WGN America has renewed “Underground” for a second season, the network announced on Monday.
The series, created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, is currently averaging over 1 million viewers per episode in live-plus-same-day ratings and 3 million viewers in live-plus-seven. It was also the sixth highest-rated scripted series premiere of any cable drama this season.
“With enormous pride we are announcing a second season of ‘Underground,’ a series that has resonated with so many passionate fans across the country,” said Matt Cherniss president and general manager of WGN America. “We are deeply proud of the work that the talented cast, crew and production team have done to bring this story to life, led by our gifted creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and our partners at Sony Pictures Television. It is an honor to have ‘Underground’ on our air and we look forward to how the story will unfold in what is sure to be a stellar sophomore season.”
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 slaves on a Southern plantation who attempt a daring flight to freedom on the Underground Railroad, one of the greatest escape stories in American history.
Produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios, the 10-episode second season order is set to begin production this summer for a 2017 debut. The series is the fourth original series for WGN America, with the network also renewing the critically-acclaimed series “Outsiders” earlier this year.
“When we came together to create ‘Underground,’ we had one mandate, and that was to be bold. To evoke the spirit of the American heroes who bent the arc of history,” Green and Pokaski said. “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. We are beyond thrilled to have the honor and privilege to continue this journey.”
The show is currently outpacing WGN America’s 2015-2016 primetime average by 508 percent in total viewers and 1,005 percent among adults 18-49 in live-plus-seven viewing.
The cast of “Underground” includes Jurnee Smollett-Bell as Rosalee, Aldis Hodge as Noah, Christopher Meloni as August Pullman, Alano Miller as Cato, Jessica de Gouw as Elizabeth Hawkes, Marc Blucas as John Hawkes, Adina Porter as Pearly Mae, Mykelti Williamson as Moses, Amirah Vann as Ernestine and many more.
“Underground” is also the most social cable drama on Wednesday nights. The series trended worldwide last week, on the same day the U.S. Department of the Treasury made its historic announcement that abolitionist and humanitarian Harriet Tubman, who led many enslaved people to freedom on the Underground Railroad, will appear on the face of the $20 bill. The decision was lauded by the show’s cast and creators.
“Underground” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m./9c on WGN America.