*”Empire’s” Jussie Smollett will star opposite his sister Jurnee Smollett-Bell on the upcoming WGN slave revolt drama “Underground.” The series follows “a group of slaves planning a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom. Their efforts are aided by a secret abolitionist couple who run a station on the Underground Railroad, per THR.
Smollett will play Josey, “a wild-eyed runaway,” in the upcoming episode titled “Firefly,” premiering Wednesday, March 30 at 10:00 p.m. (ET/PT) on WGN America. The episode marks the first on-screen reunion for Smollett and his sister in more than two decades. They starred alongside their siblings in the 1994 ABC sitcom “On Our Own.”
“It was so much fun! He does two episodes on the show as a guest star and kills it,” Smollett-Bell says. “He really loses himself in this character as a runaway slave. I’m excited for people to see because it’s so different from Jamal on Empire!”
Smollett joins a cast that includes Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: SVU), Reed Diamond (Agents of SHIELD), Aldis Hodge (Rectify), Jessica De Gouw (Arrow) and Marc Blucas (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
“Creating was something that we just were expected to do,” Mr. Smollett said, in a recent joint interview with his sister for the NY Times. They also explain how their parents fostered an environment that allowed them to hone their skills as performers.
“We were like the Swiss Family Robinson,” he said. “You put on shows — we had a whole damn production, because we had all these kids,” Mr. Smollett said. At birthdays and Mother’s Days, “everyone would have to get up and sing,” Jurnee continued.
“Underground” has delivered an impressive 3 million Total Viewers on Wednesday nights in Live + 3 DVR viewing, and is the network’s highest performing original drama ever. The hit freshman show is the #6 highest-rated cable series premiere of the 2015-16 Broadcast TV season.
Get a clip tease of the episode below: