WGN America has canceled its drama series “Underground” after two seasons. The move also marks an end to scripted series at the channel for the foreseeable future.
The cancellation was expected. WGN America is part of Tribune Media, which is in the process of being sold to Sinclair Broadcast Group. If it’s approved and goes through, the sale will make Sinclair the biggest owner of local TV stations in the country; WGN America is also part of the deal and is moving toward producing lower-cost originals (i.e., mostly unscripted shows) to go along with its acquired series.
(TV by the Numbers is also owned by Tribune Media.)
“We recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape. This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air,” Tribune Media president and CEO Peter Kern says in a statement. “Despite ‘Underground’ being a terrific and important series, it no longer fits with our new direction, and we have reached the difficult decision not to renew it for a third season.”
Season 2 of “Underground” averaged a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49 and 567,000 viewers for initial airings, down from 0.3 and 993,000 in Season 1. It usually doubled its audience with a week of DVR and on-demand viewing.
WGN America canceled “Outsiders” in April as it was wrapping up its second season. Both shows were produced by Sony.
The studio has been looking for another home for “Underground” but has yet to find one. Hulu, which has streaming rights to the first two seasons, and OWN are reportedly still interested, but no deals have been struck yet.