We’re inching closer to the two-night premiere of the new OWN original series “Greenleaf,” and based on its newly-released trailer, it’s going to be good.
The drama, which debuts next month, centers on the Greenleafs, the first family of a sprawling Memphis megachurch, and the many secrets and lies the clan wants to keep hidden. The family’s undoing is threatened when prodigal daughter Grace Greenleaf, a preacher played by Merle Dandridge, returns after her sister Faith dies mysteriously.
Grace’s powerful parents — Bishop James Greenleaf and Lady Mae Greenleaf — run Calvary Fellowship World Ministries and react differently to her return. Grace’s father, played by Keith David, welcomes her and her teenage daughter with open arms while her mother, played by Lynn Whitfield, is cold and hostile (think the grandmother from “Flowers in the Attic”). Add to the mix that Grace’s sister-in-law Kerissa, played by Kim Hawthorne, is questioning her faith and her other sister Charity, played by Deborah Joy Winans, is jealous of her possibly preaching at Calvary.
Throw in Oprah Winfrey as Grace’s Aunt Mavis, details she shares about the circumstances of Faith’s death and “shocking” information about Grace’s Uncle “Mac” McGready, and you have what looks to be “Empire” for the church crowd.
What makes it even better is the cast. David and Whitfield are guaranteed to be amazing as is Winfrey. While many are excited to see the media maven in her first recurring scripted television role in two decades (welcome back, girl!), I personally am thrilled to see Whitfield bringing her magic back to the small screen. Whitfield, who is one of my favorite actresses, stepped out of the spotlight a few years ago to deal with some personal issues. I first saw her in “The Women of Brewster Place” alongside Winfrey. The Emmy winner also starred in “The Josephine Baker Story,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy” and “Eve’s Bayou.”
Now, playing a tough mother is nothing new for Whitfield. Her role as the callous and self-centered mom in “Madea’s Family Reunion” made me and everyone else want to choke her. We also side-eyed the controlling mother she recently played in “How to Get Away with Murder.”
Check out the trailer below along with videos of Winfrey explaining “Greenleaf’s” deeper meaning and why it has a place at her network. “Greenleaf’s” two-night premiere will be on June 21st and 22nd on OWN. It will regularly air on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
WATCH: “Greenleaf” extended trailer
WATCH: Oprah–How “Greenleaf” Fits into My Mission
WATCH: What “Greenleaf ” Means to Oprah