Los Angeles, August 5, 2016 -- WGN America's acclaimed series “Underground,” which follows a courageous group of American heroes who attempt a daring flight to freedom from slavery, was honored with three Cablefax Program Awards for Best New Program, Best Historical Show or Series and Best Showrunners (creators, writers, and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski). Series stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“Rosalee”) and Aldis Hodge (“Noah”) were also acknowledged with honorable mentions in the Best Actress and Best Actor categories. These honors mark WGN America's first Cablefax wins since the network’s recent transformation into a destination for high-quality original programming in 2014.
"Underground” took the country by storm this year, sparking a nationwide conversation and igniting Twitter as the #1 most social cable drama each week it aired. The series premiere ranked among the top 10 new cable dramas this TV season in Live + 3 delivery and scored 3 million Total Viewers weekly, making history as WGN America's most-watched original program ever. Season two begins production this summer for a 2017 premiere on WGN America.
WGN America’s intense and gritty original drama “Outsiders,” a breakout hit, was also recognized with honorable mentions in several categories, including Best Program, Best New Program and Best Actor (David Morse as “Big Foster”). The premiere of “Outsiders” ranked among the top 10 new cable dramas this TV season, and the series averaged an impressive 2.8 million Total Viewers and 1.4 million Adults 25-54 on Tuesday nights in Live + 7 viewing. A struggle of power and control set in the rugged hills of Appalachia, the series explores the epic battle between the Farrell clan and their fight to defend their way of life from the town below and anyone who would dare to challenge them. The second season of “Outsiders” is currently in production and will premiere in early 2017.
The freshman season of "Underground" featured an acclaimed cast, including Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood,” “Friday Night Lights”), Aldis Hodge (“Straight Outta Compton”), Christopher Meloni (“Sin City: A Dame to Kill For”), Alano Miller (“Jane The Virgin”), Jessica de Gouw (“Arrow,” “Dracula”), Marc Blucas (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Adina Porter (“The 100”), Mykelti Williamson (“Justified,” “24”), Amirah Vann (“Girls,” “And So It Goes”), Johnny Ray Gill (“Rectify”), Chris Chalk (“Gotham”), Reed Diamond (“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”), Theodus Crane (“The Walking Dead”), James Lafferty (“One Tree Hill”), Renwick Scott (“Treme”) and Jussie Smollett (“Empire”). From executive producer John Legend, “Underground” is created by Misha Green ("Sons of Anarchy," "Heroes") and Joe Pokaski (“Daredevil,” "Heroes,") who executive produce alongside Academy Award-winner Akiva Goldsman ("A Beautiful Mind," "I Am Legend") of Weed Road Pictures; and Joby Harold ("King Arthur," "Edge of Tomorrow") and Tory Tunnell ("King Arthur," "Holy Rollers") of Safehouse Pictures; Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius executive produce. Additionally, Get Lifted oversees all elements of the show’s music. Anthony Hemingway (“The Wire,” “Treme”) directs and executive produces the series.
Cast members returning for the second season of “Outsiders” include David Morse (“Treme,” “Hurt Locker”), Thomas M. Wright (“The Bridge,” “Top of the Lake”), Ryan Hurst (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Bates Motel”), Joe Anderson (“The Divide,” “Across the Universe”), Gillian Alexy (“The Americans,” “Damages”), Kyle Gallner (“American Sniper,” “Veronica Mars”), and Christina Jackson (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Deception”). Additional cast to be announced. “Outsiders” is created and written by award-winning playwright Peter Mattei, who executives produces alongside Fedora Entertainment's Emmy® Award-winner Peter Tolan ("Rescue Me," "Analyze This"), Touchy Feely Films’ Emmy® Award-winner Paul Giamatti ("John Adams," "Sideways"), Michael Wimer ("2012," "Rake"), and Dan Carey ("All Is Bright”).
WGN America’s “Outsiders” and “Underground” are produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.
For the full list of winners, click here.
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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,” “Underground” and “Salem." 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.