WGN America might be saying goodbye to its antebellum-era series Underground, and we can’t understand why.
Set in 1858 and following escaped slaves, slave catchers, and abolitionists during one of the most tumultuous times in our history, WGN America’s riveting Underground has been an audience favorite since its premiere. Following real events and historical figures including Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and effects of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850, Underground has helped highlight the horrors of slavery while showing the depth and humanity of the enslaved. So why hasn’t it been renewed for a third season?
WGN America seems to be restructuring some things. Recently in a move no one saw coming, they canceled their most watched series Outsiders saying they wanted to wanted to “free up the resources” to reach a set goal of “a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures.” Many people thought that statement just meant WGN America was leaning toward more diverse programming. However, with one episode left this season, which is set to air Wednesday, May 10th, Underground still has no renewal.
EVP Communications Rita Cooper Lee, WGN America and Tribune Studios, said in a press statement “We are pleased with the performance and broad critical success of Underground, and are deliberating a series renewal.” Um…. we’re still not understanding why this isn’t a no-brainer for the network.
This morning it was announced that Sinclair Broadcast (a SUPER CONSERVATIVE company) has agreed to buy Tribune Media. Obviously, Underground would not be a fit at their network.
According to Shadow and Act, under Sinclair, “WGN would shift its strategy from what he labeled “high-cost originals” in favor of “more cost effective originals and reruns.”
All of this doesn’t sound good for WGN”s last remaining scripted series Underground, but all may not be lost. We do live in an era of Netflix, Hulu and various other cable networks who have been known to snatch up previously canceled shows. Even if Underground doesn’t remain at WGN, it doesn’t mean it’s dead and buried.
We’re all crossing our fingers for this one.