Los Angeles, February 23, 2016 – WGN America screened its highly anticipated original series “Underground” Monday evening at the White House, as part of the White House Office of Public Engagement’s Black History Month event, “These Hallowed Grounds and ‘Underground’ Screening,” highlighting landmarks and monuments around the country significant to the African American community, including stops on the Underground Railroad. The gripping premiere episode was lauded by attendees at the event held in the White House's South Court Auditorium. In addition to the cast and creative team, the White House event was attended by Senior Administration Officials and led by Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor and Assistant to President Barack Obama. Deputy Secretary O'Dell, Deputy Director, National Park Services, provided additional remarks before the panels and screening commenced.
Other notables in attendance also included: Dr. Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, Professor, Harvard University and President of The Association for the Study of African American Life & History; Dr. Cheryl LaRoche, Professor, University of Maryland College Park; Dr. Leslie Harris, Professor, Emory University; Dr. Clarence G. Newsome, President of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center; Richard Dana, Attorney and Professor Adjunct at Kent State University; Dr. Salamishah Tillet, Professor at the University of Pennsylvania; Jeff Johnson, Moderator, Principal JLJ Communications; Peter Liguori, President and CEO, Tribune Media; Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager, WGN America; Zack Van Amburg, President, Programming & Production, Sony Pictures Television; Jamie Erlicht, President, Programming & Production, Sony Pictures Television; Anthony Hemingway, Director and Executive Producer of “Underground”; and Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold and Mike Jackson, Executive Producers of “Underground.”
Prior to the screening, the “Underground” cast and creative team, including executive producers John Legend and Akiva Goldsman, creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway, along with President and General Manager of WGN America, Matt Cherniss, and stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw and Amirah Vann, participated in panel discussions in which they elaborated on the inspiration behind the escape thriller, premiering Wednesday, March 9 (10 p.m. ET/PT) on WGN America, and produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.
Set in a desperate and dangerous time, WGN America’s original series “Underground” 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 awaited them on the other side. The 10-episode, hour-long program follows a courageous blacksmith who covertly organizes a small group of his fellow slaves and pieces together a daring plan of escape across hundreds of miles to freedom. The odds of success are razor-thin for those who make it off the plantation, while the risks, dangers and obstacles multiply each step of the way.
The “Underground” full-length trailer can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nOEUogI7pQ.
Follow the series @UndergroundWGN -- #BreakFree
WGN America and Tribune Studios
WGN America, the flagship entertainment network of Tribune Media Company (NYSE: TRCO) is nationally distributed in nearly 80 million homes via cable, satellite and telco, with high-quality entertainment programming including the breakout hit series “Outsiders” and “Salem," and the upcoming scripted drama “Underground.” The network also brings its audience a strong slate of popular first-run syndicated series and blockbuster movies. Through Tribune Studios, the creative development arm of Tribune Media, original content is produced for WGN America and Tribune local stations nationwide. Follow the network on Twitter @wgnamerica. For additional information, please visit www.wgnamerica.com.
About Sony Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television is one of the television industry’s leading content providers, producing and distributing programming worldwide in every genre and for every platform. In addition to managing one of the industry’s largest libraries of award-winning feature films, television shows and formats, SPT is home to a thriving US production business and operates 18 wholly-owned or joint venture production companies in 11 countries around the world. SPT’s worldwide networks portfolio includes 150 channel feeds, which are available in 178 countries reaching more than 1.3 billion cumulative households worldwide. Sony Pictures Television (SPT) is a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company.