Stars of WGN AMERICA’S 'Underground' Shine at 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans - Season 2 Begins Production This Summer
Photo Credit: S & A

Stars of WGN AMERICA’S 'Underground' Shine at 2016 Essence Festival in New Orleans - Season 2 Begins Production This Summer

WGN_Underground Cast_dmiles-5525
Credit: FerenComm for WGN America

A crowd of cheering fans greeted WGN America’s “Underground” stars Aldis Hodge (“Noah”), Alano Miller (“Cato”) and Amirah Vann (“Ernestine”), and director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway, as the celebrated group took center stage at the 2016 Essence Festival. Moderator Cori Murray from Essence Magazine covered topics, spanning from the phenomenon that the record-breaking series “Underground” has become, to what’s in store for the series’ season two, during the panel discussion at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 1.

When asked about “Underground’s” relevance to today, Hodge said to applause: “We are all necessary to the progression of America…we need to continue to build without judgment. No problem is bigger than love.”

Continuing the ovation, director Anthony Hemingway added: “How active is your activism? Everybody has a purpose.”

Miller’s thoughts about the importance of the powerful story of the heroes of the Underground Railroad were also lauded: “We have that fight in us… it’s important that we talk about the revolution.”

Fans affirmed their appreciation for Vann’s response to a question about the strength of her popular character Ernestine, saying, “women have been running the ship for a long time… how many of our mamas are like ‘Ernestine’?”

WGN_Underground Cast_dmiles-3055
Credit: FerenComm for WGN America

From executive producer John Legend and creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” tells the story of some of America’s most heroic freedom fighters—slaves who risked their lives to reach freedom and claim their civil rights.

Season two will begin production this summer for a 2017 debut.

The first season of WGN America’s “Underground” captured the pop culture zeitgeist and scored 3 million Total Viewers in Live + 7 delivery on Wednesday nights, and made history as the network’s most-watched original series ever.

The series also ignited Twitter as the #1 most social cable drama on Wednesday nights and trended worldwide on the same day the U.S.

WGN_Underground Cast_dcmiles-3032
Credit: FerenComm for WGN America

Also, the Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

From executive producer John Legend, “Underground” is created by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Heroes”) and Joe Pokaski (“Daredevil,” “Heroes,”) who executive produce alongside Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman (“A Beautiful Mind,” “I Am Legend”) of Weed Road Pictures; and Joby Harold (“King Arthur,” “Edge of Tomorrow”) and Tory Tunnell (“King Arthur,” “Holy Rollers”) of Safehouse Pictures; Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce. Additionally, Get Lifted oversees all elements of the show’s music. Anthony Hemingway (“The Wire,” “Treme”) directs and executive produces the series.




The freshman season of “Underground” featured an acclaimed cast, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood,” “‪Friday Night Lights”), Aldis Hodge (“Straight Outta Compton”), Christopher Meloni (“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”), Alano Miller (“Jane The Virgin”), ‎Jessica de Gouw (“Arrow,” “Dracula”), Marc Blucas (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), ‎Adina Porter (“The 100”), Mykelti Williamson (“Justified,” “24”), ‎Amirah Vann (“Girls,” “And So It Goes”), Johnny Ray Gill (“Rectify”), Chris Chalk (“Gotham”), Reed Diamond (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Theodus Crane (“The Walking Dead”), James Lafferty (“One Tree Hill”), Renwick Scott (“Treme”) and Jussie Smollett (“Empire”).

Follow the series on social media at Facebook:; Twitter: @UndergroundWGN; and Instagram: @UndergroundWGN

Shadow and Act is a website dedicated to cinema, television and web content of Africa and its global Diaspora. With daily news, interviews, in-depth investigations into the audiovisual industry, and more, Shadow and Act promotes content created by and about people of African descent throughout the world.

© 2023 Shadow & Act. All rights reserved.