Days after Greenleaf wrapped its five-season run on OWN, the network has given a formal straight-to-series order to drama Delilah from the same creative team, Greenleaf creator Craig Wright, Warner Bros. Television and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films. Maahra Hill (Black-ish, How To Get Away With Murder) is set for the title role in the series, executive produced by Charles Randolph-Wright (Greenleaf) and Winfrey. Also cast in the drama are Jill Marie Jones (Girlfriends), Susan Heyward (Orange is the New Black) and Ozioma Akagha (Marvel’s Runaways).
Randolph-Wright and Cheryl Dunye (Queen Sugar, David Makes Man) are set to direct the series; Dunye will direct the pilot episode. Delilah, produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films, will air on OWN in 2021. Its order had been in the works at OWN since before the pandemic.
The series centers around Delilah Connolly (Hill), a headstrong, highly principled lawyer in Charlotte, North Carolina who left a demanding white-shoe law firm a decade ago and hung up her own shingle so she could make raising her kids her #1 priority. Now she takes on cases the big firms ignore and finds herself, more often than not, going head-to-head with the powerful and privileged as she fights for the disenfranchised. In addition to raising her two kids, Maia and Marcus, Delilah also cares for her young nephew Dion; manages her relationship with her frustrating ex; and to top it all off, she’s about to go up against her best friend Tamara in court for the first time. Delilah has always represented the underdogs. Tamara has always represented the wealthy and powerful. But this case is different: This time, Delilah’s most cherished friendship is on the line. Nevertheless, there are lives at stake. So, Delilah does what she always does – she seeks justice for those who need it most.
Jones will play Tamara Grayson, Delilah’s confidante and best friend. Heyward portrays Demetria Barnes, Delilah’s newly hired, fearless, and ambitious associate. Akagha plays Delilah’s unfailingly sunny secretary, Harper Conant.
Wright executive produces, with Randolph-Wright and Winfrey.
“On the heels of the incredible success story of Greenleaf, we are thrilled to continue our partnership with Craig on this compelling new drama,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “Our viewers are going to deeply relate to this story that focuses on a powerful woman committed to her family and her community.”
Megachurch drama Greenleaf ended its run on Aug. 11 to solid ratings, with the series finale followed by a reunion special.
“It’s an honor to work for Ms. Winfrey and OWN and to serve the network’s devoted fans. Delilah continues the work we started on Greenleaf, namely, bringing untold stories and fresh perspectives to our audience,” said Wright.
Hill has appeared in guest roles on Black-ish, How to Get Away with Murder, The L Word: Generation Q, Pearson, Life in Pieces, Speechless, Chance, Jane the Virgin, and Melissa & Joey. Hill is repped by Rectangle Entertainment, AKA Talent Agency and attorney Grace Kallis at Ginsburg Daniels Kallis.
Jones portrayed Toni Marie Childress Garrett on the long-running Girlfriends, and had series regular roles in Monogamy, Ash vs Evil Dead, Sleepy Hollow. Jones is repped by Global Artists Agency, LINK Entertainment and Fuller Law.
Heyward is known for her roles as Tamika Ward in the final two seasons of Orange is the New Black, as Cece in the Mick Jagger-produced series Vinyl, and as Deena Pilgrim in Powers. She’s repped by A3 Artists Agency.
Akagha recently recurred in Marvel’s Runaways and Superior Donuts, and voiced the role of Bumblebee in Teen Titans Go! She’s repped by Joseph Le Talent Agency and Luber Roklin Entertainment.
Wright created and executive produced Greenleaf, and he is currently developing a spinoff of the hit drama for OWN. His previous series credits include Six Feet Under, Lost and Brothers and Sisters.
Randolph-Wright’s television credits include Greenleaf, Katy Keene, Step Up: Highwater, Lincoln Heights, South of Nowhere, and Live at Lincoln Center. In film, he recently executive produced the DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize Winner Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back.
Dunye recently served as producing director on season four of OWN’s hit drama Queen Sugar and she directed multiple episodes of David Makes Man. She also has directed episodes of All Rise, Claws, Love Is___, and Lovecraft Country, as well as The Chi, Dear White People, Star, and The Fosters.
Delilah will join OWN’s drama series slate that includes Queen Sugar, Cherish the Day, David Makes Man and The Haves and the Have Nots.