Posted Sunday, April 8, 2018 by RODNEY HOemail@example.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog
“Saints and Sinners” is a quintessential Atlanta show in more ways than one.
The production company Swirl Films is based here. The network Bounce TV is based here. The drama is set in and around a small-town black church in Georgia. Several of the actors are from here such as Demetria McKinney. A few have moved here since the show began two years ago including Clifton Powell, playing the patriarch Rex with delicious villainy.
“We come over to the network to screen episodes,” said Eric Tomosunas, a producer at Swirl Films, which is a mere 15-minute drive to Bounce’s Buckhead offices. “This is homegrown. Before this show, where else could we do that? It’s been a significant achievement.”
Several of the smaller roles too have gone to well-known Atlanta acting talent often better known in reality TV and R&B music such as Karlie Redd, Keke Wyatt, Kelly Price, Kenya Moore and Kandi Burruss. “A lot of people live here,” said producer Keith Neal. “We can piggyback on that situation.”
The show’s success as it enters season three Sunday at 9 p.m. is on a network that didn’t exist a few years ago but has become a popular go-to spot for black viewers who don’t want to pay for cable. It’s on one of many secondary digital channels attached to major ones. (In Atlanta, Bounce is on WSB-TV’s HD2 channel.)
With a $30 digital antenna, folks can get 30 to 40 broadcast channels with no subscription whatsoever and that includes Bounce, which produces more original programming than any other channel of its ilk. “Saints & Sinners” regularly draws more than 1 million overnight viewers and reached nearly 8 million unique individuals over the course of season two.
“Often as an actor, you don’t know the company behind a show,” said Atlanta actress Jasmine Burke, who plays Dr. Christie Johnson, the Greater Hope Baptist Church’s First Daughter. “There’s a team behind you with Bounce. You can touch them. They are on set. They reach out to us. They are incredible. We’re a family and a real team.”
You can catch up with season 2 starting at 1 p.m. Sunday in a marathon. A select group of Atlanta media screened the first episode earlier this week at Bounce TV. There is murder. There is deceit. There is pure craziness.
Jabari and Levi are in a battle for ownership of the church from Lady Ella and Rex. Kendrick is still trapped in a coffin after being buried alive by his murderous grandmother – or is he? And why does Tamara think Christie stole her baby?
“Saints & Sinners,” season 3 debut Sunday at 9 p.m., Bounce TV