Wednesday, June 22 at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET/PT

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.

GREENLEAF's cast includes (l to r) Merle Dandridge, Keith David (seated), Oprah Winfrey and Lynn Whitfield

GREENLEAF’s cast (l to r) Merle Dandridge, Keith David (seated), Oprah Winfrey and Lynn Whitfield


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.

Tuesday, June 21 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: A Time to Heal
In the series premiere, directed by executive producer Clement Virgo (“The Book of Negroes”), Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf (Merle Dandridge, “The Night Shift”) and her teenage daughter Sophia (Desiree Ross, “Falling Skies”) return home to Memphis after 20 years to pay respects after the mysterious death of Grace’s sister Faith (guest star Terri Abney, “Game of Silence”). The warm welcome home from Grace’s father, Bishop Greenleaf (Keith David, “Community”), is short-lived as the rest of the family doesn’t seem quite as thrilled to see her. When Grace reconnects with her Aunt Mavis (guest star Oprah Winfrey, “Selma”), she receives some shocking information about the Greenleaf family and the circumstances surrounding Faith’s death.

Keith David

Keith David

Wednesday, June 22 (9 p.m. – 10 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: The Baptism
Grace (Merle Dandridge, “The Night Shift”) decides to move home under false pretenses in order to pursue the man she holds responsible for her sister’s death, but finds the realities of working in her family’s church again harder than she expected. Grace’s brother Jacob (Lamman Rucker, “Meet the Browns”) takes on more responsibilities at the church in response to her return home. Kevin (Tye White, “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”) partners with a new acquaintance on a project and questions his and Charity’s (Deborah Joy Winans, “Whitney”) plans to have a baby. The Bishop (Keith David, “Community”) refuses to capitulate to Senator Banks’ (guest star Al Mitchell, “Survivor’s Remorse”) inquiries into the church’s finances.

Wednesday, June 22 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: We Shall See Him as He Is
On a Friday night in Memphis, Grace (Merle Dandridge, “The Night Shift”) finds herself a third wheel on a dinner

Lynn Whitfield

Lynn Whitfield

date with her ex-boyfriend Noah (Ben Patterson, “Grey’s Anatomy”) and his new fiancé Isabel (Anna Diop, “24: Legacy”) while Sophia (Desiree Ross, “Falling Skies”) gets into trouble at the church lock-in. Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne, “Rake”) and Jacob (Lamman Rucker, “Meet the Browns”) go on a double date and are confronted with the deficiencies in their marriage. Kevin (Tye White, “The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story”), meanwhile, finds he has an unexpected – and unwanted – chemistry with Adrian (guest star Gary Weeks, “Allegiant”). Mavis (guest star Oprah Winfrey, “Selma”) has to deal with an employee stealing money from her club’s register while Senator Banks’ (guest star Al Mitchell, “Survivor’s Remorse”) escalating tactics in his inquiry into the church’s finances force the Bishop (Keith David, “Community”) into action.

Lamman Rucker

Lamman Rucker


Wednesday, June 29 (10 p.m. – 11 p.m. ET/PT) Episode: Behind Closed Doors
The mayor calls in a favor, asking Calvary to take a controversial stance and publicly support a cop who shot and killed an unarmed teenager leaving the Bishop in a bind that could potentially split the church. Grace (Merle Dandridge, “The Night Shift”) is blackmailed by someone with upsetting information about her sister’s past while Sophia (Desiree Ross, “Falling Skies”) defies her mother’s order and sneaks out to attend a protest in honor of the young victim. Meanwhile, Jacob (Lamman Rucker, “Meet the Browns”) reluctantly attends couple’s counseling and finds the therapy useful, though not in the way Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne, “Rake”) had hoped.

NOTE: The series will regularly air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT

About the author

Sandra Varner has had her hands on the pulse of the entertainment industry and lifestyles coverage for decades, staying current, always.

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