Tag: Aldis Hodge

“Underground” Renewed for Second Season on WGN America

Underground WGN TV Review
“Underground” starring Aldis Hodge and Jurnee Smollett-Bell  (COURTESY OF WGN)

article by Rick Kissell via Variety.com

“Underground,” the critically acclaimed first-year drama about the Underground Railroad and the most-watched original scripted series ever for WGN America, has been renewed for a second season.

The network announced Monday that “Underground” will return for a 10-episode second season in 2017. Production will get under way this summer for the series, which hails from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.

Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” averages 3 million total viewers on Wednesday nights this season, according to Nielsen’s “live plus-7” estimates. It grows on average from its same-day numbers by roughly 130%, and is the No. 6-rated scripted series premiere for any cable drama this season. Last week, it was Wednesday’s No. 1 original scripted cable series across all key demos in “live plus-3” ratings.

Compared with the WGN American primetime average this season, “Underground” is delivering roughly six times as many total viewers and about 11 times as many adults 18-49, according to L+7 Nielsen estimates.

“Underground” follows a courageous group of American heroes who attempt a daring flight to freedom in one of the greatest escapes in history. It is executive-produced by Misha Green, Joe Pokaski, John Legens, Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Anthony Hemingway.

The cast includes Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, Adina Porter, Mykelti Williamson, Amirah Vann, Johnny Ray Gill, Chris Chalk, Reed Diamond, Theodus Crane, James Lafferty, Renwick Scott and Jussie Smollett.

Continue reading ““Underground” Renewed for Second Season on WGN America”

Pharrell Williams Joins Fox 2000’s “Hidden Figures” Starring Taraji P. Henson as Producer, Will Write Music

Pharrell Williams (photo via deadline.com)
Pharrell Williams (photo via deadline.com)

article by Dave McNary via Variety.com*

Pharrell Williams will produce Taraji P. Henson’s mathematics drama “Hidden Figures” and write original songs for the soundtrack.

Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and Ted Melfi are also producing, and Melfi is directing. Williams will oversee all musical elements for the motion picture and its soundtrack.

Henson stars along with Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monáe as a trio of brilliant African-American women working at NASA, who served as the brains behind the 1962 launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit — a key milestone in the space race against the Soviet Union to land a man on the moon before the end of the decade.

“After my producing partner Mimi Valdés and I heard about this project, we basically begged the producers and studio to allow us to participate,” Williams said. “This is an extraordinary story about black women with genius mathematical minds who contributed to American history. It takes place in Virginia, my home state, and at NASA, a place I’ve been obsessed with since childhood.”

Fox will release “Hidden Figures” on Jan. 13. Also starring are Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali, Aldis Hodge and Kevin Costner. The screenplay is by Alison Schroeder, Melfi and Lori Lakin Hutcherson.

Williams has won 10 Grammy Awards. He’s also known for his musical contributions to the “Despicable Me” films as well as his judging stint on NBC’s “The Voice.”

*(GBN disclosure from Editor-in-Chief Lori Lakin Hutcherson:  the above is an article in which I am mentioned, as I am primarily a writer in television and film, and was fortunate enough to work on “Hidden Figures.” It may be a conflict of interest to have published this, but so be it – it’s an awesome film and Good Black News regardless!)

John Legend’s Scripted Drama “Underground” Releases First-Look Trailer (VIDEO)

WGN America just released a chilling first-look teaser for Underground, the upcoming original scripted series scheduled to debut early next year.  The drama takes center stage as plantation slaves band together in the fight of their lives for their families, their future … and most importantly, their freedom.

Hailing from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, Underground  was filmed in Baton Rouge, LA. John Legend and his production company are in charge of the score and soundtrack for Underground.

Legend most recently won an Oscar alongside rapper Common for Best Original Song “Glory” from Selma.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Jussie Smollett, Christopher Meloni, Aldis Hodge, Adina Porter, Alano Miller, and Mykelti Williamson round out the cast for the series.

UG_posters2_grid (002) - with logos

article via thegrio.com