Oprah Winfrey Reveals Why She Rejected ‘Underground’

Published: Wednesday 7th Jun 2017 by David

Oprah Winfrey has revealed why her OWN network rejected the offer to pick up the series ‘Underground.’

Fans of the groundbreaking series will know that it was pulled off the air after its home network WGN  revealed it was moving away from scripted content.

Said fans had hoped the series would find another homes swiftly as they anticipated its next season.

Why Oprah decided to turn it down?

I can’t afford Underground. 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.

She revealed the above during a recent interview launched to promote the aforementioned ‘Sugar.’

Your thoughts?

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  1. SMH June 7, 2017

    Sorry I’m finding it VERY hard to believe that Oprah Winfrey can’t afford something.

    • Jasmine June 7, 2017

      It is quite simple. The amount you invest in something has to be less than the amount of profit you receive in return.

  2. Jeans June 7, 2017

    I know right. Seems weird to have her say she can’t afford it. Lol.

    • audreyherbsburn June 7, 2017

      She’s not going to pay out of her own pocket, of course…

  3. Casual June 7, 2017

    This can be worked out by the writers and producers. Much of the show is about the main characters running around in the woods. Many of the other locations must be rented, but I understand there is a cost there as well. Perhaps they need to pace the show in such a way that each filming cycle results in twice as many episodes.

    Take a look at how Tyler Perry paces Haves and Have Nots and If Loving You is Wrong. For HAHN, when Tyler invested in a jail set, he sent Jim, Kathryn, David, Veronica, Jeffrey, War, and Mitch to jail. When he worked out a deal to film at a hospital, everything suddenly had a reason to be at the hospital on both shows. The writers of Underground don’t need to make their plotlines as achingly slow as Tyler does, but there is a way to manage this and get this show back on the air.

    • Sam June 7, 2017

      I agree! I’m sure Oprah has a forest behind one of her houses she could use for location on land at least and that could cut the costs.

      Its a shame because i live for Underground and Queen Sugar…. but who knew it cost so much to make, i’m sure Get Out cost 4.5 million to make

  4. I MightNate June 7, 2017

    She could literally use the same sets as Green Leaf. This is fishy af. Nobody wants to touch the stories they’re telling.

    • Jasmine June 7, 2017

      So you are just ignoring the high cost it takes to produce each episode. The story itself is nothing anyone would not “want to touch”. It is the cost that is a major turnoff. Executives already know what kind of profits they will see and when the production costs outweigh the profits there is nothing else they can do but say no. This show should be pitched to Netflix or Hulu because Netflix and Hulu are more hands on with production budgets and they trim excess costs. Most regular tv executives are not involved in production budgets at all. When the show is pitched to them the budget is already drawn up.

  5. Cynthia Davis Francis June 7, 2017

    What about Mr. Combs? Didin’t he start his own network?

    • Jasmine June 7, 2017

      That network can’t afford this show. People are forgetting that just because a rich person is behind a tv network, it does not mean their personal wealth is tied up into the network nor should they (that is broke people logic to put all your eggs in one basket). It is just another profitable business for them.

      • The Side Eye of RA June 8, 2017

        Yes, these people have little business sense. They honestly believe Oprah is funding programming via her own personal wealth. No successful business person would ever operate that way; it would be a surefire way to lose money.

  6. PatienceHoney June 7, 2017

    Groundbreaking series???? It’s been done before.

  7. stan June 7, 2017

    i wonder if they could do some production tricks to significantly cut down costs. it’d be a shame if this show goes away.

  8. Nene Leakes June 7, 2017

    Hmhmm see this goes back to what Monique and Janet Hubert was saying about Tyler Perry, Oprah, Jada and Will… They have the money and studios but don’t want to invest and help out other black talent… SMH

    • MUSICHEAD June 7, 2017

      Do your math baby. If the show costs $50 million per season to make, but the network only makes $25 million back in profits, that’s a 50% business loss. You expect these people to give away  $25 million of their own money so you can watch tv? Nah!

    • Jasmine June 7, 2017

      That is a lie. Tyler produces black shows / movies and hires black employees. The same goes for Oprah, Jada, Will, Lee Daniels, etc. Who are you to dictate what shows they produce? They are people just like everyone else and humans have the ability to make decisions for themselves and their businesses.

  9. DanYiel Iman June 8, 2017

    Everyone complaining but how much money are y’all PROVIDING? ?

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