*John Legend and his Get Lifted production company will executive produce WGN America’s slave drama “Underground.” He will also oversee all music aspects of the series, a role Kanye West had been in talks for but a deal was never finalized.
“Underground” follows a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom, aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad, Deadline reports.
“We are excited to join forces with WGN America and Sony and the talented team of writers and producers on this powerful project that we believe will inspire us all,” said Legend. “This series has a unique opportunity to speak to the passion and courage of those who risked it all as they raced to freedom. We are honored to bring our creative vision to this thrilling project.”
John and his songwriting partner Common recently won an Oscar for Best Original Song for “Glory” from the film “Selma.” Legend’s talent and activism makes him the perfect match for this project.
“‘Underground’ depicts a raw and revolutionary chapter in the American story. We wanted an artist who could help us find the light through the darkness, and John Legend was a perfect fit,” said Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, Creators and Executive Producers of “Underground.”
The one-hour drama stars Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, and Jessica de Gouw in “a story that chronicles the compelling journey of brave individuals whose fight for freedom still inspires us today,” said Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America and Tribune Studios, during the Television Critics Association summer press tour.
“Underground” is currently filming in production in Baton Rouge, LA, and is set to premiere in 2016 on WGN America.