WGN America has greenlighted its third original scripted drama, giving a 13-episode straight-to-series order to Titans, a tale of struggle for power and control in the hills of Appalachia from playwright Peter Mattei, producers Peter Tolan and Paul Giamatti and Sony Pictures TV. Additionally, WGN is giving a blinking green light to another drama from Sony TV, Underground, executive produced by Akiva Goldsman. The project, about the fabled Underground Railroad used to smuggle slaves from the pre-Civil War South to the North, has been authorized to start pre-production and set up a writers room with an eye toward a straight-to-series order. Both dramas eye 2015 premieres, joining WGNA’s Salem, which has been renewed for a second season, and Manhattan, which debuted recently. The network also has a Ten Commandments event series in the hopper. “These projects, each exploring a world we find to be unique and fascinating, continue our aggressive expansion into original scripted programming,” said Matt Cherniss, President and General Manager of WGN America and Tribune Studios.
Titans tells the story of the Farrell clan, a family of outsiders who’ve been in these parts since before anyone can remember. Living off the grid and above the law on their mountaintop homestead, they’ll protect their world and defend their way of life using any means necessary. The series is created and written by Mattei, who serves as executive producer with Tolan from Fedora Entertainment, actor Giamatti and Dan Carey from Touchy Feely Films and Fedora Entertainment’s Michael Wimer.
Underground follows the slaves who set foot on the Underground Railroad, the secret network of men and women who risked their lives aiding them, and the mercenaries tasked with hunting them down at any cost. The project is created and written by Misha Green (Sons Of Anarchy) and Joe Pokaski (Heroes) who serve as executive producers with Oscar winner Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) from Weed Road Pictures, along with Tory Tunnell (King Arthur) and Joby Harold (King Arthur) from Safehouse Pictures.