11:47am PT by Kate Stanhope
'Empire' Star Jussie Smollett Heads 'Underground'
Empire's Jussie Smollett is going back in time for a family reunion.
The actor will guest-star on WGN's upcoming period drama Underground opposite his sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell, the network announced Wednesday.
Underground follows a group of slaves planning a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad as they attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.
Smollett will play Josey, a wild-eyed runaway who doesn't trust anyone, not even those stationed along the way who would try to help him. This marks the first onscreen reunion for Smollett and his sister in more than two decades. They starred alongside their siblings in the 1994 ABC sitcom On Our Own.
Smollett joins a cast that includes Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU), Reed Diamond (Agents of SHIELD), Aldis Hodge (Rectify), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) and Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Creators Misha Green (Sons of Anarchy) and Joe Pokaski (Heroes) will exec produce the Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios entry with Weed Road Pictures' Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold of Safehouse Pictures.
Smollett, whose other credits include The Mindy Project and Revenge, is repped by Vincent Cirrincione Associates. Underground is slated to premiere in 2016 on WGN America.