TCA: WGN Taps John Legend for 'Underground'

Musical artist John Legend will executively produce WGN’s new drama series Underground, the network announced Wednesday during its Television Critics Tour session.

The series, which will follow plantation slaves that band together to fight for their freedom, will debut next year. Legend’s Get Lifted company will also oversee the score, soundtrack and all music aspects of the series.

“We are thrilled that John Legend will lend his impressive talents to Underground, 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 Cherniss.  “We look forward to John, Mike and Ty’s creative imprint on this series that we believe will be both provocative and captivating.”

Cherniss said that network will offer four scripted series in 2016 including freshman series Underground and The Outsiders, as well as sophomore series Manhattan and Salem. 

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.