OWN Announces OWN Spotlight Series “Speak Sis” with Special Episode Featuring Oprah Winfrey





OWN Announces OWN Spotlight Series “Speak Sis” with Special Episode Featuring Oprah Winfrey Premiering Tuesday, September 28
In a conversation that destigmatizes mental health issues, the panel will discuss childhood trauma in the Black community and unpack how it manifests in adulthood.
[via press release from OWN]
OWN ANNOUNCES OWN SPOTLIGHT SERIES “SPEAK SIS” WITH SPECIAL EPISODE FEATURING OPRAH WINFREY PREMIERING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28

Oprah Winfrey Leads Conversations On Mental Health and Trauma in the Black Community In All New Episode Hosted by Emmy Award-winning Journalist Adrienne Bankert and Leading Social Impact Strategist Jotaka Eaddy

Special Guests Include California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Activist, Scholar, and Educator Dr. Dena Simmons, and Emmy Nominated Actress and Comedian Kym Whitley

LOS ANGELES – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a special episode of OWN Spotlight series “Speak Sis” premiering on Tuesday, September 28 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

The special two-hour episode features an audience of Black women in an in-depth conversation regarding mental health and trauma impacting the Black community led by Oprah Winfrey, Emmy Award-winning host and journalist Adrienne Bankert, and leading social impact strategist Jotaka Eaddy, featuring special guests California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Activist, Scholar, and Educator Dr. Dena Simmons, and Emmy Award-nominated actress and comedian Kym Whitley. Also joining the conversation are Dr. Gail Wyatt, Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Emmy Award-winning creative visionary and mental health advocate Kelli Richardson Lawson.

In a conversation that destigmatizes mental health issues, the panel will discuss childhood trauma in the Black community and unpack how it manifests in adulthood. The special will also offer suggestions around how to do the work to heal both individually and as a community, all through the lens of asking “What happened to you?,” the critical question posed by Oprah’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name co-written with trauma expert, Dr. Bruce Perry.

Through this conversation, Oprah, the panel, and the audience educates, inspires, and helps others feel less alone and more hopeful for the future. Expert panelists suggest resources and key takeaways for those who are looking to start examining and healing from trauma, particularly after the disproportionate effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Black community and the emotional toll of the ongoing fight for racial justice and equality.

This special is a part of OWN’s popular topic-driven OWN Spotlight series and is the first of four episodes focused on health in the Black community, in conjunction with OWN’s first-ever health initiative, OWN YOUR HEALTH. The series features intimate conversations about important issues with honest opinions and surprising solutions that focus on Black women.

“Speak Sis” is produced by Critical Content for OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. Jennifer Ryan serves as showrunner and executive producer along with Critical Content executive producers Jenny Daly, Tom Forman, and Jon Beyer. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network executive producers are Tara Montgomery and Brian Piotrowicz.

Follow us on social media at @OWNTV and join the conversation with #OWNSpotlight.

About OWN YOUR HEALTH

View the OWN YOUR HEALTH Launch Spot HERE featuring the song “Stand Up For Something” by Grammy and Academy Award-winner Common and Academy Award-nominee Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and voice-over by Ms. Day.

OWN YOUR HEALTH aims to bring awareness, education, resources, and a sense of community to address the unique health concerns facing Black women today. This multi-platform campaign is designed to inspire and encourage the OWN audience to put herself and her health and well-being first. OWN YOUR HEALTH expands on the success of OWN’s first ever pro social campaign OWN YOUR VOTE, a bipartisan registration and get-out-the-vote initiative that partnered with national and local grassroots and voting rights organizations during the 2020 elections.

OWN YOUR HEALTH leads with powerful narratives and actions exploring the full range of mental, physical and social/emotional well-being with the goal to provide messaging and tools that are informed, educational, relevant, and up to date with the latest developments as it relates to health and wellness. The campaign also provides opportunities for OWN brand partners to support with resources and promote healthier lifestyles.

Link to OWN YOUR HEALTH Website: www.ownyourhealth.tv Social Media Handles: Facebook Group: http://owntv.com/OWNYourHealth Twitter: www.twitter.com/ownyour // @OWNYour Instagram: www.instagram.com/ownyour // @OWNYour

About “OWN SPOTLIGHT”

“OWN Spotlight” presentations tackle issues and concerns facing Black lives. The programs feature candid and in-depth conversations that create real dialogue to inspire systematic change. Previous programs include a conversation with acclaimed actress Viola Davis; a conversation with singer/actress Andra Day; a special presentation on Ava DuVernay’s short film “August 28;” an inspirational special celebrating Black Fatherhood and the special bonds they have with their children “They Call Me Dad;” a two-night special “Where Do We Go From Here?” that simulcast across the Discovery family of networks featuring Oprah and Black thought leaders discussing the current state of racism America; “Oprah and 100 Black Fathers” sharing the urgency of having “the talk” with their children and the dreams they have for the future of their families; “COVID-19: The Deadly Impact on Black America” that investigated the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black communities; “Oprah At Home with Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo,” which examined colorism in Hollywood; “Oprah and Alicia Keys – The Interview” discussing Alicia Keys’ new memoir “More Myself;” “When They See Us Now” featuring Oprah in conversation with award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the cast from the acclaimed series “When They See Us” along with real men formerly known as the Central Park Five; “(In)Visible Portraits,” which was a powerful celebration of Black women sharing their stories of struggle, resilience and beyond; and the follow-up documentary from D. Channsin Berry “Dark Girls 2” exploring the prejudices darker-skinned women face around the world.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on http://WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.



OWN’s Relationship Series “Family or Fiance” Will Continue with New Episodes This Fall 2021





OWN’s Relationship Series “Family or Fiance” Will Continue with New Episodes This Fall 2021
The series is also available to stream the same day on discovery+.
[via press release from OWN]
OWN’S RELATIONSHIP SERIES “FAMILY OR FIANCE´’ WILL CONTINUE WITH NEW EPISODES THIS FALL 2021

Hosted by Relationship Coach Tracy McMillan, The Series Airs Saturday Nights at 10pm ET/PT with All-New Episodes Through Early December

Also Available to Stream Same Day on discovery+

LOS ANGELES – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that its popular relationship series “Family or Fiancé” will continue with new episodes every Saturday night at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, following “Love & Marriage: Huntsville.” Hosted by relationship coach Tracy McMillan, “Family or Fiancé” follows engaged couples who bring their disapproving families together for three days under one roof. In this high-stakes social experiment, couples and their extended families participate in activities designed to strengthen bonds, explore differences, and see their relationships in a new way. The series is also available to stream the same day on discovery+.

On average, this season, “Family or Fiancé” ranks number one in the Saturday 10pm hour across broadcast and cable with African-American W25-54 and number one across all cable with African-American W18-49, W18+, households and total viewers.

In the upcoming episodes of “Family or Fiancé,” relationship coach Tracy McMillian continues to work with engaged couples desperately seeking the blessings of their loved ones. For better or worse, they will navigate issues between mothers and daughters, sisters and brothers, broken families, tragic loss, and even non-traditional marriages. At the end of three days spent together completing tasks and coaching sessions, the families will decide whether they can bless these unions going forward, or if their reservations and concerns about the marriage still stand. Then, the couples must decide whether they will choose their families, or their fiancés, when planning their future.

“Family or Fiancé” is executive produced by Jonathan Murray, Julie Pizzi, Erica Ross, Jonathan Singer and Erika Bryant of Bunim/Murray Productions in partnership with OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network.

For a sneak peek of upcoming episodes of “Family or Fiance,” click here:

About Bunim/Murray

Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP) is a leading producer of innovative entertainment content. The Emmy Award-winning company is widely credited with creating the reality television genre with its hit series The Real World. BMP continued to innovate with the first reality game show, Road Rules (MTV), in 1995; the first reality sitcom, The Simple Life (E!), in 2003; and the first reality soap opera, Starting Over, in 2003.

BMP’s current programming includes The Real World Homecoming (Paramount+), Keeping up with the Kardashians, Total Bellas (E!), The Challenge (MTV) and The Challenge: All-Stars (Paramount+), Born This Way (A&E), Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project (Oxygen), Ball in the Family (Facebook Watch), Endless (Snapchat), Miz and Mrs. (USA Network), Family or Fiance, Iyanla Fix My Life (OWN), Crystal Maze (Nickelodeon), Emily’s Wonder Lab (Netflix), Don’t Forget the Lyrics (FOX) Sway Life and House of Creators (Facebook).

BMP, through BMP Films, has also produced Transhood (HBO) They Call Us Monsters (PBS), Valentine Road (HBO), Pedro (MTV) and the Emmy Award-winning Autism: The Musical and Autism: The Sequel (HBO). Based in Glendale, CA, the company was founded in 1987 by Jonathan Murray and the late Mary-Ellis Bunim, who were inducted into the Television Academy’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Bunim/Murray Productions is a division of Banijay, the world’s largest international content producer and distributor.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on http://WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.



“Ready to Love” Season 4 Returns to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network on Friday, October 15th





“Ready to Love” Season 4 Returns to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network on Friday, October 15th
Packed with romance and drama, host Nephew Tommy heads to Washington, DC, where twenty of “Chocolate City’s” finest Black singles are brought together in hopes of finding a true connection.
[via press release from OWN]
Ready to Love Season 4 Date Announcement Friday, October 15th

READY TO LOVE

Season 4 (2C) Launch Date: Friday, October 15 on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network debuts season 4 (2C) of its hit dating series “Ready to Love” Friday, October 15th @ 8 PM EST | 7 PM CST with two back-to-back one-hour episodes.

Packed with romance and drama, host Nephew Tommy heads to Washington, DC, where twenty of “Chocolate City’s” finest Black singles (ten men and ten women) are brought together in hopes of finding a true connection. there will be shocking curveballs throughout the season’s journey, including surprise singles added to the mix and double eliminations. From mingling at the mansion mixer and pool party to meeting each other’s families and exes, these singles will be tested in every way. Tune in to watch which singles will make it to the end to decide whether they are truly… Ready to Love.

About “Ready to Love”

Record-breaking Hollywood producer Will Packer’s popular dating series hosted by Thomas “Nephew Tommy” Miles explores the real-life dating interactions of sexy, successful, and grown black men and women in their 30s and 40s who are each looking for lasting love and an authentic relationship. The new batch of “Ready to Love” hopefuls have been Covid-19 tested and cleared to quarantine together at a luxury mansion where opportunities for both the men and women to decide who stays and who goes abound as the tables turn weekly in the search for true love. The series is produced by Will Packer Media and Lighthearted Entertainment.

About OWN’s Friday/Saturday Unscripted Programming Slate

OWN is among the top cable networks on Friday and Saturday nights for African American women with its hit unscripted series focusing on love, relationships and family drama. Saturday’s slate of popular shows includes the smash hit “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” from Carlos King. Friday nights feature “Family or Fiance”, “Ready to Love”, and “Put a Ring on It.”



OWN and Hologic Announce Unprecedented Partnership to Combat Health Disparities





OWN and Hologic Announce Unprecedented Partnership to Combat Health Disparities
Key insights from leading public health, academic, and professional health organizations indicate that healthcare is a critical social justice issue that will require collective resources to eradicate.
[via press release from OWN]
OWN AND HOLOGIC ANNOUNCE UNPRECEDENTED PARTNERSHIP TO COMBAT HEALTH DISPARITIES  

OWN Your Health and Project Health Equality Collaborate to Produce Culturally Competent Health Information, Research and Care Pathways to Serve the Unique Needs of Black Women

LOS ANGELES – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network and its first-ever health initiative OWN YOUR HEALTH announced today an exclusive partnership with Hologic’s Project Health Equality public health initiative. The partnership will bring awareness to the disparity of healthcare Black women receive in the areas of breast, cervical, and uterine fibroids; provide access to education and preventative tools using Hologic’s comprehensive research and resources; and share original content from celebrated OWN creative visionaries highlighting the authentic stories and voices of Black women.

Key insights from leading public health, academic, and professional health organizations indicate that healthcare is a critical social justice issue that will require collective resources to eradicate. The facts are clear:

· Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer.*

· Black women experience higher mortality rates from cervical cancer than any other racial or ethnic group.**

· Black women are 2x as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women.***

· Black women are 2.4x more likely to undergo a hysterectomy for uterine fibroids.****

· Black women are 3x more likely to be hospitalized for fibroid-related issues as white women.*****

“As a global leader in women’s health, one of our top priorities is to ensure the women we serve have access to life-changing and life-saving care and resources,” said Karleen Oberton, Hologic’s chief financial officer. “It is more important than ever to address health disparities for Black women – and there is no better partner than OWN to make real change happen. With our resources and OWN’s reach and resonance, we are steadfast in our commitment to serve Black women everywhere.”

“COVID-19, societal pressures and the ongoing racial justice movement have highlighted that stark disparities continue to exist regarding affordable and accessible healthcare, systemic racism, and racial discrimination in healthcare, especially for Black women.” said Jennifer Giddens, head of marketing at OWN. “We are proud to announce this important partnership that supports awareness and action to Black women to own their whole health – physical, mental and emotional as it has never been more critical to use OWN’s wide-reaching platform to meet our audience where she is with support, tools and resources to prioritize her health and wellness.”

The Epidemic Within The Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic raised broad awareness of how Black women – and Black communities — have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. This is also the case for other health conditions. In many health areas, Black women experience lower preventive screening rates and follow-up care than other ethnic groups and, accordingly, may be diagnosed with illness at a later stage.

Additionally, Black health disparities often exist as a result of unique stressors such as systemic racism within and outside of the United States healthcare system, racial segregation of neighborhoods, racism-related chronic psychosocial stress and medical mistrust.  The OWN YOUR HEALTH and Hologic Project Health Equality partnership addresses the physical, mental and social/emotional aspects of health for and about Black women.

Key Healthcare Issues for Black Women in America:

To inform the campaign, OWN is implementing a study to identify key healthcare issues, attitudes, and behaviors affecting Black women in America. The study includes questions about Black women’s experience of bias in healthcare settings, the impact of past trauma on receiving care, their existing relationships with healthcare providers, and inquiry into cervical, breast, and uterine health and screenings.

About OWN YOUR HEALTH

OWN YOUR HEALTH aims to bring awareness, education, resources, and a sense of community to address the unique health concerns facing Black women today. This multi-platform campaign is designed to inspire and encourage the OWN audience to put herself and her health and well-being first. OWN YOUR HEALTH expands on the success of OWN’s first ever pro social campaign OWN YOUR VOTE, a bipartisan registration and get-out-the-vote initiative that partnered with national and local grassroots and voting rights organizations during the 2020 elections.

OWN YOUR HEALTH leads with powerful narratives and actions exploring the full range of mental, physical and social/emotional well-being by launching new initiatives quarterly. The goal is to provide messaging and tools that are informed, educational, relevant, and up to date with the latest developments as it relates to health and wellness. The campaign also provides opportunities for OWN brand partners to support with resources and promote healthier lifestyles.

OWN YOUR HEALTH focuses on three key pillars affecting Black women’s health:

· Proactive Prevention – including routine screenings, nutrition, physical activity, health education and accountability.

· The Unspoken – including fertility, motherhood, sexual and relationship health, trauma, financial health, and treatment options.

· Superwoman – source of pressure many Black women regularly experience – the obligation to project an image of strength and to suppress emotions, to resist accepting help or admitting vulnerability and prioritizing caregiving to others and community to the detriment of self.

View the OWN YOUR HEALTH Launch Spot HERE featuring the song “Stand Up For Something” by Grammy and Academy Award-winner Common and Academy Award-nominee Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) and voice-over by Ms. Day.

Link to OWN YOUR HEALTH Website: www.ownyourhealth.tv

Social Media Handles: Facebook Group: http://owntv.com/OWNYourHealth Twitter: www.twitter.com/ownyour // @OWNYour Instagram: www.instagram.com/ownyour // @OWNYour
About Project Health Equality

Project Health Equality (PHE) is a multifaceted, multiyear initiative from Hologic, Inc. that uniquely combines research, education and access to address the structural and cultural barriers that prevent Black and Hispanic women from receiving the same quality of healthcare as white women. The initiative seeks immediate change in how healthcare is experienced by thousands of Black and Hispanic women in cities across the United States, and leverages crucial partners to drive meaningful, sustainable change for these communities. For more information, and to join the mission, visit www.hologic.com/projecthealthequality.  

About Hologic, Inc.

Hologic, Inc. is an innovative medical technology company primarily focused on improving women’s health and well-being through early detection and treatment.  For more information on Hologic, visit www.hologic.com.    Hologic and associated logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Hologic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries. 

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on http://WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.



discovery+ and OWN Order New Documentary Series “Justice, USA”





discovery+ and OWN Order New Documentary Series “Justice, USA” from Award-Winning Executive Producers Common, Marshall Goldberg and Mike Tollin/MSM
Slated to premiere in 2022 on discovery+, “Justice, USA” is a comprehensive insider 360-degree view of the criminal justice system.
[via press release from OWN]
DISCOVERY+ AND OWN ORDER NEW DOCUMENTARY SERIES “JUSTICE, USA” FROM AWARD-WINNING EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS COMMON, MARSHALL GOLDBERG AND MIKE TOLLIN/MSM

Discovery+ Original Series is an In-depth and Unflinching Look at the U.S. Criminal Justice System

New York and Los Angeles – discovery+ and OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a straight-to-series order for the new documentary series “Justice, USA” from Academy(R), GRAMMY(R) and Emmy(R) Award winning artist and activist Common, Humanitas Prize finalist Marshall Goldberg (“Life Goes On”), and Emmy(R) award-winning executive producer Mike Tollin (“The Last Dance”), with Think Common Entertainment’s Tamara Brown also executive producing. OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network will oversee production for discovery+. “Justice, USA” is produced by MSM. Executive producers are Common, Tamara Brown, Marshall Goldberg, and Mike Tollin. Randy Ferrell serves as showrunner on the series. Slated to premiere in 2022 on discovery+, “Justice, USA” is a comprehensive insider 360-degree view of the criminal justice system.

“We knew from the start that ‘Justice, USA’ is a series that must be made and brought to viewers,” said OWN president Tina Perry. “What Mike, Common, Tamara, and Marshall are creating is a compelling and shockingly honest documentary that lays bare the often-ugly and unfortunate truth about the treatment of those most vulnerable by a complex and overburdened system that fails more than it succeeds.”

“Everyone talks about criminal justice reform, but so few of us really know what goes on in the justice system,” said executive producer Mike Tollin. “We never see the behind-the-scenes realities of a system where the average public defender handles 500 felonies a year, where district attorneys determine the fate of defendants far more than do judges or juries, and where excessive bail often destroys lives and families.”

“I’m proud of this series because it takes an honest look at the criminal justice system and highlights its need for reform. One of the greatest problems with the justice system is its dehumanization of people. But we have the ability to change that. My hope is this documentary brings visibility and change to the criminal justice system in the most humane way,” said executive producer Common.

“To do this series right, we needed unprecedented access to public defenders, district attorneys, jails, and the courts,” said executive producer Marshall Goldberg. “We found that in Nashville. Without any restrictions, the first season of ‘Justice, USA’ will look at a system that historically has brutalized defendants, especially indigent defendants.”

Mike Tollin was the Executive Producer of “The Last Dance,” the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He has produced and directed more than a dozen feature films, several award-winning documentaries, and hundreds of hours of television. His feature films include “Coach Carter,” “Radio,” “Dreamer,” “Hardball,” “Varsity Blues,” and “Summer Catch.” He directed and produced “Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream,” which won a Peabody Award and was nominated for an Academy Award. Tollin directed and produced several other award-winning documentaries, including “Hardwood Dreams,” “Let Me Be Brave,” and “Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?,” one of the original films for the “30 For 30” series. In television, Tollin has won three Emmy Awards and served as Executive Producer on series including “Smallville,” “One Tree Hill,” and “Arli$$.”

Common is an artist, actor, author and activist. With a storied career spanning three decades, his work has been recognized with numerous GRAMMY(R) Awards, as well as an Emmy(R) and an Academy(R) Award for the song “Glory” which he co-wrote and performed with John Legend. In October 2020, he released his latest album A BEAUTIFUL REVOLUTION Pt. 1 through Loma Vista Recordings.

Marshall Goldberg is an adjunct professor at Michigan Law School. After clerking for Judge Robert F. Peckham of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, he became Counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitutional Rights, and then a litigator and legislative liaison for the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. Goldberg spent 25 years writing for such shows as “L.A. Law,” “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show,” “Paper Chase,” “The Jeffersons” and “Life Goes On,” among others. He has been a Humanitas Prize and Writers Guild Award finalist, and taught screenwriting at USC Film School.

About discovery+

discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service. discovery+ will launch with a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of discovery+ on Verizon. discovery+ features the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service at launch, with a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment and a slate of high-quality documentaries. discovery+ is available on platforms and devices from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Samsung, among others. For more, visit discoveryplus.com.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on Watch OWN and discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs.



Richard Roundtree and Terri J. Vaughn to Recur in Season Two of OWN’s Anthology Drama “Cherish the Day”





Richard Roundtree and Terri J. Vaughn to Recur in Season Two of OWN’s Anthology Drama “Cherish the Day” From Creator Ava DuVernay, Array Filmworks, and Warner Bros. Television
Additionally, Sheldon Candis, Angel Kristi Williams, and Merawi Gerima will direct episodes this season.
[via press release from OWN]
RICHARD ROUNDTREE AND TERRI J. VAUGHN TO RECUR IN SEASON TWO OF OWN’S ANTHOLOGY DRAMA “CHERISH THE DAY” FROM CREATOR AVA DuVERNAY, ARRAY FILMWORKS, AND WARNER BROS. TELEVISION

Sheldon Candis, Angel Kristi Williams, and Merawi Gerima Set to Direct
Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today that Richard Roundtree (“Shaft,” “Family Reunion”) and Terri J. Vaughn (“Insecure,” “The Steve Harvey Show”) have joined the cast of the second season of the romantic anthology drama “Cherish the Day,” from Emmy(R)-winning and Academy Award(R)-nominated creator Ava DuVernay, ARRAY Filmworks, and Warner Bros. Television. Roundtree and Vaughn are set for recurring roles. Additionally, Sheldon Candis (“Luv”), Angel Kristi Williams (“Really Love”), and Merawi Gerima (“Residue”) will direct episodes this season.

Richard Roundtree is set to recur as Mandeville “MV” St. James, a proud, loving, wry-humored former judge and widowed father of Sunday (series star Joy Bryant).

Terri J. Vaughn will recur as Anastasia, Ellis’ (series star Henry Simmons) soon-to-be ex-wife and the mother of their children.

“Cherish the Day” is an anthology series that chronicles the relationship of one couple, with each episode spanning a single day. In season two, the rekindling of a romance is told – the love story of Ellis Moran (Henry Simmons) and Sunday St. James (Joy Bryant), who fell in love in high school but find themselves reunited in beautiful New Orleans. Ellis is a former basketball player who is now a single father of two, and Sunday is a vegetarian celebrity chef on the cusp of fame. Each episode of the season-long narrative unfolds in a single day to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday.

Recurring stars:

· Richard Roundtree’s life and career would change forever in 1971 when he played private detective John Shaft in the iconic “Shaft” movie franchise. This launched Richard’s five-decade career, and his impressive resume includes films such as “Man Friday,” “Charley One-Eye” and the television films “Roots” and “Fire House.” He also appeared on the FOX sitcom “Roc” and “Being Mary Jane,” and can now be seen in the Netflix series “Family Reunion.” Roundtree has been nominated for an NAACP Image Award and a Peabody Award.

· Terri J. Vaughn: While best known for her portrayal of Lovita Alizé Jenkins in the long-running series “The Steve Harvey Show,” Vaughn has become a multifaceted director, producer and actor. She most recently directed an episode of BET’s “Tales” and recurred in season four of Issa Rae’s hit HBO comedy “Insecure.” Additional television acting credits include “First Wives Club,” “Mann and Wife,” “Greenleaf,” “Meet the Browns,” “All of Us” and “Soul Food.” Her film credits include: “Girlfriends’ Getaway,” “Girlfriends’ Getaway 2,” “Who Did I Marry?,” “Probable Cause,” “Three Can Play That Game,” “Daddy’s Little Girls” and “Friday.”

The directing team:

· Sheldon Candis’ feature directorial debut “Luv” was an official selection in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Dramatic Competition. Candis directed the feature length documentary “Baltimore Boys” for the prestigious ESPN Films banner. Candis has also directed “Who Will Survive America” for the AMC/Sundance Now Doc Club original series “Take 5: Justice in America.” Candis also directed the short docuseries “I Will What I Want” and “Dreams” along with “When the Lights Are Brightest.” Most recently, Sheldon directed an episode of “Colin in Black & White,” the upcoming Netflix limited series from DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick.

· Angel Kristi Williams is a filmmaker born and raised in West Baltimore, Maryland. Her feature directorial debut “Really Love” was selected to play in narrative competition at SXSW and won the Special Jury Recognition for Acting for co-stars Kofi Siriboe and Yootha Wong-Loi-Sing. The film then screened as part of AFI Fest’s Special Presentations to much acclaim. Most recently, Angel directed an episode of “Colin in Black & White,” the upcoming Netflix limited series from DuVernay and Colin Kaepernick.

· Merawi Gerima is a filmmaker from Washington D.C., whose origin informs his work and his community-centered orientation. “Residue,” his first feature, was a communal endeavor, made possible primarily by the effort of the people it attempts to portray. Following its world premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival, “Residue” was honored with the festival’s Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Acting Award for star Obinna Nwachukwu. The film was also awarded Special Mention at the 77th Venice International Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori and won the John Cassavetes Award at the 2021 Film Independent Spirit Awards. DuVernay’s ARRAY also acquired the film under their ARRAY Releasing banner. Gerima is a graduate from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). He is the son of celebrated Ethiopian filmmaker Haile Gerima, a legendary figure in the L.A. Rebellion film movement.

The first season of “Cherish the Day” starred Xosha Roquemore, Alano Miller, and the legendary Cicely Tyson, and debuted in February 2020. On average during its seven-week first season, the series ranked #1 in its time period across all of cable with Black women, households, and total viewers.

The DuVernay-led series achieved full gender parity with a production crew of more than 50% women, including 18 female department heads, an initiative DuVernay will continue in season two.

Created and produced by Ava DuVernay, “Cherish the Day” is produced for OWN by ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. DuVernay, Paul Garnes, Raynelle Swilling, Teri Schaffer, and Oprah Winfrey serve as executive producers. Swilling, who won the 2020 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Television) for “Cherish the Day,” and Schaffer are co-showrunners of season two.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on Watch OWN and discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs.

About Warner Bros. Television

One of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original primetime programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television produces original scripted drama and comedy series for multiple platforms. As of July 2021, Warner Bros. Television is producing more than 60 scripted series for on-demand/streaming services, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the five broadcast networks.

About ARRAY

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.



discovery+ and OWN Announce a Robust New Original Unscripted Programming Lineup





discovery+ and OWN Announce a Robust New Original Unscripted Programming Lineup to Stream Exclusively on discovery+
A total of five new shows, produced by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, have been ordered straight-to-series.
[via press release from OWN]
DISCOVERY+ AND OWN ANNOUNCE A ROBUST NEW ORIGINAL UNSCRIPTED PROGRAMMING LINEUP TO STREAM EXCLUSIVELY ON DISCOVERY+

Slate Features Five Straight-to-Series Orders

OWN and HGTV to Co-Produce New Home Renovation Series “Taking Back The House” in Unprecedented Partnership

Los Angeles – Discovery Inc. today announced a robust slate of new original programming to be produced exclusively for discovery+, the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription service. A total of five new shows, produced by OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, have been ordered straight-to-series. The strategic partnership between discovery+ and OWN was formed to fulfill the streamer’s commitment to delivering a broad range of quality programming that showcases diverse voices and stories that will appeal to the fast-growing discovery+ audience.

For the first time ever, OWN and HGTV will join forces to co-produce a new series together titled (working title) “Taking Back The House” to air exclusively on discovery+. The series will chronicle Broadway star Robert Hartwell’s room-by-room renovation of an 1820 colonial house he recently purchased. Executive produced by Hartwell alongside HGTV real estate and home renovation stars Drew and Jonathan Scott (“Property Brothers”), the new series will premiere in 2022.

“OWN has built its loyal audience through programming that connects with viewers very deeply, and it is that intention that drives the programming we are bringing to discovery+,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “This slate of new series will incorporate OWN’s unique style in genres that include relationship, docu-series, cooking, and the revelatory home renovation series ‘Taking Back The House,’ which we are producing in an exciting first-time partnership with HGTV, and will appeal to discovery+ subscribers who are as varied and diverse as the programs themselves.”

“Our young and diverse discovery+ streaming audience places a premium on content from innovative storytellers across a wide range of voices, and OWN possesses an unparalleled track record in developing successful projects fitting that same criteria,” said Lisa Holme, Group SVP of Content and Commercial Strategy for Discovery, Inc. “discovery+ provides the perfect platform for the OWN team and our creative partners to go even deeper in genres which all of our Discovery brands are known for, from food and home to lifestyle, docu-series and more.”

The shows that have been ordered to series include:

“Taking Back The House” (working title)

Last year on Juneteenth, a day celebrating the emancipation of African-American slaves in America, Robert Hartwell made headlines when he purchased a historic property in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. This is a house with a complicated history, and Robert’s purchase set the Internet ablaze. When Robert, the founder of The Broadway Collective, Broadway’s #1 training academy, and a working actor who has performed on Broadway in five musicals from “Hello, Dolly!” with Bette Midler to “Motown the Musical,” first saw the 200-year-old colonial house in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, he knew he had found home. It was not easy for the openly gay Black man to complete the cash offer only purchase but Hartwell just knew this was meant to be his house, so he persevered. Now, Hartwell will renovate the home room by room. The renovation of this house will unlock stories of his own history and lead him down a path of discovery about himself, his culture and the Black creatives who will inspire the ensuing designs. “I wish I could’ve told my ancestors when they were breaking their backs in 1820 to build this house that 200 years later a free gay Black man was going to own it and fill it with love and say their name,” Hartwell said when the purchase was complete. This finished home will be a celebration of Black excellence, the people and culture that built him. The series is produced by Scott Brothers Entertainment. Hartwell, Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott are the executive producers.

“The Great Soul Food Cookoff”

Black culture is being recognized as never before in music, film, fashion, TV, sports, and more. But in the kitchen – where Black cooks and cooking traditions are a cornerstone of what we call “American food” – that recognition remains long overdue. Now, for the first time on television, a cooking competition finally spotlights these culinary contributions. With challenges designed to highlight the past and present of Black food in America, eight chefs will go head-to-head in this new series, in a celebration of diverse deliciousness. Produced by Good Egg Entertainment, the company behind Food Network’s hit series “Chopped.” Michael W. Twitty, the esteemed culinary historian, educator and James Beard Foundation award-winning author of The Cooking Gene, will serve as culinary historian and consultant for the series.

“Burger Truck Brawl”

The Billionaire Burger Boyz (and the Burger Girl) own and operate one of L.A.’s most successful food trucks. They know better than anyone that it takes mad culinary chops, creativity and a whole lot of hustle to go from the bottom to the top of the biz. They’ve conquered the City of Angels, so now they’re hitting the road to lay down the challenge to other successful food trucks far and wide. In each episode, the Boyz will roll into a city, meet the challenging food truck, craft a new menu for that city, then sell, sell, sell. The winning truck walks away with a cash bet put up by both teams before the competition. Produced by Guy Fieri’s Knuckle Sandwich Productions and Lando Entertainment. Burger Truck Brawl will premiere on d+ on Saturday, August 21.

“Like Mother, Like Daughter?” (working title)

This new series follows six mother-daughter pairs who have serious issues between them, as they move into an isolated resort where they will be forced to work on their relationship. The pairs will embark on a three-week intensive experiment designed to cultivate the skills necessary for healthy and loving relationships with one another, but living in close quarters will put the pairs — and the therapists working with them — to the test. Produced by Bunim/Murray Productions.

“Breaking Black” (working title)

From Tina Knowles-Lawson, Trell Thomas and A. Smith & Co. Productions, “Breaking Black” sets out to challenge and debunk the negative stereotypes that have surrounded Black men for centuries, by reshaping the narrative and highlighting their authentic stories. Through interviews, historical footage, and personal stories from men across the country, “Breaking Black” aims to show the difficulties Black men face today, while highlighting and celebrating the triumphs and successes of everyday living. Produced by A. Smith & Co. Productions and award-winning showrunner P. Frank Williams.

About discovery+

discovery+ is the definitive non-fiction, real-life subscription streaming service. discovery+ will launch with a landmark partnership with Verizon that gives their customers with select plans up to 12 months of discovery+ on Verizon. discovery+ features the largest-ever content offering of any new streaming service at launch, with a wide range of exclusive, original series across popular, passion verticals in which Discovery brands have a strong leadership position, including lifestyle and relationships; home and food; true crime; paranormal; adventure and natural history; as well as science, tech and the environment and a slate of high-quality documentaries. discovery+ is available on platforms and devices from Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Roku and Samsung, among others. For more, visit discoveryplus.com.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on Watch OWN and discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs.



Video: OWN Sets Premiere Date and Unveils New Season Trailer for Drama “Queen Sugar”





Video: OWN Sets Premiere Date and Unveils New Season Trailer for Drama “Queen Sugar” from Award-Winning Creator Ava DuVernay
The series returns Tuesday, September 7 at 8:00/7:00c on the cable channel.
[via press release from OWN]
OWN SETS PREMIERE DATE AND UNVEILS NEW SEASON TRAILER FOR DRAMA “QUEEN SUGAR” FROM AWARD-WINNING CREATOR AVA DuVERNAY

Season Six To Premiere Tuesday, September 7 at 8 pm ET/PT on OWN

Los Angeles, CA – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today the acclaimed contemporary drama series “Queen Sugar,” created and executive produced by filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us,” “Cherish the Day”), returns Tuesday, September 7 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on OWN.

In anticipation for the series return, the season six trailer was unveiled, showing glimpses of the Bordelon family reclaiming their lives coming out of the pandemic. As Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Darla (Bianca Lawson) plan the arrival of their new baby, Nova (Rutina Wesley) continues to speak out against political corruption and Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) faces a life-altering decision. Throughout the season, we witness the joy amid the struggle and humanity’s ability to persevere through whatever life may bring.

In continuing the creative vision DuVernay established in season one of hiring an entirely female directorial team, season six includes five filmmakers making their television directing debut. The “Queen Sugar” season six directorial line-up includes: Bertha Bay-Sa Pan, Carmen Marrón, Cierra Glaude, Keisha Rae Witherspoon, Marie Jamora, Shari L. Carpenter, Shaz Bennett and Stephanie Turner, with Lisa France upped to serve as producing director. This upcoming season marks 42 female filmmakers the series has hired since 2016, 39 of whom are first-time television directors.
“Queen Sugar” was recognized by the Television Academy Honors for its powerful portrayal of an African-American family in the Deep South that sheds light on complex issues and challenges facing our society. This year, Emmy Magazine featured the series as the cover of the March 19 issue, and the African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) honored the series with the 2021 Impact Award for tackling the Covid crisis in the Black community, proving how television can be both compelling while also serving the greater public good, along with awarding the series with both Best TV Drama (for the fourth consecutive year) and Best Writing. Additionally, the series has been awarded the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Drama Series and nominated as Television Show of the Year by the American Black Film Festival (ABFF). During its most-recent season, “Queen Sugar” ranked #1 in its Tuesday 8-9 p.m. time period across broadcast and cable with African-American W25-54, W18+, Households and total viewers.

“Queen Sugar” is produced for OWN by ARRAY Filmworks and Harpo Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. The season six executive producers are Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey, Paul Garnes and Anthony Sparks. The series is based on the book by Natalie Baszile.

The first four seasons of “Queen Sugar” are available to stream exclusively on Hulu.

About “Queen Sugar” Season Six

From award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay (“When They See Us”), the contemporary drama “Queen Sugar” returns as newlyweds Ralph Angel (Kofi Siriboe) and Darla (Bianca Lawson) prepare to welcome a new baby while struggling to make financial ends meet. Nova (Rutina Wesley) reaches her breaking point while continuing to expose police and political corruption, and finds unlikely support from a new neighbor, Dominic (McKinley Freeman). Charley (Dawn-Lyen Gardner) explores political opportunities on a national scale as she navigates reconnecting with ex-husband Davis West (Timon Kyle Durrett), while her son Micah (Nicholas Ashe) grapples with college life amid the lasting effects of PTSD and growing confusion over a relationship with his new fraternity brother (Marquis Rodriguez). The expansive cast also includes the family’s matriarch Aunt Violet (Tina Lifford), who finds herself keeping a secret from her family as her husband Hollywood Desonier (Omar J. Dorsey) opens a space for Black men to come together and talk about more than just surface level topics. Meanwhile, longtime family friend and local farmer Prosper Denton (Henry G. Sanders) has an altercation with cops that lands him in the hospital, spurring his daughter Billie (Tammy Townsend) to return home for the first time in 20 years, creating explosive tension among the Bordelon family as long-held resentments are brought to light.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv, and on discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs. For more information, please visit www.oprah.com/own and https://press.discovery.com/us/own/.

About Warner Bros. Television

One of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original primetime programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television produces original scripted drama and comedy series for multiple platforms. As of July 2021, Warner Bros. Television is producing more than 60 scripted series for on-demand/streaming services, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the five broadcast networks.

About ARRAY

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is a Peabody Award-winning multi-platform arts and social impact collective dedicated to narrative change. The organization catalyzes its work through a quartet of mission-driven entities: the film distribution arm ARRAY Releasing, the content company ARRAY Filmworks, the programming and production hub ARRAY Creative Campus and the non-profit group ARRAY Alliance.



“OWN Spotlight: Oprah and Jennifer Hudson” Premieres Tuesday, July 20 on OWN





“OWN Spotlight: Oprah and Jennifer Hudson” Premieres Tuesday, July 20 on OWN
Oprah sits down with Oscar and Grammy award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson to discuss her new role as the legendary Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic “Respect” available in theatres starting August 13.
[via press release from OWN]
“OWN SPOTLIGHT: OPRAH AND JENNIFER HUDSON” PREMIERES TUESDAY, JULY 20 ON OWN

Advanced Clips Available of Oprah Winfrey’s Conversation with Academy Award-Winning Actress Jennifer Hudson on Her Performance in ‘Respect’

Los Angeles – OWN announced today a new primetime special “OWN Spotlight: Oprah and Jennifer Hudson” to air Tuesday, July 20 at 10 pm ET/PT on OWN, and available on discovery+ starting the following day. Oprah sits down with Oscar and Grammy award-winning actress Jennifer Hudson to discuss her new role as the legendary Aretha Franklin in the upcoming biopic “Respect” available in theatres starting August 13.

In an intimate in-person conversation, Oprah talks to Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson about her new film, “Respect” and being asked by Aretha Franklin to portray her in the biopic. Jennifer reveals the inspiration behind her portrayal and how the legendary singer changed her life. As Oprah and Jennifer take a walk and continue to discuss the impact of church on both Jennifer and Aretha, Jennifer begins to sing Amazing Grace.

“OWN Spotlight: Oprah and Jennifer Hudson” will be available on the WatchOWN app, in addition to being available on discovery+ starting July 21. “OWN Spotlight: Oprah and Jennifer Hudson” is produced by OWN. The executive producers are Oprah Winfrey and Tara Montgomery.
About “OWN Spotlight”

“OWN Spotlight” presentations tackle issues and concerns facing Black lives. The programs feature candid and in-depth conversations that create real dialogue to inspire systematic change. Previous programs include a conversation with award-winning actress Viola Davis; singer/actress Andra Day; a special presentation on Ava DuVernay’s short film “August 28;” an inspirational special celebrating Black Fatherhood and the special bonds they have with their children “They Call Me Dad;” a two-night special “Where Do We Go From Here?” that simulcast across the Discovery family of networks featuring Oprah and Black thought leaders discussing the current state of racism America; “Oprah and 100 Black Fathers” sharing the urgency of having “the talk” with their children and the dreams they have for the future of their families; “COVID-19: The Deadly Impact on Black America” that investigated the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on Black communities; “Oprah At Home with Lupita Nyong’o and Cynthia Erivo,” which examined colorism in Hollywood; “Oprah and Alicia Keys – The Interview” discussing Alicia Keys’ new memoir “More Myself;” “When They See Us Now” featuring Oprah in conversation with award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay and the cast from the acclaimed series “When They See Us” along with real men formerly known as the Central Park Five; “(In)Visible Portraits,” which was a powerful celebration of Black women sharing their stories of struggle, resilience and beyond; “Black Women OWN The Conversation – 2020 In Review” featured intimate conversations about important issues with honest opinions and surprising solutions that put people first; and the follow-up documentary from D. Channsin Berry “Dark Girls 2” exploring the prejudices darker-skinned women face around the world.



OWN Announces Additional Cast Members for New Drama “The Kings of Napa”





OWN Announces Additional Cast Members for New Drama “The Kings of Napa,” From Warner Bros Television and Acclaimed Creator/Showrunner Janine Sherman Barrois
Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh will join the previously announced Ebonee Noel, Rance Nix, Karen LeBlanc and Yaani King Mondschein as series regulars.
[via press release from OWN]
OWN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CAST MEMBERS FOR NEW DRAMA “THE KINGS OF NAPA,” FROM WARNER BROS TELEVISION AND ACCLAIMED CREATOR/SHOWRUNNER JANINE SHERMAN BARROIS

Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh Join in Series Regular Roles, with Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, Samantha Walkes, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. Set to Recur
Los Angeles – OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced two new series regular cast members and four recurring guest stars for the new drama “The Kings of Napa,” from acclaimed showrunner, writer, and producer Janine Sherman Barrois (“Claws,” “Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker”) and Warner Bros. Television. Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh join in series regular roles, with Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, Samantha Walkes, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. set for recurring roles. Academy Award(R) winner Matthew A. Cherry (“Hair Love”) will direct the first two episodes of the series, and Janine Sherman Barrois, Michelle Listenbee Brown (“Love Is__,” “Real Husbands of Hollywood”) and Oprah Winfrey serve as executive producers.

“The Kings of Napa” is focused on a gorgeous and picturesque Napa Valley, California, a vineyard owned by the Kings, an aspirational African American family whose wealth and status lands them on the pages of design magazines and society pages. The wine business has brought the family success and acclaim, but following the patriarch’s sudden exit from the company, his three children must grapple for the reins to the kingdom – to their own power, wealth, and legacy. The new series is expected to debut in 2022.

The new series regulars are:

· Ashlee Brian (“The Forty-Year-Old Version,” “Family Reunion”) plays the role of Christian King, August King’s (Ebonee Noel) younger brother with swag who manages the winery’s bottling facility but knows little about growing grapes. His real passion is trying to get his bourbon business off the ground, but when the family suddenly needs his help with the vineyard, Christian is thrown into the deep end and may not be able to survive.

· Devika Parikh (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Aquaman”) plays the role of August’s aunt, Melanie Pierce. She is a perennial fibber with a penchant for exaggeration who is usually off to some remote locale to help save the world as a nurse for Doctors Without Borders. Now back in the States, she returns with a firestorm that threatens to change the King family forever.

The new recurring guest stars are:

· Curtis Hamilton (“Charming the Hearts of Men”) plays the role of Kelvin Johnson, August’s boyfriend from high school who now works as a lawyer representing Melanie Pierce. When Kelvin and August reconnect over business, it’s clear that their chemistry is undeniably electrifying, even if he is married.

· Heather Simms (“Blue Bloods,” “Luke Cage”) plays the role of Yvette King, Reginald’s self-possessed, flamboyant, imposing sister who owns a wig business. Knowing her to be a savvy businesswoman, Yvette’s brother names her VP of sales at the winery.

· Samantha Walkes (upcoming “Orphan: First Kill”) plays the role of Rose King. British, regal, and strikingly stylish, Rose is Dana King’s supportive wife.

· Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire,” “Your Honor,” “Da 5 Bloods”) plays the role of Reginald King, the husband of Vanessa King (Karen LeBlanc). Though Vanessa and Reginald seem to have had the picture-perfect marriage, she is stunned to discover things about his past that now leave her hurt, angry and betrayed.

Cast biographies:

· Ashlee Brian can be seen in the Sundance feature “The Forty-Year-Old Version.” He can also be seen in Netflix’s “Family Reunion,” “All the Queen’s Men,” and the upcoming Amazon series “Harlem.” Ashlee’s prior feature credits include “Amateur” for Netflix, “Grandma’s House,” and “The Demented.” His television credits include appearances on “S.W.A.T.,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Medal of Honor,” “Four Stars,” “Glee,” and “Taxi Brooklyn.”

· Devika Parikh began her career in Los Angeles theater productions and comedic roles on “In Living Color,” “Martin,” and “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.” She also performed in sketch and improv groups at The Comedy Store, The Upfront Comedy Theater, and Underground Improv. Her first big recurring role came on Showtime’s series “Resurrection Blvd.,” followed by “24” and “The West Wing.” Her voiceover work includes “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” “Madagascar,” and “Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse.” Most recently, she can be seen in “Newscaster Morgan,” “Aquaman,” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”

· Curtis Hamilton made his acting debut in the Sony/Lifetime movie “Surviving Compton.” He was also the lead of the TV One feature “In Broad Daylight.” He made his big screen debut in the film “Charming the Hearts of Men,” opposite Kelsey Grammer, Sean Astin, and Anna Friel.

· Heather Simms was most recently seen in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of “Fairview.” She also appeared on Broadway in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and “Gem of the Ocean.” Her television credits include a recurring arc on “Luke Cage,” “Blue Bloods,” “High Maintenance,” “The Last O.G.,” “Broad City,” “Seven Seconds,” “Roxanne,” and “Law & Order.” Her film credits include “Vampires vs. The Bronx,” “Red Hook Summer,” “The Nanny Diaries,” “Broken Flowers,” and “Head of State,” among others.

· Samantha Walkes is a theatre, TV, and film artist from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She will next be seen in the upcoming feature “Orphan: First Kill,” a prequel to 2009 horror film “Orphan.” Prior to the pandemic-related closure of Broadway theatres in March 2020, she had joined the ensemble cast of the long-running hit musical comedy “The Book of Mormon.”

· Isiah Whitlock, Jr. is a veteran theater, film, and television actor. Whitlock recently starred in the Showtime limited series “Your Honor,” opposite Bryan Cranston, as well as in Spike Lee’s “Da 5 Bloods” on Netflix. Other notable film credits include “BlacKkKlansman,” “Pete’s Dragon,” “Cedar Rapids” and the voice of River Scott in Disney’s “Cars 3.” Additionally, he can be seen in “CHiPs,” and “Person to Person.” On television, he starred in “The Wire” and can be seen in Spike Lee’s “She’s Gotta Have It,” “Veep,” and “Lucky 7.”

Ebonee Noel, Rance Nix, Karen LeBlanc, and Yaani King Mondschein were previously announced as series regulars. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films.

About OWN: OPRAH WINFREY NETWORK

OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand and the magnetism of the channel. OWN is a leading destination for premium scripted and unscripted programming from today’s most innovative storytellers. OWN connects with its audience wherever they are, inspiring conversation among a global community of like-minded viewers on social media and beyond. Launched on January 1, 2011, OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery, Inc. The venture also includes award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime on Watch OWN and discovery+ across mobile devices and connected TVs.

About Warner Bros. Television

One of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original primetime programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television produces original scripted drama and comedy series for multiple platforms. As of July 2021, Warner Bros. Television is producing more than 60 scripted series for on-demand/streaming services, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the five broadcast networks.