Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Award winning-actress Lynn Whitfield will star in OWN’s upcoming megachurch drama, “Greenleaf.” The series is being described as a “multigenerational matrix of deception that involves the church’s founding family, The Greenleafs, but also extends to the congregation and prominent members of the Memphis community and beyond.” Whitfield will portray ‘First Lady Mae’ along with Merle Dandridge as ‘Grace,’ Mae’s estranged daughter and preacher and Desiree Ross as Grace’s teenage daughter, ‘Sophia.’ Oprah Winfrey will serve as one of the executive producers for the series and has already ordered 13 episodes. [DEADLINE]

The Game’s Jay Ellis is joining Issa Rae’s upcoming HBO comedy, “Insecure.” Ellis will play ‘Lawrence,’ the depressed and unemployed boyfriend to Rae’s character. Also joining the cast is actress Yvonne Orji, who will portray ‘Molly,’ the best friend of Rae’s character and a woman who has it all except a man. The show is slated to air in 2016 or 17 and is based on Rae’s highly successful web series, “Awkward Black Girl.” [Shadow & Act]

Academy Award winning-actor Forest Whitaker will make his Broadway debut next spring in “HUGHIE.” Whitaker will portray a drunken, small time hustler, who mourns the death of ‘Hughie,’ the night clerk of a small Manhattan hotel. The role was originated on Broadway by the late Jason Robards in 1964 and has since been played by Burgess Meredith, Ben Gazzara and Al Pacino. Whitaker most recently starred in the boxing drama, “Southpaw.” CONGRATS! []