Ratings: WGN America’s ‘Underground’ Premiere Sets Network Record

Underground WGN TV Review
Courtesy of WGN

WGN America’s new drama “Underground” got off to a great ratings start last week, with time-shifting and encores helping it to become the network’s most-watched original scripted entertainment program to date.

In Nielsen’s “live plus-3” estimates, the regular-timeslot debut of the period drama about a group of slaves planning a 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation averaged 2.3 million total viewers, including 985,000 adults 25-54 (0.83 national rating) — roughly 10 times the network’s primetime average season-to-date. It grew from its same-day averages by 60% in total viewers (from 1.42 million) and by 68% in the demo (from 585,000 or 0.49 rating).

Related Content TV Review: ‘Underground’

When including three encores last Wednesday, “Underground’s” totals rose to 3.5 million total viewers and 1.5 million adults 25-54, making it the highest-rated original scripted program ever in the network’s history. By comparison, its premiere night improved upon those of the network’s other successful originals like “Outsiders” (2.8 million) by 25% and “Salem” (3.2 million) by 9%.

“Underground” was big on social media for its premiere night, standing as the second-highest trending topic of Wednesday, behind only the Democratic debate on CNN and Univision.

The cast of “Underground” incldes Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aldis Hodge, Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, Adina Porter, Mykelti Williamson, Amirah Vann, Johnny Ray Gill, Chris Chalk, Reed Diamond, Theodus Crane, James Lafferty, Renwick Scott and Jussie Smollett. It hails from Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.

Misha Green and Joe Pokaski executive produce alonside Akiva Goldsman of Weed Road Pictures; and Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell of Safehouse Pictures. John Legend and his Get Lifted partners Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorious executive produce; and Get Lifted oversses all elements of the show’s music. Anthony Hemingway directs and serves as executive producer for the first four episodes.



Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 3

Leave a Reply


Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. Karen Pitchford says:

    Long overdue! ! So addicted to this show!

  2. Madelaine Kaiser says:

    If you are looking for even mild historical accuracy, do not expect to find it in “Underground”. The acting is good and the writing so-so, but the music?? OMG, talk about horrible, horrible, I can’t say it enough, horrible, overloud, modern songs. The dialogue disappears, drowned in hip hop, modern French (?!)) and other totally jarring “music”. My family watched the first three episodes and will not be watching the remainder of the series because of the loud, inappropriate, music soundtrack. Very unfortunate choices made by the producers.

  3. Caroline Davis says:

    I missed the first episode. Can I find it anywhere to catch up?

More TV News from Variety