The reason? Simple, the channel is trying to get out of the scripted show business. After Outsiders was canceled, Underground was the last scripted show left.
This new direction comes after Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. agreed to purchase Tribune Media, and the 200 plus channels the company oversees, including WGN America.
Peter Kern, Tribune Media’s president and CEO, released a statement after the news came out:
“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. 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.
Sony Pictures Television produces the show. According to what sources told Hollywood Reporter, the company saw this coming and were shopping the show to other channels; BET and OWN reportedly passed, mainly because of how expensive it is to produce the slavery-era show. (One episode cost $5 million to make.)
John Legend, the show’s executive producer, sent out some tweets comforting fans of the show and ensuring that the show will be back.
WGN America has been bought and is going a different direction strategically. We will find a new home for #Underground!