Greenleaf: Season 1 (2016)


Season 1

Critics Consensus

Immersed in a unique megachurch setting, Greenleaf is a juicy family soap bolstered by a provocative spirituality.



Critic Ratings: 21


Audience Score

User Ratings: 91

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Air date: Jun 21, 2016

The drama centered on a Memphis megachurch opens with the return home of estranged daughter Gracie following the death of her sister, Faith. Her father, the church bishop, seems happy to see her, but other family members are less than welcoming. Complicating matters even more: she learns unsettling information about the family and her sister's death from her Aunt Mavis.

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Air date: Jun 22, 2016

Grace decides to move home in order to pursue the person she blames for her sister's death, but working at the church proves to be more difficult than she imagined. In other events, Jacob takes on more responsibilities at the church as a result of her return; Kevin has doubts about his and Charity's plan to start a family; and the Bishop refuses a senator's inquiries into the church's finances.

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Air date: Jun 22, 2016

Grace has an uncomfortable dinner date with a former beau and his fiancée; Jacob and Kerissa face the deficiencies in their marriage; Kevin has an unwanted attraction; and Senator Banks ups the pressure in his inquiry into the church's finances.

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Air date: Jun 29, 2016

The mayor calls in a favor, which leaves the Bishop in a bind that could split the church; Grace is blackmailed about Faith's past; Jacob and Kerissa attend couple counseling; and Charity has difficulty keeping a secret.

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Air date: Jul 6, 2016

A family in the church asks for prayers; Lady Mae tries to mend fences between the Bishop and Deacon Sykes; Jacob's infidelities push Kerissa to her limit; and Kevin takes a step toward exploring his sexuality.

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Air date: Jul 13, 2016

The Bishop appoints Grace to preach on Sunday in his absence; Jacob tries to arrange a TV deal for the church; and Kevin's flippant advice to Charity on how to hire a new music director backfires.

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Air date: Jul 20, 2016

Mac is slated to be named "Memphis Man of the Year," but first must advise Charity about the music director; help Jacob with his TV pitch to the Bishop; and deal with paranoia about Grace's effort to bring him to justice. Also on his plate: the IRS audit; and the unwanted appearance of his and Lady Mae's father.

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Air date: Jul 27, 2016

Grace reaches out to Officer Nelson while also working with Noah in an effort to find evidence against Mac; Lady Mae is suspicious of Grace and Noah; Jacob presents his TV plan to the Bishop; Lady Mae pushes the Bishop to reveal a secret; and the Bishop deals with a woman who is out to destroy Calvary.

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Air date: Aug 3, 2016

Security at Calvary is debated following the church shooting; Charity confronts Kevin; and Mac plans to leave the country.

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Air date: Aug 10, 2016

Grace thwarts Mac's attempt to blackmail the Bishop; and deals with Sophia's father, Ray, who has doubts about Grace's parenting. In other events, Charity, who's fed up with being disrespected, finally speaks up.

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Tv Season Info

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and Lionsgate Television, "Greenleaf" is an original drama series following the lives of the Greenleaf family. While Bishop James Greenleaf (Keith David) and his wife Lady Mae Greenleaf (Lynn Whitfield) serve as leaders of a megachurch in Memphis, Tennessee, their own family is plagued with scandal and dark secrets. After the mysterious death of one of their daughters, their other daughter, the long-estranged Grace (Merle Dandridge), returns to the family.

Cast & Crew

Tye White
Kevin Satterlee
Keith David
Bishop James Greenleaf
Kim Hawthorne
Kerissa Greenleaf
Desiree Ross
Sophia Greenleaf
Gregory Alan Williams
Robert "Mac" McCready
Benjamin Patterson
Noah Kendall
Merle Dandridge
Grace "Gigi" Greenleaf
Lamman Rucker
Jacob Greenleaf
Lovie Simone
Zora Greenleaf
Deborah Joy Winans
Charity Greenleaf-Satterlee
Oprah Winfrey
Mavis McCready
Lynn Whitfield
Lady Mae Greenleaf
Jen Harper
Deacon Sykes
Gary Weeks
Clement Virgo
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News & Interviews for Greenleaf: Season 1

Critic Reviews for Greenleaf Season 1

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (12)

Those with even a passing acquaintance with modern religion, particularly in the black community, will enjoy the tawdry hypocrisies and megachurch references.

Aug 7, 2018 | Full Review…

Absorbing family drama about love and loss, with an added bonus: Oprah.

Jun 21, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

Oprah Winfrey comes down from her mountaintop to play a recurring character in Greenleaf, a new drama premiering Wednesday on OWN, but the boldest bit of casting here is its setting: a Memphis megachurch, where Elvis Presley takes a back seat to Jesus.

Jun 20, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Oprah Winfrey is not the star of Greenleaf, arriving Tuesday on Winfrey's OWN network. But she has the juiciest part, among a lot of juicy parts, in this soapy new drama series about a black megachurch in Memphis, Tenn.

Jun 20, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It's exactly the kind of dramatic tentpole the Oprah Winfrey-branded network has been searching for since its inception.

Jul 28, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Top Critic

No one really does anything. They just pair up in different configurations to chew the fat about things and subtly insult each other while wearing stiff clothes and looking uncomfortable in rooms that are a bit too formal.

Jun 21, 2016 | Full Review…
Top Critic

As an hour-long cable drama, Greenleaf doesn't have any of the characters, stories, or actual drama to make you much of a believer.

Jun 22, 2016 | Rating: 5/10 | Full Review…

The series is uneven, but in an intriguing way -- it keeps you wanting to see more.

Jun 21, 2016 | Full Review…

Pray for these sinners ... but not too well. "Greenleaf" deserves to flourish.

Jun 20, 2016 | Full Review…

Greenleaf isn't great television of the occasional AMC/​HBO variety, but it is a good soap, closer in tone to, say, Nashville than the campiness of Empire.

Jun 20, 2016 | Full Review…

Oprah's church-themed drama is soapy but dark.

Jul 6, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Greenleaf is a rare series that nimbly tackles religious belief.

Jun 23, 2016 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Greenleaf: Season 1

  • Sep 20, 2020
    I don't like the way this series depicts the church. This show makes the church seem like it is nothing but a mafia, and that ALL pastors are preaching for money. Being a pastors daughter I don't appreciate this depiction especially because there are a TON of pastors out there that work hard to grow their churches.
  • Jan 26, 2020
    I really loved this show for the most part. I watched all the episodes. My problem with it was the white racial slurs that are woven throughout. If the shoe had been on the other foot there would have been all kinds of upheaval about how racist this show was. I would have given it 5 stars had it not been so racist.
  • Feb 03, 2019
    eenleaf is a great program about a black Christian family well set (read: rich) who are struggling with self esteem issues, life and death, morality, a sense of duty, betrayal, trust, money vs what matters, righteous values vs material wealth and infidelity. It also deals with the very taboo topics I n.v the black community such as domestic violence, spousal abuse by men to women AND the reverse, pedophilia from fathers to daughters and rape that is written off as consensual. The show features many great actors and actresses known in black Hollywood and the Christian singing world. O am purposely not giving names to anyone; watch for yourself. I just completed the final episode of season 3 and my wife tells me there will be a new season late winter 2019. It has unanswered questions and unresolved issues that I hope will be addressed in season 4. This show was great overall but i could have had it simply be about black family life as an inspiration to many of us who don't get to see a United family. This isn't to say there aren't great moments because there are PLENTY of great black love moments. I was pleasantly surprised at how respectful this cast was shown to be-something our people are not shown to be on MOST TV and film programs. Watch it and don't tell anyone unless they have seen the whole thing. Great work; I give it 4 out of 5 stars. ((At djjfreedomlives on IG, TW & FB)
  • Sep 19, 2018
    A Remake of House of Cards The White of House is not the only place where directors take inspiration for drama. Life in a Christian Church can hide big secrets, intrigue, hypocrisy and a thriller story. The TV series "Greenleaf" focuses on the corruption and abuse of power of one fictional family-operated church. An amazing cast will not leave viewers indifferent. Fans of this show will love some characters and wildly dislike others. Lady Mae's signature phrase "all the time" suggests the character is no who she appears to be. Some episodes strike familiar issues that most Christians have faced in their lives: accepting otherness, financial stewardship, spiritual abuse and other. Music, along with brilliant voices, is a strong appealing feature of the show. Music heightens the story's thrilling moments. Songs make connections with viewers who visit Sunday services and sing Sunday hymns. At the same time, some songs perfectly match the feelings and thoughts of certain characters. Looking at the management of the church, one can see similarities with "House of Cards". Whereas one spotlights political drama, "Greenleaf" portrays religious drama, as both are filled with intrigue, sexual assaults, shady finance, lack of transparency and accountability. Greenleaf has not the same intensity in exploring the episodes like "House of Cards". However, developing parallel storylines keeps viewers engaged.
  • Sep 09, 2018
    This is a great show, but they sure do seem to get up a lot and not finish their dinner. For someone who loves food this boggles me! ?? but very good show and Oprah! Ohhh wee.
  • Dec 10, 2017
    Brilliant TV series. A must see if you have Netflix
  • Oct 13, 2017
    Great show and I love seeing Oprah in this role!
  • Oct 06, 2017
    Love this show. Acting is superb, the costume designer should get an award. LOVE the clothes the women wear!
  • Mar 23, 2017
    I was a bit skeptical at first being a church goer myself! Nevertheless, the truth is that nobody's perfect. Greenleaf touches on important social topics with eloquence and scandalous grace!
  • Mar 06, 2017
    It's a juicy, scandal-ridden guilty pleasure with some of the best actors and actresses. Enough twists and turns to keep you guessing. Good look inside religion and faith, specially in a black megachurch. Lots of fun.

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