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Greenleaf will be back for season three.
Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network has renewed the megachurch drama, it was announced Monday. Additionally, Rick Fox has been promoted to series regular for the forthcoming third season.
The renewal comes ahead of the drama’s midseason return on Aug. 15. Lionsgate produces the drama in association with Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Pine City. Winfrey also serves as an exec producer alongside showrunner Craig Wright (Lost, Six Feet Under) and Clement Virgo (The Book of Negroes).
“We’re excited to extend our relationship with Oprah Winfrey and the OWN team for a third season of the hit series Greenleaf,” said Lionsgate head of worldwide scripted television Chris Selak. “The combination of a brilliant creator, an incredibly talented cast and inspirational music have positioned Greenleaf for a long run, and we can hardly wait to see where the third season takes us.”
At OWN, the renewal follows the season three pickup of Ava DuVernay’s Queen Sugar, on which Winfrey also serves as an exec producer. Both series launched last year as part of the Discovery-owned cable network’s push into prestige drama programming.
“We can’t wait to see what another season of Greenleaf will bring,” said OWN president Erik Logan. “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 to Queen Sugar, Greenleaf joins original dramas The Haves and the Have Nots and If Loving You Is Wrong, both of which hail from prolific producer Tyler Perry. However, Perry recently signed a new deal with Viacom which will see him produce 90 episodes of television for BET and other Viacom cable networks beginning in 2019.
In recent months, OWN has been aggressive in expanding its talent relationships. Will Packer will develop scripted and unscripted projects for the network as part of his newly launched Will Packer Media (in which parent company Discovery is an investor), and Harpo Films recently signed a first-look deal with DuVernay for TV and digital media projects as part of the Queen Sugar season three renewal. OWN also recently picked up to series a light hourlong drama from Salim and Mara Brock Akil titled Love Is __.
Greenleaf currently averages more than 2 million viewers in live-plus-3 ratings, and ranks as the No. 2 Wednesday scripted cable series among women ages 25-54.
“This is the signaling of this new era of prestige scripted content that we’re moving into,” Logan told THR earlier this month. “That evolution of the network is what Oprah has been tasking us to do and create and drive toward — to elevate the storytelling and to find new ways to connect with our viewers.”
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