Lynn Whitfield, Desiree Ross & Merle Dandridge Cast In OWN Drama ‘Greenleaf’

Lynn Whitfield (The Josephine Baker Story), Merle Dandridge (The Night Shift) and Desiree Ross (Falling Skies) are the first actors cast in OWN’s megachurch drama series Greenleaf, from Craig Wright and Lionsgate TV.

Greenleaf focuses on the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family and their sprawling Memphis megachurch, where scandalous secrets and lies are as numerous as the faithful. Greenleaf World Ministries is described as the center of the community for the thousands of predominantly African-American members who attend services there. But beneath its steeple lies a den of iniquity — greed, adultery, sibling rivalry and conflicting values — a multigenerational matrix of deception that involves the church’s founding family but also extends to the congregation and prominent members of the Memphis community and beyond. Yet, amidst all of the mayhem and deception, the power of something greater persists, calling everyone to conscience for their sins. Oprah Winfrey and Wright are exec producing.

Whitfield, repped by Pantheon and attorney Neil Meyer, will play Bishop Greenleaf’s imperious wife Lady Mae, a steely woman who loves money and power and will do absolutely anything to protect her position as the First Lady of Greenleaf World Ministries. Dandridge, repped by Susie Schwarz at SDB Partners, is Lady Mae’s estranged daughter Grace, a disillusioned former preacher who returns home after having fled her contentious family 20 years ago. Ross plays Grace’s teenage daughter, Sophia, who finds her new extended family and extravagant new surroundings a welcome change from her previously isolated, middle-class life in Phoenix.


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