“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.
The Dog Pound is safe to keep on barking. According to Shadow and Act, The Arsenio Hall Show has been renewed for a second season. Tribune Broadcasting, a partner in production of the syndicated, late-night talk show, will continue to be the anchor station group, airing the show on 17 stations, including in the three largest markets on WPIX, New York, at 11 p.m.; KTLA, Los Angeles, at 11 p.m.; and WGN, Chicago, at 10 p.m.
“Since 9/9/13, I’ve been waking up without an alarm clock,” said Arsenio Hall. “Producing and hosting my late-night talk show brings me great joy. I’m back where I belong! Thanks to my partners at CBS Television Distribution and Tribune.”
“Arsenio is an incredibly talented host who has connected with his viewers; we look forward to watching the show grow and develop in year two,” said Sean Compton, President Strategic Programming and Acquisitions, Tribune Company.
The Arsenio Hall Show is produced by CBS Television Distribution, in association with Arsenio Hall Communications Ltd. and Octagon Entertainment Productions.