Oprah Winfrey is back to scripted tv, acting in the upcoming megachurch drama “Greenleaf.”
The scripted television series follows the journey of Grace Greenleaf, estranged daughter (played by Merle Dandridge) of a preacher (Keith David) and his wife (Lynn Whitfield), who returns home after 20 years when her sister mysteriously dies.
Greenleaf comes back to Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, a Memphis megachurch ran by her parents, where she discovers things aren’t quite what they seem.
In the season premiere, directed by Clement Virgo (“Book of Negroes”), Grace and her teenage daughter Sophia (Desiree Ross) are warmly welcomed home by Grace’s father, Bishop James Greenleaf, but tensions quickly rise soon thereafter at a family dinner in the Greenleaf mansion. Grace’s mother is cold and hostile; her sister-in-law Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne) questions her about her faith; and sister Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) erupts with jealousy at the suggestion that Grace might preach at Calvary.
Later, blues club owner and Grace’s aunt Mavis (Oprah Winfrey) discuss the circumstances of Faith’s death and Mavis reveals some shocking information about Grace’s uncle “Mac” (Gregory Alan Williams). Mavis is still estranged from the Greenleaf family and it starts to become evident that she intends to use Grace to sow the seeds of its destruction.
“Greenleaf,” which premieres this summer, is produced for OWN by Lionsgate Television. It is executive produced by Winfrey, Craig Wright and Clement Virgo.