Actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. will star in a new television pilot for ABC inspired by a pair of real-life pastors, and it counts Kerry Washington as one of its executive producers.
The potential TV series, which is currently untitled, will follow the lives of husband-and-wife pastors Leslie (Odom Jr.) and Hope, who lead the congregation at a “young, hip, [and] diverse church in Los Angeles,” reported Variety.
While they may be “experts at uniting people across different races, genders, orientations, and opinions,” the couple are “way out of their comfort zone” when dealing with the people that make up their blended family and, “as a result, the teachers often find themselves the pupils.”
“I am excited that we have gathered together to tell a story that is inspiring, relatable, provocative, and hilarious,” said Washington, who is currently starring in Broadway’s American Son.
The series is based on some of the real-life experiences that modern pastors Touré Roberts and Sarah Jakes Roberts, who are considered a power couple in the inspirational and faith community, have gone through. The married duo is known for being able to reach millennials, professionals, and members of the entertainment community with their unique and relatable sermons at the Potter’s House at One LA. Additionally, they have become go-to media personalities, both contributing to various TV shows, publications, and online platforms. They raise a blended family together featuring six children. Sarah is the daughter of Bishop T.D. Jakes and Mrs. Serita Jakes.
The Roberts will be executive producing the show along with Washington, Odom Jr., Pilar Savone (Django Unchained), and Saladin Patterson (The Big Bang Theory), who will also write the pilot’s script.
“[Kerry Washington and I have] been searching for the better part of two years to find an idea about which we both felt passionate enough to dedicate ourselves,” explained Odom Jr.
“I’ve gone to Touré’s church for over 15 years. He is a unique, contemporary, and very necessary voice. We are thrilled that ABC is allowing us the opportunity to bring Touré and Sarah’s modern views to an even wider audience in what will be a joyful and hopeful 30 minutes every week.”
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We’ve been praying for creative ways to translate the power of God to transform, restore, and love everyone into the vision He had in mind when creating them. What better way to share that truth than through our own experiences. We’re very excited to be co-executive producers and the inspiration behind the journey of modern pastoring and blending a family as told through the lens of Leslie and Hope. _ It’s been so great working with @leslieodomjr @kerrywashington and @saladinpatterson on this project so far. Let’s change the world people. _ #womanevolve #toureroberts #sarahjakesroberts
Odom Jr. is a Broadway veteran most known for playing Aaron Burr in the original production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, which earned him a Tony Award in 2016. The 37-year-old appeared on the silver screen in 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express and has had roles on television programs such as Smash, CSI: Miami, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. He has also released two albums, the 2014 jazz record Leslie Odom Jr. and the 2016 holiday opus Simply Christmas.