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Category: Video

‘Underground’ Review: WGN America’s Slave Railroad Drama Is Compelling TV

DEADLINE – The journey and escape of thousands of slaves to free states and Canada in the 19th century is one of the most fascinating and defiant parts of American history but one that has received little attention on the small screen. That’s about to change on March 9 when Underground debuts on WGN America.

 

Created by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, the not-to-be-missed drama about the Underground Railroad is, as my video review above says, a harrowing and compelling series that will make you uncomfortable, amazed and ultimately inspired by one of the most treacherous and ambitious chapters in this nation’s story.

 

Picked up for a full-season order in February 2015, the 10-episode first season of Underground focuses on the field slaves and house slaves of a Georgia plantation who begin a pre-Civil War 600-mile trek northward for their freedom and dignity. The tenacious ensemble cast includes True Blood’s Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Straight Outta Compton’s Aldis Hodge, Jane The Virgin’s Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw, Law & Order: SVU alum Christopher Meloni, Amirah Vann and Justified’s Mykelti Williamson, among others. Empire’s Jussie Smollett and Treme’s Renwick Scott also guest star in the show exec produced by Green, Pokaski, John Legend, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold and Akiva Goldsman. Anthony Hemingway is also an EP and directs the opening episodes of the series.

 

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Aldis Hodge talks about latest project ‘Underground’ on WGN

 

PIX 11 – Aldis Hodge, who was last seen on the big screen in “Straight Outta Compton” and on the small screen in “Leverage,” talked to PIX11 Morning News about his newest project “Underground.”

 

WGN America’s escape thriller “Underground” takes viewers on a pulse-pounding journey with revolutionaries of the Underground Railroad.

 

The 10-episode series follows a group of courageous men and women who use their ingenuity, power and perseverance to attempt the greatest escape in history and break free, despite the dire consequences that await them on the other side.

 

“Underground” is created by Misha Green of “Sons Of Anarchy” and Joe Pokaski of “Heroes,” who executive produce alongside Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman of “A Beautiful Mind,” of Weed Road Pictures; and Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell of Safehouse Pictures.

 

Visionary artist and producer John Legend, an Academy Award, Golden Globe® and multi-Grammy Award winner, and his Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce. Anthony Hemingway of “The Wire” and “Treme” directs and serves as executive producer for the first four episodes.

 

“Underground” will premiere Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 10pm ET/PT on WGN America.

On The Set Of “Underground” + Aldis Hodge Opens Up About Difficult Scenes

HIP HOLLYWOOD – The new WGN America show Underground is a dramatic thriller following the lives of slaves in Georgia plotting to run to freedom. HipHollywood exclusively hit the set of the highly anticipated show to see first-hand the plantation they were shooting on and to talk to the show’s star Aldis Hodge and creator, Misha Green.

 

Aldis plays Noah, the ring-leader among his fellow slaves and the one who orchestrates the escape to freedom. The role was one that not only intrigued Hodge, but also challenged him as an actor. Going into a scene where he has to beg “massa” for his life and is subsequently beat, Aldis says it was the most difficult scenes he’s ever had to portray. “That was a hard day because it was my first day. And I knew when I read the script that was going to be my hardest, hardest challenge to really go there because I’m not good with submitting to defamation and submitting to humiliation and being made to feel lesser than.”

 

In addition to Aldis, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Alano Miller, Christopher Meloni and more also bring stellar performances to the small screen as part of the underground cast. Be sure to check back to HipHollywood to see more of our Underground coverage and watch the show when it premieres March 9th on WGN America.
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