Amirah Vann, whose breakout performance as Ernestine in WGN America’s hit series “Underground,” has been promoted to series regular for season two, expanded from her recurring role in season one where her character’s fate at the auction block left viewers on the edge of their seats. The new season of the 10-episode Underground Railroad thriller follows an unremitting struggle for freedom within a divided America on the brink of civil war, each side vying to enact their own justice.
Vann, who portrayed the head house slave who will do anything to protect her children, was heralded for her performance by critics as “one of the breakthrough roles of the season” (Huffington Post); “captivating as Ernestine, the duplicitous and wise head house slave and Rosalee’s mother” (Essence Magazine); “spellbinding” (Wall Street Journal); and “tremendous” (Entertainment Weekly).
“Underground” delivered 3 million Total Viewers weekly, and made history as WGN America’s most-watched original program ever in its freshman season. The series was honored with screenings across the country including the White House and ranked as the #1 most discussed cable drama on social media each week it aired. From creators and executive producers Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and executive producers John Legend, Akiva Goldsman, Tory Tunnell, Joby Harold, Mike Jackson, Ty Stiklorius and Emmy® -nominated director Anthony Hemingway, “Underground” season two will premiere in early 2017 on WGN America.
Starring in the celebrated “Underground” season two cast are Jurnee Smollett-Bell (“True Blood,” “Friday Night Lights”) as Rosalee; Aldis Hodge (Straight Outta Compton, Hidden Figures) as Noah; Christopher Meloni (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Sin City: A Dame to Kill For) as August Pullman; Alano Miller (“Jane The Virgin”) as Cato; Jessica de Gouw (“Arrow,” “Dracula”) as Elizabeth Hawkes; Amirah Vann (“Girls,” And So It Goes) as Ernestine; Aisha Hinds (“Under the Dome,” “True Blood,” Star Trek Into Darkness) as Harriet Tubman; and Marc Blucas (“Blue Bloods”) as John Hawkes.
This summer, “Underground” was featured at the NAACP National Convention, where the series and its stars received a standing ovation at the National Underground Railroad Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Underground” was also highlighted at the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Conference in Washington DC with a panel discussion on the social movement “Underground” has become.
“Underground,” which tells the unflinching story of some of America’s valiant heroes—enslaved people who risked their lives to reach freedom—was recently honored with three CableFax Awards, including Best New Program, Best Historical Show/Series and Best Showrunners, Misha Green and Joe Pokaski.