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OWN’s ‘Greenleaf’ renewed for a Fourth Season (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

CONGRATS to the cast of OWN’s hugely popular church drama Greenleaf. It has been renewed for a fourth season. The announcement comes as the acclaimed drama delivered a season high in its Wednesday time period last night with more than 2.3 million viewers and a 1.90 rating in the network’s key women 25-54 demo.

The series stars Merle Dandridge as Grace Greenleaf, Lynn Whitfield as Lady Mae Greenleaf, and Keith David as Bishop Greenleaf. Season three guest stars include the legendary Patti LaBelle as Maxine Patterson, Iyanla Vanzant appearing as herself, and Beau Bridges as Bob Whitmore.

Greenleaf is also the #1 telecast of the night for African American viewers across all of broadcast and cable. Year to date, OWN boasts five of the top 20 original scripted series on ad-supported cable among W25-54, more than any other network.

“‘Greenleaf’ is a cornerstone of our scripted programming slate and pulls in millions of viewers each week with its unique storylines and powerful characters,” said Erik Logan, president, OWN. “We are very proud of this show, the incredible cast, producers and crew, and can’t wait for more twists and turns from the Greenleaf family in season four.”

Check out a sneak peek of what’s to come below:

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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OWN & V-103 host a Season 3 Screening of ‘Greenleaf’ [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a few photos from Tuesday night’s Season 3 Atlanta Screening of Greenleaf.  The highly anticipated series returned to OWN this week in a two-night premiere with loads and loads of drama.

V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux

The screening took place at the SCAD Show (formerly 14th Street Playhouse) and was attended by a number of die-hard fans as well as media and Atlanta influencers. V-103’s Ramona DeBreaux served as the evening’s host and moderated a lively Q&A session featuring the show’s stars – Merle Dandridge, Lynn Whitfield, Deborah Joy Winans, Lamman Rucker and Keith David.

Merle Dandridge + Lynn Whitfield + Deborah Joy Winans

In season three of Greenleaf, all the turbulent forces that Grace’s (Dandridge) return to Memphis unleashed threaten to destroy not just the church her family built, but the family itself. Fallout from last season’s shocking revelation of Bishop’s (David) infidelities with Lady Mae’s (Whitfield) sister, as well as reverberations from his current dalliance with that insidious Jezebel, Rochelle Cross (LeToya Luckett) lead to all-out war in the Greenleaf home, setting the Bishop and Lady Mae on a collision course that, unless God or Grace intervenes, can only end one way: divorce.

Lamman Rucker + Keith David

In the wake of the marital mayhem, Lady Mae rushes to reconnect with Maxine Patterson (Patti LaBelle), an old friend and now a world-famous Christian motivational speaker, in an attempt to reclaim her forsaken call to preach and thus do what no First Lady has done before – survive as the sole head pastor of a megachurch after a major rift between its founding couple.

Merle Dandridge + Lynn Whitfield

Grace, meanwhile, works undercover in the company of Rochelle, hoping to discover Rochelle’s motives and true identity before the Bishop is swept away on a raging river of vanity and desire. Across town at Triumph, Jacob (Rucker) and Kerissa (Kim Hawthorne) try not to make the same mistakes Bishop and Lady Mae made as they work to build their own evangelical empire and manage parenting their teenage daughter Zora (Lovie Simone), but the roots of sin delve deep and old habits die hard.

Deborah Joy Winans

Sophia’s (Desiree Ross) faith is tested when an unforeseen medical issue arises; Charity (Winans) struggles to make peace with Kevin (Tye White) and find her place in the world; and Grace works to keep an abused woman from death row for the crime of defending her own life. Meanwhile, Darius (Rick Fox) finds himself in conflict due to being entangled in an increasingly strained relationship with Grace.

See more photos from the screening below:

Lynn Whitfield 

Lamman Rucker + Keith David

Keith David + Deborah Joy Winans + Merle Dandridge + Lamman Rucker

Will you be watching this season?

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Ent RC Exclusive - Fashion

Tina Lifford, Deborah Joy Winans and J. Bolin cover SHEEN

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

OWN actresses Tina Lifford (Queen Sugar) and Deborah Joy Winans (Greenleaf ) grace the cover of SHEEN Magazine’s Fashion Issue. The ladies are featured with their stylist and social media star J. Bolin.

“Timelessness doesn’t go out of style. I love trends, I like being on trend, but I don’t follow trends,” says Bolin. 

The inside cover of SHEEN features none other than the fashion shapeshifter Misa Hylton,whose iconic styling has been shaping pop culture since the early 90’s, influencing the looks of Lil’ Kim, Mary J. Blige, Foxy Brown and Missy Elliott.

“I create to create, not for it to be big, and maybe that’s why it ends up being big. I create from the heart, and it’s just about art for me—fashion is storytelling through wardrobe, and I love to tell stories, says Hylton.”

Other profiles include Dwight Eubanks, Keith Sweat and Dr. Jackie Walters.

Look for SHEEN Magazine to hit newsstands on Tuesday, August 28.

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Watch Official Season 3 Trailer for ‘Greenleaf’ (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out the exciting new Season 3 trailer for OWN’s mega-church drama—Greenleaf. It returns to prime time beginning next month August 28 and 29 at 10 p.m. EST.

As previous reported, music icon Ms. Patti LaBelle will have a recurring role as Maxine Patterson, a famous Christian motivational speaker and the CEO of a global Christian self-help empire and an old college friend of Lady Mae’s (Lynn Whitfield). Patterson will also serve as her sounding board and greatest ally as Lady Mae attempts to consolidate her power at Calvary.

Other guest stars include Dr. Iyanla Vanzant of OWN’s popular “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” She’ll be portraying herself and helping Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) finally find her place in the Greenleaf family.

TV and film icon Beau Bridges will play Bob Whitmore, the folksy and charming founder of Harmony of Hope Ministries, a massive denomination with churches all over the world who will use any unsavory tool at his disposal to win.

Watch below and tell us what you think:

Photo Credit: YouTube.com

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‘Greenleaf’ returns to OWN 8/28 & 29 at 10 p.m. (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

OWN has added more star power to the third season of its highly anticipated drama, Greenleaf. The one-hour series returns for a two-night premiere on August 28 & 29 at 10 p.m. EST.

As previously reported, music icon Ms. Patti LaBelle will have a recurring role as Maxine Patterson, a famous Christian motivational speaker and the CEO of a global Christian self-help empire and an old college friend of Lady Mae’s (Lynn Whitfield). Patterson will also serve as her sounding board and greatest ally as Lady Mae attempts to consolidate her power at Calvary.

Other guest stars include Dr. Iyanla Vanzant of OWN’s popular “Iyanla: Fix My Life.” She’ll be portraying herself and helping Charity (Deborah Joy Winans) finally find her place in the Greenleaf family.

TV and film icon Beau Bridges will play Bob Whitmore, the folksy and charming founder of Harmony of Hope Ministries-a massive denomination with churches all over the world-who will use any unsavory tool at his disposal to win.

Watch the teaser trailer below:

Photo Credit: OWN/Greenleaf

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Patti LaBelle joins Season 3 of OWN’s ‘Greenleaf’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

OWN & Lionsgate are reporting that music legend Patti LaBelle will have a recurring role on the upcoming third season of the popular dramatic series Greenleaf.

Ms. LaBelle will portray Maxine Patterson, a famous Christian motivational speaker and the CEO of a global Christian self-help empire. She is also an old friend of Lady Mae’s from college days and will serve as her sounding board and greatest ally as she attempts to consolidate her power at Calvary.

The show is currently in production in Atlanta, GA and will return to OWN this summer. Ms. LaBelle will also have a recurring role on the new season of Lee DanielsSTAR as Queen Latifah‘s mother and most recently appeared on VH1’s Daytime Divas.

Greenleaf was one of the top 5 original scripted series on ad-supported cable for African American women and total viewers and a top 10 original scripted series for women 25-54 in 2017.

Get it Mama Patti!!!!

Stay tuned…

Photo Credit: Derek Blanks

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RC Exclusive - Ent Recap Rising - Fashion

Greenleaf’s Kim Hawthorne hosts Pop-Up Shop for Regal Wraps [PHOTOS]

Written by | Ray Cornelius

Greenleaf actress Kim Hawthorne hosted a special Pop-Up Shop for her new fashion accessory line Regal WrapTM on Saturday afternoon and yours truly was there to capture a few images.  The event took place at the Coco + Mishca Boutique located in the Modern Mystic store in Atlanta’s trendy Ponce City Market.

According to Hawthorn’s website, the Regal WrapTM was created for women on the go who needed a faster and easier way to wrap their heads.

“Whenever I would post a picture of myself on social media wearing a head wrap, my friends would comment that they wish they could tie a head wrap or that theirs never look good when they do. I thought, ‘Hmm… What if I could design a head wrap that goes on as easily as a hat?’ A ready-to wear head wrap. Because let’s face it: ‘We got stuff to do!’ I ordered a sewing machine on Overstock, taught myself how to sew, and the rest is history.”

The Regal WrapTM  comes in a variety of different colors and designs.

Check out more photos below + a video from Kim:

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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Greenleaf’s Merle Dandridge to star in ‘Once On This Island’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius

“Greenleaf” actress Merle Dandridge is returning to her Broadway roots this fall in a new production of the Tony-winning musical, “Once On This Island.” The show play the Circle in the Square Theatre beginning with previews this November.

“Once On This Island” is being described as “a musical celebration that sweeps us across the sea to a small village-where, in the aftermath of a great storm, a joyous new life begins. It is the tale of Ti Moune, a fearless peasant girl who falls in love with a wealthy boy from the other side of the island. When their divided cultures threaten to keep them apart, Ti Moune, guided by the island gods, sets out on a remarkable quest to reunite with the man who has captured her heart.”

According to BroadwayWorld, Dandridge will star alongside my fellow USF alumni Quentin Darrington, Alex Newell and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga. The show also features former “American Idol” contestant and CAU alumnae, Loren Lott.

“Once On This Island” will be directed by Tony nominee Michael Arden and is choreographed by Camille A. Brown.

Dandridge has appeared on stage in several productions of “Aida,” “Rent,” “Tarzan,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Smokey Joe’s Cafe.”

Click here for tickets!

Photo Credits: BroadwayWorld.com and OnceOnThisIsland.com

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OWN renews ‘Greenleaf’ for a Third Season #AMEN (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Congrats to the cast of OWN’s original megachurch drama series “Greenleaf.” It is being renewed for a third season.

According to the press release, “Greenleaf” is among the top five original scripted series on ad supported cable for women ages 25-54. The show is also Wednesday night’s #2 original series for the ladies and a top favorite among African-American viewing audiences.

“We can’t wait to see what another season of ‘Greenleaf’ will bring,” said Erik Logan, President, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.  “This series was instrumental in evolving OWN’s scripted programming and it continues to pull in viewers each week with its unique storytelling and characters.”

In addition, Rick Fox‘s character Darius Nash, has been upgraded to a series regular and will have more screen time in the new season.

The second half of season two returns in a two-night premiere beginning Tuesday, August 15 and Wednesday, August 16 at 10 p.m. EST.

Watch a sneak peek below and tell us what you think:

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‘Queen Sugar’ + ‘The Quad’ + ‘Greenleaf’ stars to be featured at ‘Brunch with the Brothers’

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

The BronzeLens Film Festival is just around the corner and details about this year’s activities are slowing coming to light. One of the events that made a big splash last year was “Brunch with the Brothers.”

The event is described as “a moment to salute men in film and television who are making waves – each in his own way. Their paths to success have not been without challenges, some of them unique to men of color. The Sunday afternoon brunch includes hot coffee, delicious breakfast treats and hot conversation.”

This year’s “brothers” will include “Queen Sugar” star Omar J. Dorsey and Timon Kyle Durrett as well as the BET’s “The Quad” actor E. Roger Mitchell and “Greenleaf” star Keith David. More brothers will be added as we closer to the event.

Last year’s brunch featured actors Lamman Rucker, Tobias TruvillionCory Hardrict, Dorian Missick and was hosted by Rushion McDonald. 

Click here to purchase your tickets and see you there!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com

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#UPFRONT to feature Cast of ‘Dear White People’ + Kim Hawthorne + GregAlan Williams + more

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

This week’s edition of #UPFRONT is a very special one. I will be talking to the cast of Netflix’s “Dear White People,” which premiered on Friday (April 28).

RC with the cast of Dear White People

The new series follows a group of Winchester University’s students of color as they navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and activism in the millennial age. My featured guests include creator, writer and executive producer Justin Simien, Atlanta’s own Logan Browning, Marque Richardson and John Patrick Amedori.

RC with Kim Hawthorne

TV, film and stage actress and star of “Greenleaf,” Kim Hawthorne drops by the studio to chat about her character Kerissa and her time at Atlanta’s Tony Winning Alliance Theatre. Emil Thomas, Artistic Director of Marietta’s New Theatre in the Square talks about their current production of “Native Son” and actor GregAlan Williams recalls his heroic efforts 25 years ago during the infamous L.A. Riots. This is an amazing story of courage and brotherhood that you don’t want to miss.

#UPFRONT airs every Saturday mornings at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK!

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com

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RC Exclusive - Fashion

Costume Designer Johnetta Boone on ‘Greenleaf’ fashions & more (VIDEO)

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Who says that clothes don’t make the man or the woman for that matter?

If you ask Greenleaf‘s Costume Designer, Johnetta Boone, the drama of the series is in every suit, gown, earring and hard bottom shoe. Not only is she meticulous when it comes to the fashions and style of the Bishop or Lady Mae but she will even create a look if one is not available. Check out the video below where she takes viewers on a behind-the-scenes tour of the show’s apparel and how she transforms the actors into their characters.

In addition to that, you can also listen to my #UPFRONT interview with Boone from last October where she talked exclusively about the OWN series, her earlier work with uberly talented Tyler Perry and much more!

“Greenleaf” airs on Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. EST on OWN.

Photo Credit: YouTube/Greenleaf

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WATCH a sneak peek of tonight’s episode of #Greenleaf (VIDEO)

Posted by | Ray Cornelius 

Check out a preview of tonight’s episode of “Greenleaf” titled, “A Mother’s Love.” After one of Mac’s (GregAlan Williams) victims attempts suicide, Grace (Merle Dandridge) makes a rash decision that may have lasting consequences. Kevin’s (Tye White) mother visits, exposing old wounds. Lady Mae (Lynn Whitfield) tries to reason with Jacob (Lamman Rucker).

“Greenleaf” airs at 10 p.m. EST on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.

Will you be watching?

Photo Credit: Oprah.com

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Deborah Joy Winans, Justin Hires & Dionne Farris featured on #UPFRONT

Written by | Ray Cornelius 

Just in case you missed it! Here is link to this past weekend’s edition of my radio show, “UPFRONT.” It featured “Greenleaf” actress and Stellar Award nominee Deborah Joy Winans. The rising superstar stopped by the studio to talk about the second season of the popular OWN series as well as singing on the series’ soundtrack and starring in the musical, “Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story.”

CAU Alumni, Justin Hires stopped by the studio to chat about his role on the CBS reboot of “MacGyver.” He also talked taking his standup act on the road this summer.

“UPFRONT” also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the movie, “Love Jones” by playing tunes from the iconic soundtrack. We also pulled out of the vault our November interview with Dionne Farris, where she talked about her song “Hopeless” and the film’s enduring legacy.

“UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta Entertainment Industry is 30-minute radio magazine that features one-on-one interviews with all of the major players and behind-the-scenes superstars that make Atlanta the “Entertainment Capital of the South.” It airs every Saturday morning at 9 a.m. on Jazz 91.9 WCLK and his hosted by yours truly, Ray Cornelius.

Click here to check out past shows!

Photo Credit: RayCornelius.com