Underground has been cancelled after airing only two seasons.
According to Jurnee Smollett-Bell, WGN America was bought out by Sinclair Broadcast Group; in turn, the new owners have chosen to cancel the show to pursue “a different direction”. This happens amid the diversity issues still present in the Film & Television industry mentioned in LA Times; women are still underrepresented as leads.
However, Jurnee Smollett-Bell maintained a leading role on the show.
She was one of several other female roles consistently appearing in “Underground“. Additionally, the show has featured the likes of Angela Bassett, Christopher Meloni, Aisha Hinds, Empire‘s Jussie Smollett, and even Power‘s Joseph Sikora. Furthermore, John Legend is an Executive Producer.
The leading lady to Aldis Hodge, Bell uses her lighter skin at different times throughout the show pretending to be a white slave master.
Furthermore, Fox News was founded in 1996 by Roger Ailes. Roger Ailes is described as a “conservative political consultant” and the Fox News Channels are known for pushing a “conservative’s agenda“. On top of that, one of the Fox anchors was recently accused of pushing “right-wing theories”. Because of this, the Fox News Channel has lost advertisers. Though, USAA apparently will be advertising with them again.
Sinclair has seemingly traded history and culture for conservative agendas and sexual harassment suits (even Ailes). Google Users and Rotten Tomatoes both rate Underground at 96% though. Since Sinclair has a history of sharing similar views to the Fox News Channel, it’s no major surprise that Underground is on the outs after the new change in ownership.
We can’t imagine an avid Fox News viewer type would add to the ratings for a series of this nature; that of a slave outsmarting the slave master and leading people to their freedom. However, we can only hope that another network will take on the challenge.
Essentially, at the possibility of its re-airing, all we ask is this, especially from the culture of which so appreciates Underground– please stay true to the history.