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STARS OF WGN AMERICA’S SMASH HIT “UNDERGROUND” TAKE CENTER STAGE AT 2016 ESSENCE FESTIVAL IN NEW ORLEANS

CALLING ALL ‘UNDERGROUND’ FANS! 

STARS OF WGN AMERICA’S SMASH HIT “UNDERGROUND” TAKE CENTER AT 2016 IN NEW ORLEANS

 ALDIS HODGE (‘Noah’), ALANO MILLER (‘Cato’), AMIRAH VANN (‘Ernestine’) AND DIRECTOR ANTHONY HEMINGWAY TO APPEAR ON THE MAIN STAGE,

FRIDAY, JULY 1 AT :15 P.M. AT THE ERNEST N. MORIAL CONVENTION CENTER

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 7.36.49 PM

Los Angeles, June 23, 2016 – The celebrated stars and director of WGN America’s Underground Railroad thriller “Underground,” one of the most highly acclaimed television series of the year, will take center stage at the 2016 Essence Festival, the nation’s premier showcase for African American music and culture.   Aldis Hodge (Noah), Alano Miller (Cato), and Amirah Vann (Ernestine), with noted director and executive producer Anthony Hemingway, will discuss the phenomenon the record-breaking series “Underground” has become, during a not-to-be missed panel discussion at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on Friday, July 1 from 12:15 p.m. – 12:35 p.m.  Following the main stage experience, lucky “Underground” fans will be able to meet the cast and director during an exclusive Fan Zone event. ‬‬

From executive producer and creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, “Underground” tells the unflinching story of some of America’s most heroic freedom fighters—slaves who risked their lives to reach freedom and claim their civil rights.  The critically lauded series was recently nominated for a Television Critics Association award for Outstanding New Program.  Season two will begin production this summer for a 2017 debut.

The first season of WGN America’s “Underground” captured the pop culture zeitgeist and scored 3 million Total Viewers in Live + 7 delivery on Wednesday nights, and made history as the network’s most-watched original series ever.  The series also ignited Twitter as the #1 most social drama on Wednesday nights and trended worldwide on the same day the U.S. Treasury Department announced Harriet Tubman would replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.

From executive producer John Legend, “Underground” is created by Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Heroes”) and Joe Pokaski (“Daredevil,” “Heroes,”) who executive produce alongside -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.

The freshman season of “Underground” featured an acclaimed , including Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood,” “FridayNight 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”). ‬‬

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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.

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