OWN ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL CAST MEMBERS FOR NEW DRAMA "THE KINGS OF NAPA," FROM WARNER BROS TELEVISION AND ACCLAIMED CREATOR/SHOWRUNNER JANINE SHERMAN BARROIS
Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh Join in Series Regular Roles,
with Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, Samantha Walkes, and Isiah Whitlock Jr.
Set to Recur
Los Angeles - OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced two new series regular cast members and four recurring guest stars for the new drama "The Kings of Napa," from acclaimed showrunner, writer, and producer Janine Sherman Barrois ("Claws," "Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker") and Warner Bros. Television. Ashlee Brian and Devika Parikh join in series regular roles, with Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, Samantha Walkes, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. set for recurring roles. Academy Award(R) winner Matthew A. Cherry ("Hair Love") will direct the first two episodes of the series, and Janine Sherman Barrois, Michelle Listenbee Brown ("Love Is__," "Real Husbands of Hollywood") and Oprah Winfrey serve as executive producers.
"The Kings of Napa" is focused on a gorgeous and picturesque Napa Valley, California, a 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 reins to the kingdom - to their own power, wealth, and legacy. The new series is expected to debut in 2022.
The new series regulars are:
· 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.
The new recurring guest stars are:
· 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.
· Ashlee Brian can be seen in the Sundance feature "The Forty-Year-Old Version." He can also be seen in Netflix's "Family Reunion," "All the Queen's Men," and the upcoming Amazon series "Harlem." Ashlee's prior feature credits include "Amateur" for Netflix, "Grandma's House," and "The Demented." His television credits include appearances on "S.W.A.T.," "Grey's Anatomy," "Medal of Honor," "Four Stars," "Glee," and "Taxi Brooklyn."
· Devika Parikh began her career in Los Angeles theater productions and comedic roles on "In Living Color," "Martin," and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." She also performed in sketch and improv groups at The Comedy Store, The Upfront Comedy Theater, and Underground Improv. Her first big recurring role came on Showtime's series "Resurrection Blvd.," followed by "24" and "The West Wing." Her voiceover work includes "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," "Madagascar," and "Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse." Most recently, she can be seen in "Newscaster Morgan," "Aquaman," and "Grey's Anatomy."
· Curtis Hamilton made his acting debut in the Sony/Lifetime movie "Surviving Compton." He was also the lead of the TV One feature "In Broad Daylight." He made his big screen debut in the film "Charming the Hearts of Men," opposite Kelsey Grammer, Sean Astin, and Anna Friel.
· Heather Simms was most recently seen in the Pulitzer Prize-winning production of "Fairview." She also appeared on Broadway in "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," "A Raisin in the Sun," and "Gem of the Ocean." Her television credits include a recurring arc on "Luke Cage," "Blue Bloods," "High Maintenance," "The Last O.G.," "Broad City," "Seven Seconds," "Roxanne," and "Law & Order." Her film credits include "Vampires vs. The Bronx," "Red Hook Summer," "The Nanny Diaries," "Broken Flowers," and "Head of State," among others.
· Samantha Walkes is a theatre, TV, and film artist from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She will next be seen in the upcoming feature "Orphan: First Kill," a prequel to 2009 horror film "Orphan." Prior to the pandemic-related closure of Broadway theatres in March 2020, she had joined the ensemble cast of the long-running hit musical comedy "The Book of Mormon."
· Isiah Whitlock, Jr. is a veteran theater, film, and television actor. Whitlock recently starred in the Showtime limited series "Your Honor," opposite Bryan Cranston, as well as in Spike Lee's "Da 5 Bloods" on Netflix. Other notable film credits include "BlacKkKlansman," "Pete's Dragon," "Cedar Rapids" and the voice of River Scott in Disney's "Cars 3." Additionally, he can be seen in "CHiPs," and "Person to Person." On television, he starred in "The Wire" and can be seen in Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It," "Veep," and "Lucky 7."
Ebonee Noel, Rance Nix, Karen LeBlanc, and Yaani King Mondschein were previously announced as series regulars. The series is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Harpo Films.
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About Warner Bros. Television
One of the entertainment industry's most-respected providers of original primetime programming since its founding in 1955, Warner Bros. Television produces original scripted drama and comedy series for multiple platforms. As of July 2021, Warner Bros. Television is producing more than 60 scripted series for on-demand/streaming services, premium/pay and basic cable channels, and the five broadcast networks.