TV News Roundup: ‘Fargo’ Alum Bokeem Woodbine Joins WGN America’s ‘Underground’ for Season 2


WGN America’s Underground Railroad thriller “Underground” has cast “Fargo” alum Bokeem Woodbine as a recurring guest star in Season 2. He’ll play Daniel, a skilled stonemason who joins the fight for freedom and decides to take his future into his own hands. The second season follows the abolitionist movement within America on the brink of civil war, and a group of heroes led by trailblazer Harriet Tubman (Aisha Hinds) following the attempted escape of the Macon 7. Season 2 premieres March 8 at 10/9c on WGN America.


Univision Communication’s drama series “El Chapo, based on the life of Mexican drug kingpin Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán, has officially been shifted from airing on sibling network UniMás over to Univision. The bio-series, a co-production between Univision Story House and Netflix, will air first in the U.S. on Univision in April; after its first run finishes on air, Netflix will make the series available to its U.S. subscribers. The rest of the world will be able to watch the series on Netflix as soon as it premieres in the U.S.


The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences will honor Mary Hart,  former host of “Entertainment Tonight,” and Harry Friedman, producer of game shows “Jeopardy!” and “Wheel of Fortune,” with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The two will be awarded at different ceremonies both taking place at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium: Friedman will receive his at the Daytime Creative Arts Emmy on April 28, while Hart will be honored at the Daytime Emmy Awards on April 30.


NBC will honor its long legacy of dramas, sitcoms and office comedies with a special evening presentation on Feb. 19. “The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary,” hosted by Kelsey Grammer, will celebrate not only its portfolio of historic television, but also “The Voice,” recently renewedThis Is Us,” and the still-running “Saturday Night Live.” The event will showcase NBC’s 90 years of broadcasting with new interviews and highlights from its many shows. “The Paley Center Salutes NBC’s 90th Anniversary” will be produced by Brad Lachman Productions in association with The Paley Center for Media.

NBC will also bring back its “Red Nose Day Special” in partnership with charity organization Comic Relief Inc., airing May 25. The campaign to end child poverty continues with help from previous partners Walgreens, NBC, M&M’s and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Talent for NBC’s third annual outing has yet to be announced. Red Nose Day was created by the celebrated writer-director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually,” “Four Weddings and A Funeral,” “Notting Hill”) and has already raised more that $1 billion globally in just over 25 years.


Viacom’s Garrett English has been promoted to the expanded role of executive vice president of event programming, specials and news for MTV, VH1, and Logo. Most recently, English served as Senior Vice President of Programming, Events and Live Production for MTV.  His new tasks include directing the creative development and management for all of the network’s tentpoles, live events and specials and also overseeing the MTV News department. He will report directly to Amy Doyle, general manager of the three networks.


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