Joy Bryant, Henry Simmons land lead roles in OWN’s ‘Cherish The Day’

"Proud to announce Joy Bryant and Henry Simmons as the new leads of 'Cherish The Day' season two," award-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay announced.

Actress Joy Bryant and actor Henry Simmons are gearing up to take on lead roles in the second season of Ava DuVernay’s Cherish the Day.

The Cherish the Day series focuses on the love story between Ellis, played by Simmons, and Sunday, played by Bryant. 

With the new starring roles, Bryant and Simmons will take over the spots played by the former leads in the series, Alano Miller and Xosha Roquemore, Shadow and Act reported.

Joy Bryant Henry Simmons
(Credit: Getty Images)

According to Deadline, the series tells the story of the rekindling of the romance of the pair, “who fell in love in high school but find themselves reunited in beautiful New Orleans. Ellis is a former basketball player who is now a single father of two, and Sunday is a vegan celebrity chef on the cusp of fame.

Each episode of the season-long narrative unfolds in a single day to reveal significant moments in a relationship that compel us to hold true to the ones we love, from the extraordinary to the everyday.”

Bryant, a former model, made her acting debut in 2001 in Robert Townsend‘s Carmen: A Hip Hopera, according to IMDb. Beyoncé and Mekhi Phifer starred in the production, along with other stars. Bryant went on to play several roles throughout her career, including her widely-recognized role of Jasmine on the classic series Parenthood. She most recently starred in ABC’s For Life, per Deadline.

Simmons’ career launched in 1994 with his first acting job in the movie Above the Rim, which starred Tupac Shakur, according to IMDb. He’s best known for the starring role of Detective Baldwin Jones in NYPD Blue for six seasons.

The series is a production by Array Filmworks, founded in 2010 by DuVernay, Harpo Films and Warner Bros. Television, according to multiple reports.

“Ava is a visionary storyteller. She brings so much care, so much heart, so much love to the art she creates,” Oprah Winfrey previously said about the award-winning filmmaker.

Cherish The Day will continue to be produced for the Oprah Winfrey Network.

“OWN is home,” DuVernay previously said. “I’m honored to create television for a network headed by an artist with spectacular vision and unbridled passion for the stories that we want to tell.”

The production of the new series is set to start in July and season 2 is expected to air in 2022, according to Deadline.

As theGrio previously reported, the first season of Cherish The Day was recognized for achieving full gender parity with an over 50% female crew.

“Ava continues to break down barriers as a trailblazer,” Winfrey previously said, according to The Fulton Critic. “Achieving a production crew of over 50% women is an incredible accomplishment and we are so proud that Ava has a space at OWN to provide opportunity for new voices and faces in the entertainment industry.”

Women were hired to fill various roles such as directing, writing, casting, hair, makeup, editing, set decoration, transportation, stunts, and many other roles, according to the site.  

“Ava DuVernay has been a groundbreaking leader in the entertainment industry,” Peter Roth, Susan Rovner and Brett Paul, previously said from said Warner Bros. Television.

“By achieving gender parity on her first chapter of Cherish the Day she continues to provide invaluable opportunities for new creative talent. It’s this kind of conviction and commitment to inclusion that will have a long-lasting and positive effect on our industry and beyond.”

theGrio’s Brianna Rhodes contributed to this story.

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