Back to IndieWire

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge to Star in Scripted TV Series Based on the Underground Railroad

Expanding its slate of original programming, WGN America today announced casting and premiere info for its next straight-to-series order – the scripted drama “Underground,” which will follow the slaves who set foot on the fabled Underground Railroad, the secret network of men and women who risked their lives aiding them, and the mercenaries tasked with hunting them down at any cost.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni and Jessica De Gouw have all been cast in the series, which is created by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Joe Pokaski (“CSI”), who will also and exec produce with Akiva Goldsman of Weed Road Pictures and Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold of Safehouse Pictures.

Anthony Hemingway will direct the first two episodes (there will be 10 total), with production set to begin in the spring for a 2016 debut.

“WGN America has made a commitment to quality programming and we are happy that working together is a significant part of their growth strategy,” said Zack Van Amburg, president of programming and production for Sony Pictures Television. 

“High-quality original series have consistently helped establish channel brands with the audience, and WGN appreciates and takes that value proposition seriously,” added Jamie Erlicht, president of programming and production for SPT.

No details on what characters the above actors who’ve been cast will play.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,



Shame on you all! We teach school age children about the sorrow of slavery and the underground railroad. Its covered in History classes all over America, and our kids are tested on it. 2 movies covering dis-similar topics and you guys are tired of the ‘genre’? Grow up!


I don’t know what WGN is. Anyway, I would like to see the series. We haven’t had a "Roots" in a while.


This sounds like a great show. Can’t wait to see it. Always happy to support Aldis.


looking good…. I’ll be tuning in for sure

Skinny Corleone

Support and Watch All Black produced TV & Films. Keep this shit going !!! ‪#‎EMPIRE‬ ‪#‎POWER‬ ‪#‎BeingMaryJane‬ ‪#‎TheGame‬ on BE ‪#‎THEHAVESANDTHEHAVENOTS‬ #UNDERGROUND- All Black Everything !!

Dave (or Bill)

Honestly, I swear, sometimes merely reading the collective headlines on this website makes my arthritis flare up.


And who’s playing Harriett Tubman?


Finally we’re hearing more about this because I was greatly concerned it had gotten lost in the Selma snubbing sauce! YAY!!! Seriously cannot WAIT for this!!!!


I’m feeling excited about this series. I hope it’s honest and respectful.


They always want to fit us into one category. A Tyler Perry movie does well and a whole line of imitations follow. 12 Years a Slave wins an Oscar and again they look to shove blacks into a box that is already tearing at the seams. Minorities are never allowed to have a broad range at one given time.


Much as I LOVE mahBoy Aldis ("Age of the GEEK baby!"), and am happy that Jurnee is getting a gig, I can’t wait either.


I can’t wait until this slave trend dies down


I’ve been waiting to hear more info about this show. It sounds like they got a pretty decent cast. I’m glad it’s actually going to series, and will be on the by next year.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *