Written by | Ray Cornelius 

The stars of WGN’s breakout series “Underground” received their very first cast awards tonight at SCAD’s “aTVfest” in Atlanta, GA. The annual television and film event, which is sponsored by the Savannah College of Art and Design, presented Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Aisha Hinds and Amirah Vann with awards for Outstanding Achievement in Television.

You’d have to be living under a rock to have not heard or seen at least one episode of this exciting show executive produced by John Legend. The series is centered around  a group of slaves and their daring 600-mile escape from a Georgia plantation to the north. The first season was originally filmed in Louisiana but was moved to Georgia by WGN last year.

The actors have been making their rounds all across Atlanta today including a stop by the CNN studios. They will also host a special screening along with a Q&A session tomorrow afternoon at Clark Atlanta University.

Following tonight’s awards presentation, we all got a chance to see the first episode of the second season and baaaabbby it is hot! While I can’t give away too many details I will tell you to look out for appearances from “Hit The Floor” actor Rob Riley as well as “Jason’s Lyric” star Bokeem Woodbine. Hinds debut as the famed abolitionist Hariett Tubman is definitely not to be missed and lives up to my expectation of how this true American icon should look and sound. Vann’s character, Ernestine is dealing with a lot of issues since she was sold away from the plantation in the season one finale (spoiler alert for those who haven’t seen season one) and must face some serious demons from her past. RosaLee (Bell) is determined to get Noah (Hodge) out of jail and will risk it all to do so. Audiences will also be introduced to some new characters who will definitely add more texture to the show’s overall story. Again, I can’t tell you too much so make sure you tune into the season two debut on Wednesday, March 8 at 10 p.m. on WGN.

Also, be on the look out for my exclusive interviews with the “Underground” stars on a future edition of  “UPFRONT” Inside Atlanta’s Entertainment Industry. I got a chance to talk with each one about the show’s success and much more!

Check out additional photos below including pics from a press junket held earlier tonight + new character posters.

Aisha Hinds, Amirah Vann, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and Aldis Hodge

Aldis Hodge

Amirah Vann

Aishah Hinds 

Jurnee Smollett-Bell in the new character posters

The ladies of UNDERGROUND with their “Cast Awards”

Aldis Hodge discussing his character Noah

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com