John Legend to host ‘Revisiting Underground’ special on OWN

The special feature will air in January with newly recorded producer and cast interviews, commentary, behind-the-scenes footage and more.

OWN is set to broadcast Revisiting Underground, an all-new half-hour special from Sony Pictures Television, hosted by executive producer John Legend.

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The feature will debut directly following Underground‘s premiere on the network. The critically acclaimed historical drama was canceled in 2017 after two seasons by WGN America after executives shared the series no longer aligned with company goals theGrio reported.

(Credit: OWN)

“Despite Underground being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season,” said Tribune CEO Peter Kern in a statement. “We are tremendously proud of this landmark series that captured the zeitgeist and made an impact on television in a way never before seen on the medium… It is our hope that this remarkable show finds another home and continues its stories of courage, determination, and freedom.”

Initially, Sony Pictures searched for a new home to pick up the show with new episodes. According to theGrio, Oprah Winfrey was urged to add the drama to her lineup on OWN however, she explained why she decided against bringing the series back to life.

“I can’t afford Underground. It costs twice as much to make. As a matter of fact, my dear friend John Legend called me, but we’d already been talking for weeks about could we make it work, could we make it work. It’s like $5 million an episode — can’t afford it. It’s not cheap. And I think it’s because it’s a period piece,” she said at the time.

(Credit: OWN)

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While OWN has not agreed to new episodes, it has picked up the series for reruns and the special will bring new elements to fans. Revisiting Underground brings together the executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski with fellow EP and host Legend, to share inside stories about the series. The cast and crew will also share personal stories, reflect on the series, and discuss Underground’s relevance today.

According to an official release, it will, “look at the research everyone did to prepare for their roles, hear their personal stories of challenges and triumphs from their time working on these intense stories, and explore the music of the show. Finally, we’ll share how the cast honors the heroes of the Underground with the activism in their daily lives.”

Underground starred Aldis Hodge as Noah, an enslaved person who planned and executed an escape to freedom.  Jurnee Smollett, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, and other actors completed the talented cast. The series begins airing on OWN on January 5, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, with Revisiting Underground beginning immediately after episode one at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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