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This Is Why BET Passed On ‘Underground’

WGN America canceled Underground much to the horror of fans of the antebellum set series. With WGN America going in a new direction and dropping their scripted series, Underground was left out to dry. Still, there was some hope for salvation when many fans thought that either BET or OWN would pick up the extremely important historical show. Unfortunately, both networks have passed, and now we know why BET did not make it happen.

Recently at a conference at the Paley Center, Debra Lee, Chairman & CEO of BET Networks and mega producer Will Packer spoke about what’s happening next on the network and why on earth Underground could not find a home there. When asked about the series by a member of the audience, Lee said,

“I was… I am very interested… we had conversations before it was announced that WGN was canceling it… We couldn’t work out a deal… So I don’t know if they already had a deal, and were using us as a stalking horse or what… but it’s a wonderful program, and I was very interested in it. So I think it’s going to show up somewhere, I just don’t know where yet.”

Though executive producer John Legend has vowed to find a new network for the series (with many fans crossing their fingers for either Hulu or Netflix), as we head into the summer, things aren’t looking too good. Underground is extremely expensive to produce, and at this point, production dates, scripts, and contracts should have been confirmed and signed. Check out the fill conversation between Lee and Packer below.

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