Oprah heard your cries, but unfortunately, the OWN network isn’t picking up the show.
Rumors began circulating last week that The Oprah Winfrey Network was one of the channels (in addition to BET and Hulu) who were considering picking up the show, which stars Jurnee Smollett, Aldis Hodge & Amirah Vann.
But Refinery26 reveals that Oprah confirmed during an L.A. press event this week for her network’s series, Queen Sugar, that won’t be happening.
“I can’t afford Underground,” Winfrey told a group of eight journalists.
“It cost twice as much to make as Queen Sugar. As a matter of fact, my dear friend John Legend called me personally and asked me about it, but we’d already been talking about how we could make it work […] it’s like $5 million an episode, so we can’t afford it. It’s not cheap, I think because it’s a period piece.”
We really tried to make it work.
I wanted to make it work because I think it’s a good show. I wanted to be able to save that show, but it did not make good business sense for me.
On a related note, BET passed also. Chairman & CEO Debrah Lee spoke about it a few days ago and confirmed that they couldn’t make it work either.
I was… I am very interested… we had conversations before it was announced that WGN was canceling it… We couldn’t work out a deal…
So I don’t know if they already had a deal, and were using us as a stalking horse or what… but it’s a wonderful program, and I was very interested in it. So I think it’s going to show up somewhere, I just don’t know where yet.
There still may be a slight chance that the show could be picked up by Netflix or Hulu, but we’re out of luck as far as BET and OWN are concerned.