Oprah Winfrey Explains Why OWN Won't Be Picking up 'Underground'
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Oprah Winfrey Explains Why OWN Won’t Be Picking up ‘Underground’

At a recent press conference, Oprah Winfrey explained why “Underground” will not find a new home on OWN.

While promoting the upcoming season of “Queen Sugar,” she got real with a small group of reporters.

Refinery 29 writes:

“I can’t afford Underground,” Winfrey told a group of eight journalists. “It cost twice as much to make as Queen Sugar. As a matter of fact, my dear friend John Legend called me personally and asked me about it, but we’d already been talking about how we could make it work […] it’s like $5 million an episode, so we can’t afford it. It’s not cheap, I think because it’s a period piece.”

Winfrey added that on top of the price, though the show was often trending on Twitter, it just didn’t have the ratings to justify the expense, especially considering that OWN is still a young and growing network.

“We really tried to make it work,” she says. “I wanted to make it work because I think it’s a good show. I wanted to be able to save that show, but it did not make good business sense for me.”

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  1. Queen

    June 7, 2017 at 11:03 am

    Disappointing but I understand. It’s the same reason The Get Down was cancelled. Nowadays, these networks just don’t have the money to spend on shows like that, so ratings have to be worth it. I’m still hoping someone picks it up and doesn’t water it down for budget reasons.

  2. Anonymous

    June 7, 2017 at 11:07 am

    $5 mil an episode? Wow. I had no idea it costs that much. I hate to say it but no one is going to pick it up if it costs that much.

  3. Yeah I Said It!

    June 7, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    So it’s probably not going to get picked back up by anybody. That sucks.

  4. Honey

    June 7, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    This is not a good sign at all. I really loved this show and I don’t want it to be gone. Ugh!

    • Creole258

      June 7, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      Maybe if she got rid of some of that swill that passes for programming she’d have enough money. WGN America could afford it but they were bought out and the new Company is going in a different direction. OWN is more lucrative than WGN. C’mon Oprah with your connections you can’t persuade others to invest? Who says you have to foot the entire bill? A BLACK billionaire with a Black network and you can’t produce a much needed Black perspective on a historical time in our lives? ESPECIALLY when Harriet Tubman is going to soon be on the $20.00 bill! FOH?

  5. julyol1972

    June 7, 2017 at 2:49 pm

    The only networks with those kind of dollars outside of cable and the primetimes are Amazon, Hulu or Netflix. But whether they’re are willing to take the chance is something totally different. How do you justify the cost?

  6. Realness

    June 7, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Cable is struggling. They can’t afford most of the scripted shows they already have. If the streaming companies don’t pick up Underground, it’s a wrap.

  7. StayReal

    June 8, 2017 at 4:28 am

    Yeah our last hope is truly Hulu they have the capital to spend 60 million a season..good lawd they’re going to have to cut expenses, cast and sets. Hell family guy only cost 2 million per episode

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