Oprah Winfrey is returning to scripted television more than two decades after her last regular small screen acting gig in a popular “family drama”.
The drama is centred on black mega-Church in Memphis.
She plays a manipulative blues club owner in the 13-episode series “Greenleaf” for her own cable television channel.
Winfrey, 62, calls the return of the drama as “a dream come true” at a screening during the Tribeca Film Festival, ahead of the show’s TV debut on June 21.
She said “I believe that what we all love is a good story.
“My real role on earth is to lift consciousness.
“It is about showing people new ways of seeing themselves, seeing the problems, flaws, dysfunctions that we all have and being able to lift that just enough.”
Winfrey, also an executive producer, said she saw “Greenleaf” as continuing the mission behind her long-running TV chat show that ended in 2011, and that also informed her magazine “O.”
“Greenleaf,” created by “Six Feet Under” writer Craig Wright, tells the story of a wealthy African-American family behind a mega-Church, their rivalries, secrets and hypocrisies.
Merle Dandridge stars as Grace Greenleaf, the prodigal daughter who returns home after a 20-year rift, and Lynn Whitfield plays family matriarch Lady Mae Greenleaf.
Whitfield said the series was a departure from other TV depictions of the black community.
“This is a story we have not seen on TV for a long time.
“It is not about racial problems or financial difficulty, these people have to deal with themselves and their lives,” she said.
Winfrey was nominated for an Oscar in 1986 for her role in “The Colour Purple,” and appeared in movies “The Butler” and “Selma,” and had a regular acting TV part in “Brewster Place” in 1990. (Reuters/NAN)