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Even Oprah Can't Afford To Save "Underground"

"It's like, $5 million an episode — can't afford it."

Posted on June 7, 2017, at 4:37 p.m. ET

Last week, fans of WGN America's Underground had to say goodbye to the series after new owners cleaned house of all the network's original shows.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell / Via instagram.com

Executive producer John Legend said they were shopping the show elsewhere.

WGN America has been bought and is going a different direction strategically. We will find a new home for… https://t.co/vjmzNWt1Fb

John Legend / Via Twitter: @johnlegend

And there were rumblings of Oprah Winfrey adding the show to her OWN lineup.

Oprah's OWN Network In the Running to Pick Up 'Underground' After Surprise Cancellation https://t.co/qVVLVg3v2A

Atlanta Black Star / Via Twitter: @ATLBlackStar

WGN Officially Cancels 'Underground' - Will It Find a New Home? Maybe at OWN? https://t.co/sKDix1ZiL7

Shadow And Act / Via Twitter: @shadowandact

But this week, at a Queen Sugar event, Winfrey addressed the rumors, and delivered the cold, hard truth about why she can't save it.

Full text of Oprah’s answer about not picking up #UndergroundWGN:

Soraya N. McDonald / Via Twitter: @SorayaMcDonald

The Undefeated's culture critic Soraya McDonald tweeted Winfrey's quote from the event: "I can't afford Underground. It costs twice as much to make. As a matter of fact, my dear friend John Legend called me, but we'd already been talking for weeks about could we make it work, could we make it work. It's like, $5 million an episode — can't afford it. It's not cheap. And I think it's because it's a period piece. And also, it doesn't have— I think the highest number I saw was like a 0.4 or something. It has the social media following, but it doesn't have the numbers that can justify it as a business, for me, at this stage in my business, to spend $5 million an episode."

TL;DR

Twitter: Own should pick up underground! Oprah: y'all got Underground money?

Ma$on / Via Twitter: @FirstGentleman

Sadly, the future of the show looks pretty bleak if even Winfrey can't afford it.

Giphy / Via giphy.com

A rep for Legend didn't immediately reply to BuzzFeed News' request for an update about Underground's future, while Sony had no comment when reached.

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