WGN’s critically-acclaimed historical drama series, Underground, will return to television. According to Shadow and Act, OWN announced they will begin airing the series on January 5. The network, owned by mogul Oprah Winfrey (Greenleaf, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks), purchased the show’s rights from Sony Pictures Television. The show originally debuted in 2016 and ran for two seasons.
Created by Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy, Underground) and Joe Pokaski (Daredevil, Cloak & Dagger), Underground followed a set of enslaved Blacks from Macon, Georgia who hatch a plan to escape for freedom in the North. When the plan goes awry, they find themselves fugitives on the run and become known as the Macon 7. The series starred Aldis Hodge (One Night in Miami, The Invisible Man), Journee Smollett (Eve’s Bayou, Lovecraft Country), Christopher Meloni (Law and Order: SVU, Happy), Alano Miller (Sylvie’s Love, Cherish the Day), Amirah Vann (How to Get Away With Murder, Miss Virginia) and Jessica De Gouw (Dracula, Arrow).
In addition to the series, OWN plans to incorporate new footage and a brand new special, according to Shadow and Act. Episodes will have new introductions and commentary from cast members, and viewers will be welcome to an array of unreleased behind-the-scenes footage. The premiere episode will be extended to 90 minutes, followed by a TV special entitled “Revisiting Underground.” The special’s description is below:
Grounded in this moment of cultural shift, “Revisiting Underground” reminds us of the importance of taking history off of the shelves and bringing it into our daily lives. Executive Producers John Legend, Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, along with the cast and crew, share personal stories, reflect on their time working on the show, and discuss the power of activism and the relevance of the show today. We’ll look at the research everyone did to prepare for their roles, hear their personal stories of challenges and triumphs from their time working on these intense stories, and explore the music of the show. Finally, we’ll share how the cast honors the heroes of the Underground with the activism in their daily lives. – via Shawdow and Act
According to Shadow and Act, the series received multiple award nominations including four from the NAACP Image Awards. It was also nominated for Outstanding New Program by the Television Critics Association and named Best TV Show of 2016 by the African American Film Critics Association.