Entertainment, John Legend, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, sinclair, Television, tribune media, TV, underground wgn, underground wgn cast -

Oprah’s OWN Network In the Running to Pick Up ‘Underground’ After Surprise Cancellation 

Entertainment, John Legend, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, sinclair, Television, tribune media, TV, underground wgn, underground wgn cast -

Oprah’s OWN Network In the Running to Pick Up ‘Underground’ After Surprise Cancellation 

The cancellation of “Underground” means questions are left unanswered. (WGN America)

John Legend is on the hunt for a new home for his ratings record-setting WGN America series “Underground” after the network was bought by a conservative-leaning company.

Tribune Media, the owner of WGN, has been bought by Sinclair, one of the country’s largest TV companies, according to a press release. WGN gave “Underground” the ax after two seasons as the network moves away from scripted programming, Tribune’s president and CEO Peter Kern announced.

“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,” Kern said in a statement obtained by Deadline. “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.

“It is our hope that this remarkable show finds another home and continues its stories of courage, determination and freedom.”

Legend, who served as executive producer on the antebellum period piece about the Underground Railroad, is leading that charge. He’s asking fans to share the networks on which they want to see the series, which debuted to 1.4 million viewers — a record for WGN.

He also issued a warning about Sinclair’s ties to Republican politics and conservative causes, which has been the basis for scrutiny against the company, CNN Money reported.

Legend said he’s “not reliant on a particular network to make great content,” but “Underground” needs one to be seen and Deadline reported it once had three candidates up for the task. BET, OWN and Hulu, which has streaming rights, have all been approached, but BET dropped out despite being close to a deal. Meanwhile, OWN is reportedly still considering the show with Hulu continuing to show interest.

The cast of “Underground” has since responded to the news.

Fans of the series expressed their feelings, too.


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