Underground executive producer John Legend is set for a guest starring role in WGN America’s hit series, playing the iconic abolitionist Frederick Douglass in Season 2.

Born into slavery, Douglass refused to let his circumstance determine his future. After he daringly escaped bondage in Maryland, he went on to become one of the most revolutionary leaders of the 19th century. A prominent writer, celebrated speaker and progressive political reformist, Douglass was a beacon of hope for many and a symbol of remarkable resilience. Season 2 of the original drama from Sony Pictures Television is in production in Savannah, GA, for premiere in early 2017 on WGN America.

WGN America Logo 2014
WGN America

Douglass is among a growing list of historical figures featured in the Underground Railroad thriller. The cable network recently announced that Aisha Hinds is stepping into a recurring guest star role as Harriet Tubman, and Underground also includes renowned African-American abolitionist William Still (Chris Chalk) and notorious slave trader Patty Cannon (Sadie Stratton). The 10-episode new season follows an unremitting struggle for freedom within a divided America on the brink of civil war, each side vying to enact their own justice.

Oscar and Golden Globe winner and 10-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter Legend also stars in and executive produces the upcoming feature La La Land, and he recently executive produced the feature Southside with You.

Underground is created and written by Misha Green and Joe Pokaski, who serve as executive producers alongside Emmy-nominated director Anthony Hemingway, Oscar-winning writer Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) of Weed Road Pictures; Tory Tunnell (King Arthur, Holy Rollers) and Joby Harold (King Arthur, Edge of Tomorrow) of Safehouse Pictures; and Legend, Mike Jackson and Ty Stiklorius of Get Lifted Film Co; and Mark Taylor (MadTV).