The cable network plots its first miniseries, casts Braxton as “20 Feet From Stardom” singer Darlene Love and adds Justin Timberlake for “Masterclass.”
The Oprah Winfrey Network announced its upfront slate on Thursday morning, making officially its plans for a first-time miniseries and finding a lead for recently announced telepic “My Name is Love: The Darlene Love Story.”
Octavia Spencer, the Help Oscar winner, will topline Tulsa — a two-night scripted event about the largest race riot in U.S. history, where more than 300 people were believed to have been murdered the Oklahoma city. Additionally, singer Toni Braxton will star as “20 Feet From Stardom” singer Darlene Love. The TV movie is set to bow in December.
“Coming off our most watched quarter in network history, we are excited to get to work on these new scripted projects with Octavia and Toni,” said OWN president Erik Logan. “By diversifying our programming, we are also growing our audience, and these new projects put us in a great position to take the network to the next level.”
OWN’s foray into scripted has thus far been a success. Tyler Perry drama series “The Have and the Have Nots” has earned record ratings, prompting an order for 20 more episodes — and the same for upcoming series Single Moms Club.
Additionally, Justin Timberlake will be joining the network in May for an episode of Oprah’s Master Class and the network has ordered a seven-part event called Belief.
“Oprah, Erik, and I have big dreams for OWN and you are seeing them come true,” added OWN president Sheri Salata. “With multiple scripted films and series in active development, Justin Timberlake headlining our brand new season of Oprah’s Master Class and the addition of an epic worldwide event like Belief, we are thrilled about what the future holds.”