10:48am PT by Michael O'Connell
OWN Gives Early Renewal to Oprah Winfrey Drama 'Greenleaf'
No surprise here. The Oprah Winfrey Network is optimistic about its new drama featuring the channel's namesake.
Greenleaf, which doesn't premiere until June 21, has received a pickup for a second season at the cable network, it was announced Thursday. It marks the relatively young channel's first scripted series not produced by prolific partner Tyler Perry.
The megachurch-set drama, from scribe Craig Wright, stars Merle Dandridge, Lynn Whitfield and Keith David. Winfrey has committed to a recurring role on the project, her first in 20 years. Greenleaf is produced for OWN by Lionsgate. The second-season order is for 13 episodes.
OWN is becoming increasingly invested in scripted programming. The success of Perry's suite of series — If Loving You Is Wrong, For Better or Worse, Love Thy Neighbor, The Haves and The Have Nots — prompted the network to order both Greenleaf and Ava DuVernay-produced Queen Sugar.
Greenleaf, which debuted Wednesday night at Tribeca Film Festival, will get a two-night premiere on OWN on June 21 and 22.