Worst case scenario has occurred for WGN America's hit show "Underground." Details inside...
"Underground" has just been cancelled by WGN America after its second season.
While the news may come as a shock to many, especially the show's many fans, the cancellation has been whispered about in the industry for several weeks now.
The reason very likely has nothing to do with ratings as the show shattered network ratings and even set network records in both seasons. In recent weeks, though, it's been said that WGN's parent company tribune Media being sold to the conservative Sinclair Media Group in recent business deal could cause "Underground" to have a shortened life span.
Tribune CEO Peter Kernattributed the show "not fitting in with their new direction" saying in a statement:
“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 “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.”
"As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape. This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air.”
Sinclair has been accused of charging its media properties with the task of creating and airing more right-winged content. Also, in a money cutting move, the media properties like WGN will supposedly start airing mainly vintage syndicated sitcoms and shows.
"Underground" was one of the network's first attempts at original programming, and they hit it out the park cinematically and story-wise. While season two raked in about half as many viewers as season 1, the show still has a cult following and receives rave review from critics.
We wouldn't be surprised if the series -- starring Jurnee Smollett Bell, Aldis Hodge, John Legend -- is immediately scooped up by another network. Netflix, OWN, anyone. Reportedly, SONY Pictures Television is already shopping the series to other networks.
John Legend tweeted:
We sincerely hope the show finds a new home.
Photos: Getty/WGN America