WGN AMERICA AND THE BLACKHOUSE FOUNDATION RETEAM AT THE 2017 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL IN CELEBRATION OF "UNDERGROUND" SEASON TWO
Executive Producer John Legend, Stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge Join Series Creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski for a "Clips and Conversation" Panel Discussion of the Critically Acclaimed Program Saturday, January 21 in Park City, UT
Highly Anticipated Second Season of the Underground Railroad Thriller Premieres
Wednesday, March 8 at 10:00 PM ET/PT on WGN America
Los Angeles, January 6, 2017 -- WGN America and The Blackhouse Foundation, an Institute Associate of the Sundance Film Festival, will collaborate once again at the 2017 festival to celebrate the upcoming second season of "Underground," WGN America's hit original Underground Railroad drama produced by Sony Pictures Television. The events will include a "Clips and Conversation" panel with the series' cast and creators on Saturday, January 21 from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Blackhouse's Sundance headquarters located at the Buona Vita Restaurant, 804 Main Street, Park City. Executive producer and Academy Award(R) winner John Legend, along with series' stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Rosalee") and Aldis Hodge ("Noah") join series' creators and executive producers Misha Green ("Sons of Anarchy," "Heroes") and Joe Pokaski ("Heroes," "Daredevil") and executive producer, director and Emmy Award winner Anthony Hemingway ("The People v. O.J. Simpson," "Treme") for a creative discussion on the production and themes of the highly anticipated second season including Legend's guest-starring role as Frederick Douglass. Season two of "Underground" premieres Wednesday March 8, 2017 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on WGN America. Following the panel, WGN America and John Legend will host a celebration of "Underground," at Park City's prestigious Riverhorse on Main.
"We're thrilled to partner with The Blackhouse Foundation at Sundance again this year in celebration of the second season of 'Underground,' said Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios. "The festival provides the perfect platform to recognize the creative spirit of visionary artists and The Blackhouse Foundation headquarters offers a dynamic audience to engage for 'Underground' to share its timeless story."
The Blackhouse Foundation's Co-Founder and Board Chair Brickson Diamond added: "Blackhouse is excited to be partnering at Sundance for a second year with WGN America and the creative team behind "Underground." We look forward to our Sundance attendees having an opportunity to hear the "Underground" team discuss the show's success, and listen as they recount the experience of producing what promises to be an amazing second season of the series."
In its premiere season, the critically lauded "Underground" scored 3 million total live viewers and ignited Twitter as the #1 most social cable drama on Wednesday nights.
The series was recently honored with four NAACP Image Awards nominations including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Amirah Vann) and Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series (Anthony Hemingway).
Season two of the 10-episode, hour-long series follows an unremitting struggle for freedom within a divided America on the brink of civil war, each side vying to enact their own justice. Set in the aftermath of the Macon 7's daring attempt to stage the greatest escape in history, this group of American heroes continues on their harrowing journey to freedom, with legendary abolitionist Harriet Tubman (played by Aisha Hinds) blazing the trail.
"Underground" was the first public program presented at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. The series was also honored with Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News' Diversity in Television & Video Award, for the cast and creative team's contributions to the celebration of diversity and inclusion on television. "Underground" was nominated for a TCA Award for Outstanding New Program by the Television Critics Association and won three CableFax Awards, including Best New Program, Best Historical Show/Series and Best Showrunners, Misha Green and Joe Pokaski.
The celebrated "Underground" cast includes: Jurnee Smollett-Bell ("Friday Night Lights," The Great Debaters), Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton, Hidden Figures), Jessica de Gouw ("Arrow," "Dracula"), Alano Miller (Loving, "Atlanta"), Christopher Meloni ("Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," Sin City: A Dame to Kill For), Amirah Vann ("Girls," And So It Goes) and Marc Blucas ("Blue Bloods").
History truly comes to life this season with guest stars Aisha Hinds ("Under the Dome," Star Trek Into Darkness) in the pioneering role of Harriet Tubman and Academy Award(R) and Golden Globe(R) winner and ten-time Grammy Award(R) winning singer-songwriter John Legend as renowned abolitionist Frederick Douglass. Additional guest stars include Jasika Nicole ("Fringe," "Scandal"), DeWanda Wise ("Shots Fired"), Michael Trotter ("Rosewood"), Jesse Luken ("Justified," 42) and Sadie Stratton ("Code Black," "Boy Meets World").
From Sony Pictures Television, "Underground" is created and written by Misha Green ("Sons of Anarchy," "Heroes") and Joe Pokaski ("Heroes," "Daredevil"), who serve as Executive Producers alongside Emmy-winning director Anthony Hemingway ("The People v. O.J. Simpson," "Treme"); Academy Award-winning writer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind, I Am Legend) of Weed Road Pictures; Tory Tunnell (King Arthur, Holy Rollers) and Joby Harold (King Arthur, Edge of Tomorrow) of Safehouse Pictures; John Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co (La La Land, Southside with You); and Mark Taylor ("MadTV"). Season two of the riveting drama recently wrapped production in Savannah, Georgia.
WGN America and Tribune Studios
WGN America, the flagship entertainment network of Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is nationally distributed in nearly 80 million homes via cable, satellite and telco, with high-quality entertainment programming including the breakout hit series "Outsiders," "Underground" and "Salem." The network also brings its audience a strong slate of popular first-run syndicated series and blockbuster movies. Through Tribune Studios, the creative development arm of Tribune Media, original content is produced for WGN America and Tribune local stations nationwide. Follow the network on Twitter @wgnamerica. For additional information, please visit www.wgnamerica.com.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry's leading content providers, producing and distributing programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry's largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving US production business and operates 17 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 13 countries around the world. SPT's worldwide networks portfolio includes 150 channel feeds, which are available in 178 countries reaching more than 1.3 billion cumulative households worldwide. Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.
About The Blackhouse Foundation
Since its inception The Blackhouse(R) Foundation has worked to expand opportunities for Black filmmakers by providing a physical gathering venue for their constituents at the world's most prominent film festivals, encouraging their inclusion of black filmmakers with films selected by the festival and creating a nucleus for continuing support, community, education and knowledge.