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Category: Underground

Aldis Hodge, Star of TV’s ‘Underground,’ Chats About The New Series

GEPHARDT DAILY — Aldis Hodge is a man of many interests.

 

Hodge played both the clarinet and the violin as a child, but as an adult his focus is on the violin when he purchased his first at the age of 18.

 

In addition to acting, Hodge designs watches, writes, paints and attends the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, although he does take breaks from attending full time due to his acting work.

 

The actor is best known for his role as Alec Hardison on TNT’s highly rated television series, “Leverage.” Hodge won the role of Hardison on his twenty-first birthday.

 

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Why WGN’s Underground is an Emmy Contender

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HUFFINGTON POST – For every generation, there is a television show that audaciously attempts to tackle history in a way that the American public hasn’t yet seen. In the 1970’s it was Alex Haley’s Roots, and for this generation, it’s Misha Green and Joe Pokaski’s WGN Drama, Underground.

 

As the show revels in its Season 2 renewal, the team behind it has launched a campaign to be considered in the upcoming round of Emmy considerations. But with a show that addresses such sensitive and intense subject matter, their efforts carry a special significance.

 

A few weeks ago, WGN America and Sony Pictures Television hosted a gospel brunch and exclusive pilot screening for Academy members. As audience members filed into the Beverly Hilton, the excitement was palpable.

 

The brunch kicked off with a power-packed performance from Jason McGee and The Choir, who delivered moving renditions of “Ride On, King Jesus” and “Walk Over God’s Heaven.” With each song, they set the atmosphere for the resilient and triumphant tone of the show. Shortly afterward, we watched the pilot episode, which opened with none other than Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead.”

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Gallery Update

 

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Underground Renewed for Season 2

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TVLine – Noah, Rosalee, Cato et al are going to keep on running, now that WGN America has renewed Underground for a 10-episode Season 2.

 

To date, the freshman slave escape thriller is averaging a million weekly total viewers and a 0.3 demo rating — numbers that with Live+7 DVR playback swell to 3 million and 1.0. Underground improves on the cabler’s 2015-16 primetime average by 508 percent in total audience and by 1,005 percent (!) in the demo, in Live+7 numbers.

 

“[Underground is] a series that has resonated with so many passionate fans across the country,” WGN America president Matt Cherniss said in a statement. “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.”

 

Production on Season 2 begins this summer with an eye on a 2017 premiere date. The Season 1 finale airs Wednesday, May 11 at 10/9c, preceded by an all-season marathon at 1 pm.

Underground – Sony’s Press Release Announces ‘Season 1’ of the WGN Drama

From TVShowsOnDVD:

Underground_S1“…a prestige drama…action-adventure

tale…” – Stuart Miller, Newsweek

WGN America’s Captivating
Scripted Series

UNDERGROUND:
SEASON ONE

Arrives on DVD June 14

Includes Behind-the-Scenes Featurettes,
Commentaries and Gag Reel and more!

 

Culver City, CA (April. 18, 2016) – WGN America’s critically acclaimed new drama UNDERGROUND: SEASON ONE arrives on DVD June 14 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (SPHE) and Tribune Studios. The suspenseful UNDERGROUND series – executive produced by Academy Award and GRAMMY Award winner John Legend (2014, Best Original Song, Selma) – is a compelling story of bravery, ingenuity and power. Legend, with executive producers and Get Lifted Film Co. partners Mike Jackson (Southside with You) and Ty Stiklorius (Breaking Through), oversees all music aspects of the gripping 10-episode journey, which follows a group of slaves striving for their freedom from the Macon plantation in 1857 Antebellum, Georgia. As they plan to escape, the immense sacrifices and uncertainty of where to go and who to trust will test those who have the courage to leave and decide who has the endurance to survive.

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Gallery Update: Underground & MTV Movie Award Appearance

 

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Hollywood on the Potomac: John Legend’s ‘Underground’

John Legend’s WGN series starring Aldis Hodge explores the Underground Railroad

 

WASHINGTON LIFE – Music superstar John Legend has a lot on his plate these days: The White House just held a special screening for his new WGN “Underground” series; he’s carrying on heated Twitter exchanges with Donald Trump Jr. on racism; and he’s expecting his first child with his wife, model Chrissy Teigen. We focused on “Underground.”

 

According to producers, the film centers on a group of slaves planning a daring 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation. Along the way, they are aided by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad during their attempt to evade the people charged with bringing them back, dead or alive.

 

Legend and his production company were in charge of the score and soundtrack for the series and Legend served as executive producer. “I believe the story of people brave enough to risk everything for freedom will be inspirational,” he says.

 

We spoke to cast members prior to the White House screening, a smart, introspective, engaged group who gave us their take on the relevance of the series in today’s world as well as the significance of this underreported sequence of events during the revolt against slavery.

 

We focused on Aldis Hodge … think “Straight Outta Compton”… who brilliantly portrays Noah as he leads his fellow slaves in a daring escape on the Underground Railroad.

 

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Why an Underground Railroad thriller resonates today

VOX – America’s history of slavery is often misunderstood and unrecognized, but WGN’s new series Underground is changing that as the first scripted drama to tell one of the many stories of people escaping slavery through the Underground Railroad. The series, which follows a group of seven runaway slaves fleeing a Georgia plantation, also tells that story with nods to the present.

 

It’s evident even in the show’s music: In the first scene, one of the main characters, Noah, runs through the Georgia woods with his breath matching the beat of Kanye West’s “Black Skinhead” from the artist’s 2013 album Yeezus.

 

In fact, Underground is as much a story about America’s past as its present, with an insightful eye on what it takes to create a better future.

 

But amid widespread national protests against systemic racial injustice, and Donald Trump’s polemical presidential bid to “make America great again,” the untold story of revolution in the hearts of runaway slaves provides a sobering mirror to the complex legacies of American history we still wrestle with. And people are ready to dive in: Underground has been a ratings success for the network and on social media, beginning with its March 9 premiere.

 

I spoke with two of the show’s stars — Aldis Hodge, who plays Noah, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, who plays Rosalee — about why a show like Underground resonates with viewers today, and why it’s important to remember the people before us who took a stand to say, “This is not okay. We need to accept each other and understand ourselves as a culture, come together as a country once again.”

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Victoria Massie: What attracted you to the project?

 

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