WGN America announced yesterday that they had canceled the critically acclaimed series Underground after only two seasons, and many fans were left reeling by the news. The antebellum set series focused on the Macon 7, a group of enslaved people from Georgia who used the Underground Railroad to make their way North.
This past season, Underground began weaving in real-life characters like Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman as we watched the characters contend with the effects of The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 and the impending Civil War. So why on earth was it canceled?
According to a press statement by the President and CEO Of Tribue Media Company Peter Kern,
“As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape. This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air. Despite ‘Underground’ being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season. We are tremendously proud of this landmark series that captured the zeitgeist and made an impact on television in a way never before seen on the medium.”
This is obviously not the news that many fans wanted to hear but the series Executive Producer John Legend has vowed to find a new home for Underground. He tweeted “WGN America has been bought and is going a different direction strategically. We will find a new home for #Underground! Content wins. We’re not reliant on a particular network to make great content. We’re so proud of our show and the audience that supported!Feel free to drop some hints to the networks/streaming services you want to pick up #Underground. Show them who will be watching!.”
— John Legend (@johnlegend) May 30, 2017
It seems that so far OWN and BET have passed on the series since it’s fairly expensive to produce which means that one of the streaming platforms like Amazon, Hulu or Netflix might be a better fit.
Currently, #UndergroundNetflix is all over social media. Keep spreading the word! Hopefully, this isn’t the end of Underground.