Posted by | Ray Cornelius

I had the distinct pleasure of attending a sneak preview of the highly anticipated second season of OWN’s original series “Greenleaf” during SCAD’s “aTVfest.” The intimate viewing and panel discussion featured three of the shows stars—Lynn Whitfield, Merle Dandridge and Keith David—along with the series creator Craig Wright, executive producer Clement Virgo and writer Erica L. Anderson.

“Greenleaf” was one of the hottest new shows of 2016 along with “Queen Sugar,” “Atlanta” and “Insecure.” It was #1 new cable series for women and average over three million viewers during its inaugural season. The one-hour series takes viewers into the unscrupulous world of the Greenleaf family and their sprawling Memphis church where scandalous secrets and lies are as numerous as the faithful. The show also features the amazing talents of GregAlan Williams, Lamman Rucker, Deborah Joy Winans, Kim Hawthorne, Tye White, Desiree Ross, Terri J. Vaughn, Benjamin Patterson, Anna Diop and executive producer Oprah Winfrey. Even the show’s soundtrack features a bevy of gospel greats including the Queen herself, Shirley Caesar.

During the discussion, the actors talked about the overwhelming popularity of the show amongst faith-based viewers and how fans find each of their characters so relatable. Whitfield, who knows how to deliver a one-liner, talked about how protective she is of her “Lady Mae” and how understanding she is of her strengths and weaknesses. Dandridge, who enjoyed a fabulous career on Broadway before diving into TV and film, opened up about the challenges of being the show’s leading character. She also talked about the transformation she’s experienced and how much her perspectives on faith and spirituality have changed.  David also talked about how the show has affected his views on religion and the irony of playing a bishop considering he wanted to be a preacher when he was kid.

From the looks of the screener, the second season of “Greenleaf” is going to be just as dramatic and suspense filled as the first one. Jacob Greenleaf (Rucker) has ventured off to begin his new career with long-time rival church Triumph Ministries, breaking faith with his father, Bishop James Greenleaf (David) while his mother, Lady Mae Greenleaf  (Whitfield), struggles with his decision to abandon the family. Meanwhile, after exposing her Uncle Mac’s (Williams) crimes, but failing to bring him to justice, Grace “Gigi” Greenleaf (Dandridge) finds herself intrigued with someone new, Darius Nash (Rick Fox), a local journalist who’s been closely following the ongoing threats plaguing the Greenleaf empire. Winfrey also returns in her guest starring role as Mavis McCready, the sister of Lady Mae Greenleaf and a close confidante to Grace Greenleaf.

Check out more photos below from the screening + the trailer for season 2:

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