WGA CANCELS “Underground” after only 2 seasons

Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Rosalee in WGN America’s “Underground.” (Steve Dietl/WGN/Sony Pictures Television)

Seems there were some upper management changes with the owners of the WGA and with management changes it’s typically followed up by budget cuts. The entire fanbase of Underground is in a complete out roar! But fans have not given up hope that another Network will come along and scoop this show up. Everyone is counting on Oprah and the OWN Network to save the day.

According to the Washington Post :

Despite solid ratings and ample social media buzz around the show, which was produced by singer John Legend, the cancellation isn’t a complete surprise. Earlier this month, Sinclair Broadcast Group agreed to buy WGNA’s parent company, Tribune Media, in a $3.9 billion deal. As reported by Variety and others, the move means big changes for the network’s original programming. Chris Ripley, CEO of Sinclair, has saidthat WGNA’s ratings did not justify the cost of its programming.

“Underground’s” cancellation comes one month after WGNA the network canceled “Outsiders,” which pulled in its biggest ratings.

In a statement Tuesday, Peter Kern, president and CEO of the network’s parent company Tribune Media, confirmed that “Underground” would also be a casualty of the network’s new direction:

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

Fans reacted with anger and sadness, with some noting the recent cancellation of Netflix’s “The Get Down,” which, like “Undergound,” boasted a predominantly black cast. Critics found “Underground” far superior in its storytelling, which expanded on the typical Hollywood slavery-era narrative, putting the story firmly in the hands of the Underground Railroad’s true heroes.

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