OWN Orders New Original Drama “Delilah” from Creators of “Greenleaf”
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced today a straight-to-series order for the new original drama series “Delilah,” from acclaimed “Greenleaf” creator Craig Wright, who will serve as executive producer along with Charles Randolph-Wright and Oprah Winfrey.
Maahra Hill (“Black-ish,” “How to Get Away With Murder”) stars as Delilah Connolly, a headstrong, highly principled lawyer living in Charlotte, North Carolina. Delilah’s doing her best to raise two kids alone and keep her ties to family, friends and faith strong, all the while ceaselessly seeking justice for those who need it most, in a time when the rich and powerful of Charlotte and beyond will do anything to stop her. Also joining the cast are Jill Marie Jones (“Girlfriends”) as Tamara Grayson, Delilah’s confidante and best friend; Susan Heyward (“Orange is the New Black”), who portrays Demetria Barnes, Delilah’s newly hired, fearless, and ambitious associate; and Ozioma Akagha (Marvel’s “Runaways”), who plays Delilah’s unfailingly sunny secretary, Harper Conant.
Award-winning directors Charles Randolph-Wright (“Greenleaf”) and Cheryl Dunye (“Queen Sugar,” “David Makes Man”) are set to direct the series, with additional directors to be announced. Dunye will direct the pilot episode.
The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films, and will air on OWN in 2021.
“On the heels of the incredible success story of ‘Greenleaf,’ we are thrilled to continue our partnership with Craig on this compelling new drama,” said Tina Perry, president, OWN. “Our viewers are going to deeply relate to this story that focuses on a powerful woman committed to her family and her community.”
“It’s an honor to work for Ms. Winfrey and OWN and to serve the network’s devoted fans. ‘Delilah’ continues the work we started on ‘Greenleaf,’ namely, bringing untold stories and fresh perspectives to our audience,” said Craig Wright, creator/executive producer.
Delilah left a demanding white-shoe law firm a decade ago and hung up her own shingle so she could make raising her kids her #1 priority. Now she takes on cases the big firms ignore and finds herself, more often than not, going head-to-head with the powerful and privileged as she fights for the disenfranchised. In addition to raising her two kids, Maia and Marcus, Delilah also cares for her young nephew Dion; manages her relationship with her frustrating ex; and to top it all off, she’s about to go up against her best friend Tamara in court for the first time. Delilah has always represented the underdogs. Tamara has always represented the wealthy and powerful. But this case is different: This time, Delilah’s most cherished friendship is on the line. Nevertheless, there are lives at stake. So, Delilah does what she always does – she seeks justice for those who need it most.
Maahra Hill (Delilah Connolly) has been recently featured in guest roles on some of television’s most popular series, including opposite Laurence Fishburne in “Black-ish,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” “The L Word: Generation Q,” “Pearson,” “Life in Pieces,” “Speechless,” “Chance,” “Jane the Virgin,” and “Melissa & Joey.” Jill Marie Jones (Tamara Grayson) is well known to audiences from her role as Toni Marie Childress Garrett on the long-running hit series “Girlfriends,” as well as series regular roles in “Craig Ross Jr.’s Monogamy,” “Ash vs Evil Dead,” “Sleepy Hollow” and guest roles in “Black-ish,” “Meet the Browns,” and “American Horror Story.” Susan Heyward (Demetria Barnes) is well known to audiences for her roles as Tamika Ward in the final two seasons of “Orange is the New Black,” as Cece in the Mick Jagger-produced series “Vinyl,” and as Deena Pilgrim in “Powers.” She was featured in the 2015 feature film “Poltergeist,” starring Sam Rockwell, and has guest-starred in episodes of the series “Tommy” and “Conviction.” Ozioma Akagha (Harper Conant) has recently had recurring roles in Marvel’s “Runaways” and “Superior Donuts,” voiced the role of Bumblebee in “Teen Titans Go!,” and guest starred on “2 Broke Girls,” “Nashville,” and “Men at Work.”
“Delilah” will join OWN’s slate of popular dramas that includes four of the top 15 original scripted cable series for African American women, “Queen Sugar,” “Cherish the Day,” “David Makes Man,” and “The Haves and the Have Nots.” Wright’s acclaimed drama “Greenleaf” ended its five-season run on Tuesday, August 11 on OWN ranking as the #1 most watched show on television for African American viewers.
In addition to creating and executive producing OWN’s hit drama series “Greenleaf,” Craig Wright is currently developing a spinoff of “Greenleaf” for OWN. Wright served as writer and producer on “Lost” and “Six Feet Under,” and was supervising producer on the long-running series “Brothers and Sisters.” He was Emmy-nominated for his writing on “Six Feet Under,” and received three WGA Award nominations, winning the Dramatic Series award in 2004 for “Lost.” In addition, Wright was executive producer and writer for “Tyrant” and “Rush” and was consulting producer on “United States of Tara.”
“Delilah” executive producer and director Charles Randolph-Wright’s television credits include “Greenleaf,” “Katy Keene,” “Step Up: Highwater,” “Lincoln Heights,” “South of Nowhere,” and “Live at Lincoln Center.” Film credits include directing the ABFF winner “Preaching to the Choir,” and he recently executive produced the DOC NYC Grand Jury Prize Winner “Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back.” In theatre, he directed the Tony-nominated Broadway and West End smash hit “Motown: The Musical.” Randolph-Wright also is an inaugural resident playwright at Arena Stage in D.C. His play “Blue” (starring Leslie Uggams and Lynn Whitfield) will be directed by Phylicia Rashad in a revival at the Apollo Theatre. His upcoming theatre directing projects include “Trouble In Mind”by Alice Childress at the Roundabout on Broadway, the world premieres “American Prophet: Frederick Douglass In His Own Words” (which he co-wrote with Grammy winner Marcus Hummon) at Arena Stage, and “Orfeus: A House Music Opera”at the Young Vic in London.
Sought-after director Cheryl Dunye recently served as producing director on season four of OWN’s hit drama “Queen Sugar,” from award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay, and she directed multiple episodes of the Peabody Award-winning “David Makes Man.” She is considered the most influential African American filmmaker to emerge from New Queer Cinema movement of the mid-1990s. Her groundbreaking first film, “The Watermelon Woman,” won the Teddy Award for Best Feature at Berlinale in 1996. Her 2002 follow-up, “Stranger Inside,” was nominated for four Independent Spirit Awards, including Best Director. Since 2017, she has directed episodes of “All Rise,” “Claws,” “Love Is___,” and “Lovecraft Country” (all from Warner Bros. Television Group), as well as “The Chi,” “Dear White People,” “Star,” and “The Fosters.”
“Delilah” is produced for OWN by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films. The executive producers are Craig Wright, Charles Randolph-Wright, and Oprah Winfrey.