11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Underground' Renewed for Second Season at WGN America
WGN America is going back underground.
The cable network has renewed its underground railroad drama Underground for a second season.
The pickup comes as little surprise as Underground — co-produced by Tribune Studios and Sony Pictures Television — ranks as WGNA's most-watched original scripted series ever. Season two will consist of 10 episodes and begin production in the summer for a 2017 premiere.
Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, Underground has averaged 3 million total viewers when factoring in seven days of DVR returns, up 131 percent among adults 25-54. It also ranks as the sixth-highest-rated scripted series premiere of any cable drama this season. The drama also has helped improve WGNA's primetime average by 508 percent among total viewers, 864 percent among adults 25-54 and 1,005 percent among adults 18-49 — all with seven days of delayed viewing.
Executive produced by Green, Pokaski, John Legend, Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Anthony Hemingway, Underground follows a group of American heroes who attempt a daring flight to freedom in the greatest escape in history. Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, Adina Porter and Mykelti Williamson star.
"When we came together to create Underground, we had one mandate, and that was to be bold," Green and Pokaski said Monday in a joint statement announcing the news. "To our extraordinary cast and crew who gave blood, sweat and tears to breathe life into this story, thank you for being bold with us. To our supportive partners at WGN America, Sony Pictures Television, Weed Road, Safehouse and Get Lifted, thank you for being bold with us. And to all the Underground fans who tune in every week, tweet and spread the word, thank you for being bold with us."
For WGNA, Underground joins a scripted roster that also includes Salem and Outsiders as well as the upcoming Titans and Ten Commandments miniseries. The cabler, which recently axed its second scripted outing, Manhattan, also is developing pilots Scalped and Roadside Picnic.