WGN America has officially packed in their original scripted series experiment. Deadline reports that after two seasons, the critically acclaimed drama Underground is done at the Chicago-based channel, although that might not be where the Underground Railroad focuses series will bid adieu.
“As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape. This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air,” said Tribune Media President and CEO Peter Kern on the removal of Underground from future plans. “Despite Underground being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season. We are tremendously proud of this landmark series that captured the zeitgeist and made an impact on television in a way never before seen on the medium.”
WGN America, who have recently been snapped by new owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, tried their hand and getting into the booming prestige TV business in the ’10s. Salem, Outsiders and Manhattan were all trotted as original programming on WGN and would ultimately get the ax. Underground is the final program of the WGN original programming era to be hit with the cancel stamp. Still, executive producer John Legend is confident the series isn’t done for good. On Twitter, Legend shared his thoughts on the fate of the program and also had a warning for TV viewers about WGN’s new owner.
“Be wary of Sinclair though,” he cautioned. “They’re trying to make local stations mini Fox Newses, but more to the right.”