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John Legend Will Play Frederick Douglass on Underground

He'll appear in an episode airing in 2017.

Malcolm Venable

Singer-songwriter John Legend will portray abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass on WGN's hit show Underground next season, the network announced Friday.

The Oscar and Golden Globe winner, who's served as an executive producer on the show since its debut in March of 2016, will play the anti-slavery writer, speaker and activist when the show returns in 2017, though no premiere date has been announced yet. A representative at the network said Legend is slated to appear in one episode as of now and it's not yet clear exactly how Douglass comes in contact with the show's heroes on the run from their plantation in Georgia.

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Underground: Ernestine meets a new foe

Legend's casting as Douglass, who famously escaped bondage in Maryland and eventually met with President Abraham Lincoln, is the latest in big news for the program. Underground announced that it cast Aisha Hinds (True Blood) in the role of Harriet Tubman, and it was honored with a screening at the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Earlier this year.

Underground returns to WGN America in 2017.