OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network has announced Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh are joining new drama The Kings of Napa as series regulars. Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, Samantha Walkes, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. have signed on for recurring roles, the network said Thursday in a press release.
[L-R: Ashlee Brian, Devika Parikh, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. are shown in the image above]
The new additions join previously announced cast members Ebonee Noel, Yaani King Mondschein, Karen LeBlanc, and Rance Nix.
As previously reported, The wine country drama from Warner Bros. Television is created by writer-producer Janine Sherman Barrois, whose credits include Claws and Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker. Sherman Barrois will serve as showrunner and executive produce the series alongside Michelle Listenbee Brown and Oprah Winfrey.
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Here’s the official description from OWN: “The Kings of Napa is focused on a gorgeous and picturesque Napa Valley, California vineyard owned by the Kings, an aspirational African American family whose wealth and status lands them on the pages of design magazines and society pages. The wine business has brought the family success and acclaim, but following the patriarch’s sudden exit from the company, his three children must grapple for the reigns to the kingdom — to their own power, wealth, and legacy.”
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry (Hair Love) will direct the first two episodes, with the series scheduled to premiere in 2022.
Below are details on the newly announced cast members.
Ashlee Brian (“The Forty-Year-Old Version,” “Family Reunion”) plays the role of Christian King, August King’s (Ebonee Noel) younger brother with swag who manages the winery’s bottling facility but knows little about growing grapes. His real passion is trying to get his bourbon business off the ground, but when the family suddenly needs his help with the vineyard, Christian is thrown into the deep end and may not be able to survive.
Devika Parikh (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Aquaman”) plays the role of August’s aunt, Melanie Pierce. She is a perennial fibber with a penchant for exaggeration who is usually off to some remote locale to help save the world as a nurse for Doctors Without Borders. Now back in the States, she returns with a firestorm that threatens to change the King family forever.
Curtis Hamilton (“Charming the Hearts of Men”) plays the role of Kelvin Johnson, August’s boyfriend from high school who now works as a lawyer representing Melanie Pierce. When Kelvin and August reconnect over business, it’s clear that their chemistry is undeniably electrifying, even if he is married.
Heather Simms (“Blue Bloods,” “Luke Cage”) plays the role of Yvette King, Reginald’s self-possessed, flamboyant, imposing sister who owns a wig business. Knowing her to be a savvy businesswoman, Yvette’s brother names her VP of sales at the winery.
Samantha Walkes (upcoming “Orphan: First Kill”) plays the role of Rose King. British, regal, and strikingly stylish, Rose is Dana King’s supportive wife.
Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire,” “Your Honor,” “Da 5 Bloods”) plays the role of Reginald King, the husband of Vanessa King (Karen LeBlanc). Though Vanessa and Reginald seem to have had the picture-perfect marriage, she is stunned to discover things about his past that now leave her hurt, angry and betrayed.