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WGN America Adds ‘Rectify’ Alum to ‘Underground’ Drama

“Rectify” and “True Blood” alum Johnny Ray Gill has been cast in WGN America’s upcoming series “Underground,” Variety has learned.

The period drama, which stars Christopher Meloni and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, follows a group of slaves in 1857 who aim to travel 600 miles to escape from a Georgia plantation, aided along the way by a secret abolitionist couple running a station on the Underground Railroad. In an eight-episode arc, Gill will play Sam, a talented carpenter on the plantation with dreams of freedom. Sam is the half-brother to Smollett-Bell’s character Rosalee.

Underground” was given a 10-episode order with production beginning this spring. Misha Green (“Sons of Anarchy”) and Joe Pokaski (“CSI”) created the show and will serve as exec producers with Weed Road Pictures’ Akiva Goldsman and Safehouse Pictures’ Tory Tunnell and Joby Harold. Anthony Hemingway (“The Wire,” “Treme”) will direct the first two episodes. Hailing from Sony Pictures TV and Tribune Studios, the drama is set to debut in 2016.

Gill most recently recurred on Sundance’s “Rectify,” and had a three-episode arc on Season 5 of HBO’s “True Blood.” He also co-starred on the first season of Kathy Bates’ NBC legal drama, “Harry’s Law.” He is repped by Stone Manners Salners and Sanders.Armstrong.Caserta Management.

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