WGN America just released a chilling first-look teaser for Underground, the upcoming original scripted series scheduled to debut early next year. The dramatakes 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.
“Empire” star Jussie Smollett will moonlight in a guest starring role on WGN’s “Underground,” joining his famous sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell, the network announced Wednesday.
As previously reported, “Underground” follows a group of enslaved people in Georgia planning a 600-mile escape to freedom. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad as they attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.
Smollett will play Josey, a runaway who doesn’t trust anyone, not even those stationed along the way who would try to help him.
This marks the first on-screen reunion for Smollett and his sister in since both starred alongside their other siblings in the 1994 ABC sitcom “On Our Own.”
Smollett joins a cast that includes Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU), Reed Diamond (Agents of SHIELD), Aldis Hodge (Rectify), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) and Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Creators Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy) and Joe Pokaski (Heroes) will executive produce the Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios entry with Weed Road Pictures’ Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold of Safehouse Pictures.
Production began in the spring for a 2016 premiere.
TNT has written a prescription for a third season of the powerful medical drama HAWTHORNE, starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith (Collateral, The Matrix trilogy). TNT has ordered 10 new episodes of the hit series, which is slated to return in 2011. Created by Emmy® winner John Masius (St. Elsewhere, Providence, Dead Like Me), HAWTHORNE premiered in summer 2009 and ranked as one of ad-supported cable’s Top 5 new series of the year. In its second season in summer 2010, the series continued its success, averaging 3.7 million viewers and ranking as ad-supported cable’s #1 Tuesday program among women 25-54.
“With its memorable characters, powerful performances and moving storylines, HAWTHORNE takes us on a dramatic journey through the world of a hospital on the brink of collapse,” said Michael Wright, executive vice president and head of programming for TNT, TBS and Turner Classic Movies (TCM). “This series has performed extremely well among our key demos and proven itself to be a great summer series. We are very excited to continue working with Jada and HAWTHORNE’s outstanding production team and cast.”
HAWTHORNE stars Pinkett Smith as Christina Hawthorne, an impassioned Chief Nursing Officer struggling to whip a failing hospital – and her personal life – into shape. Michael Vartan (Alias) co-stars as Dr. Tom Wakefield, who has a complicated personal relationship with Christina. The series also stars Suleka Mathew (Men in Trees), David Julian Hirsh (Lovebites), Christina Moore (90210), Vanessa Lengies (American Dreams) and Hannah Hodson (The Ron Clark Story).
HAWTHORNE comes to TNT from Sony Pictures Television in association with Overbrook Productions and Jamie Tarses’ FanFare Productions. The second season of HAWTHORNE was executive-produced by Pinkett Smith; Glen Mazzara (The Shield, Crash, Life); Jamie Tarses (My Boys, TNT’s upcoming series Franklin & Bash); Masius; and Miguel Melendez.