Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is proving to be a frontrunner when it comes to featuring prime-time soap operas. Earlier this year, the network dropped The Kings of Napa, a TV show created and produced by Janine Sherman Barrois and executive produced by Sherman alongside Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Listenbee Brown. Prior to working on this new show, Barrois is most notably known for her work on shows like Self Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker, Claws, Criminal Minds, and ER. Here’s a summary of the soap opera, according to IMDb: “The wine business has brought the King’s 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.” The Kings of Napa features some of the most talented actors working in Hollywood today. If you want to learn more about the cast members of this show, we got you covered. Here are the actors performing in OWN’s latest soap opera, The Kings of Napa.
Ebonee Noel plays August King in the brand-new series The Kings of Napa. The Guyanese-American actress is best known for her role in the CBS series FBI, where she played Special Agent Kristen Chazal. She appeared in the show for 41 episodes, and reprised her role in FBI: Most Wanted. Prior to her FBI stint, she worked as a series regular on Still Star-Crossed and as a recurring character in the TBS series Wrecked. Noel also has some experience appearing on the big screen, having performed in movies like I Love You, Daddy, Long Nights Short Mornings, and Product of My Environment. In an interview with Pop Culturalist to promote the show, Noel revealed how she discovered her passion for acting, saying that her mother had a big role in how she decided to pursue her career: “I remember because my mom tells the story the exact same way every time. The week before my fourth birthday, she took me to see Beauty and the Beast on Broadway. I had this aha moment in the audience where I was like, “Those are adults and they’re playing pretend? This is their job?” I was like, “That’s the job that I want because they’re doing what I do at home every day.” It was pretty much from that moment that I realized I wanted to be a performer and wanted to be on stage. It was something that I was doing naturally; I just didn’t realize it was a career until that moment.”
Karen LeBlanc plays Vanessa King in The Kings of Napa. LeBlanc is a Canadian actress who’s had extensive experience working on film, TV, and theater projects. The actress has appeared in Cracked, Soul, Shattered, Frontier, and Ransom. In an interview with San Fransisco Magazine, LeBlanc talked about actors that she admired, saying: “Cicely Tyson—she’s been a trailblazer for Black women in film. Angela Bassett: When I saw her in What’s Love Got to Do With It, I was awed by her performance. Viola Davis: When I saw her in Doubt, I was left breathless. These powerful women helped give me the courage and inspiration to keep pursuing my dreams.” Here’s hoping those performers make a guest appearance or two on LeBlanc’s soap opera.
Rance Nix also stars in The Kings of Napa as Dana King. According to his IMDb page, Nix was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but built his acting career in New York City. He’s worked in various stage productions and even appears in YouTube content, including Table for 1 and That’s Fresh with Rance Nix. “Rance is an all around talent with a knack for inspiring others through his life and work. Ultimately, he desires to use his uniqueness to positively impact every person that encounters him, his journey, and his work for the glory of God.”
Yaani King Mondschein
Yaani King Mondschein plays Bridgette Pierce in The Kings of Napa. Most fans would recognize the actress from her work in the crime drama series Saving Grace. She’s also appeared in shows like Major Crimes, Mad Men, Vegas, and Against the Wall. Mondschein played recurring roles in The Haves and the Have Nots and Blood & Oil. On film, she’s appeared in Bad Hair, Cavemen, Gospel Hill. Yaani King Mondschein has also worked in the video game industry, having voiced the character Riley Abel for the highly successful video game The Last of Us: Left Behind.
Veteran actress Devika Parikh plays Melanie Octavia Pierce in The Kings of Napa. Fans of the work of Aaron Sorkin would immediately recognize her as Bonnie on the West Wing, a role she played for 41 episodes of the highly acclaimed series. Since then, she’s worked in other well-regarded TV shows like 24, Grey’s Anatomy, and General Hospital. Like Mondschein, Parikh has also lent her voice to a few video games, including Grand Theft Auto V, Fallout 76: Wild Appalachia DLC, Rage 2, and The Walking Dead: Saints and Sinners.
Ashlee Brian portrays the role of Christian King in The Kings of Napa. Prior to snagging his starring role on the series, Brian has also worked on shows like The Butcher’s Ballet, S.W.A.T, and The Forty-Year-Old Version. Brian frequently posts about the show on his personal Instagram, which has about 4,000 followers as of this writing.
The Kings of Napa also has an interesting list of recurring cast members, the most prominent of which is Isiah Whitlock Jr. The veteran actor plays Reginald King, the deceased patriarch of the King family. Of course, everyone knows Whitlock from his iconic role in The Wire, portraying the corrupt state senator Clay Davis. He has also appeared in shows like The Good Cop, Veep, Chappelle’s Show, Your Honor, and Law and Order. Samantha Walkes, Curtis Hamilton, Heather Simms, and Samora Smallwood also play recurring characters on the show. There’s no word yet on whether Oprah Winfrey herself will make an appearance on the show, just like she did on another show she executive-produced, Greenleaf.