UNDERGROUND / WGN American Releases First Look of John Legend as Frederick Douglass

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LOS ANGELES, March 3, 2017 –WGN America has released a first look image of Grammy, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning artist John Legend as renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass in the hit series “Underground.” Legend, who is an executive producer alongside the series creators, Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, guest stars in the highly anticipated second season returning Wednesday, March 8, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT. Continuing with the series’ bold, contemporary soundtrack that keeps up with the urgency of the storytelling, the season two premiere also features a new, original song from Legend entitled, “In America” as well as Beyoncé’s Grammy-nominated smash single “Freedom.”

Season two of the 10-episode, hour-long series follows an unremitting struggle for freedom within a divided America on the brink of civil war, each side vying to enact their own justice.  In the premiere, a desperate Rosalee (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), anxiously awaits Noah’s (Aldis Hodge) release from prison, and joins forces with Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds) to fend off slave catchers and secure the safe passage of runaways.  As John (Marc Blucas) battles for Noah’s freedom in the courtroom, Elizabeth’s (Jessica de Gouw) take a more subversive path to abolitionism, entering into a secret society known as “the sewing circle.” Meanwhile, Ernestine (Amirah Vann) struggles with personal demons and seductive vices at a new plantation.  The fight for freedom continues, even as tragedy strikes.  In celebration of the season two launch, fans are invited to “tweet up” with the cast and creative team as they live tweet the premiere episode, @UndergroundWGN.  Fans can also catch up with “Underground” in advance of premiere with a day-long, full season one marathon of airing Wednesday March 8, 2017, beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Leading up to the premiere, WGN America hosted a star-studded world premiere event on Tuesday, February 28 at the Westwood Village Theater in Los Angeles attended by: John LegendChrissy TeigenAngela BassettCedric the EntertainerCuba Gooding Jr., Jussie Smollett, Bruno Gunn, Affion Crocket, Chandler Kinney, Christina Ochoa, Cynthia Erivo, Janina Gayankar, Michael Jai White, Lane Miller, Laz Alonso, Tommy Davidson, Trevor Jackson, Cullen Moss, and more. The season two premiere was also honored with a screening and panel discussion at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on Wednesday, February 22.

The celebrated “Underground” cast includes: Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Rosalee (“Friday Night Lights,” The Great Debaters), Aldis Hodge as Noah (Straight Outta ComptonHidden Figures), Jessica de Gouw as Elizabeth Hawkes (“Arrow,” “Dracula”), Alano Miller as Cato (Loving, “Atlanta”), Christopher Meloni as August Pullman (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Amirah Vann as Ernestine (“Girls,” And So It Goes) and Marc Blucas as John Hawkes (“Blue Bloods”).  Season two newcomers include Aisha Hinds (“Under the Dome,” Star Trek Into Darkness) in the pioneering role of Harriet Tubman, as well as Jasika Nicole as Georgia (“Fringe,” “Scandal”), DeWanda Wise as Clara (“Shots Fired”), Bokeem Woodbine as Daniel(“Fargo”), Michael Trotter as Biographer (“Rosewood”), Jesse Luken as Smoke (“Justified,” 42Sadie Stratton as Patty Cannon (“Code Black,” “Boy Meets World”) and Robert Christopher Riley as Hicks (“Hit the Floor”).

The award-winning “Underground” was recently honored with a number of recognitions including four NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Amirah Vann) and Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series (Anthony Hemingway).   Additionally, the African American Film Critics Association named “Underground” as Best TV Show (Cable/New Media) and the second highest show overall for 2016, and honored Director Anthony Hemmingway with their 2017 Horizon Award.  The series also won several awards at the inaugural Cynopsis TV Awards including Best New Drama Series, Best Series Writing (Drama) and Best Showrunner.

The critically acclaimed series was nominated today for a 43rd Annual Saturn Award for Best Action/Thriller Television Series.

Hailing from Sony Pictures Television, “Underground” is created and written by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Heroes”) and Joe Pokaski (“Heroes,” “Daredevil”), who serve as Executive Producers alongside Emmy-winning director Anthony Hemingway (“The People v. O.J. Simpson,” “Treme”); Academy Award-winning writer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) of Weed Road Pictures; Tory Tunnell (King Arthur, Holy Rollers) and Joby Harold(King Arthur, Edge of Tomorrow) of Safehouse Pictures; John LegendMike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co (La La Land, Southside with You); and Mark Taylor (“MadTV”).

For official “Underground” products and merchandise, go to http://www.wgnamerica.com/series/underground/shop/.

About the author / 

Toure Muhammad

Author Toure Muhammad is the head bean, publisher and chief strategist of Bean Soup Times. The Morehouse graduate has written front page cover stories for The Final Call and N’digo. He has been featured in the Chicago Reader, Upscale magazine, rolling out newspaper, and N’Digo magapaper. He’s been featured on Tavis Smiley’s radio show on NPR, on Chicago’s WBEZ (Chicago public radio), and many other radio shows.

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