OWN is gearing up to add another scripted series to its lineup. This time, the network will be targeting dramatic situations that occur in megachurches and the families within them.
With OWN CEO Oprah Winfrey executive producing and Craig Wright (Six Feet Under, Lost, Tyrant) writing, “Greenleaf” is a drama that follows a Christian family by the same name, according to AT2W. Keith David (Community, Enlisted) has been cast as Bishop James Greenleaf, the charismatic leader of Memphis’ Greenleaf World Ministries, who also possesses a manipulative quality.
Lynn Whitfield will play the bishop’s assertive wife, Lady Mae. Merle Dandridge has signed on to portray Grace, Lady Mae’s estranged daughter. Grace’s teenage daughter, Sophia, will be played by Desiree Ross.
The 13-episode Lionsgate Television series will highlight the scandalous situations that take place within the megachurch and focus on the house of worship’s first family who often find themselves under pressure to keep up appearances.
“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,” said Wright, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Winfrey, who has admitted that developing more scripted shows for OWN is a priority, is excited to be partnering with a creative mind like Wright for the project.
“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,” Winfrey said. “This show is going to be a fun ride and will hopefully have viewers on the edge of their pews week after week.”
“Greenleaf” will reportedly begin filming this year.