With his production company Get Lifted, the Grammy and Oscar winner is set to take on a key role for the one-hour drama for U.S. network WGN America.

Legend will also oversee the score, soundtrack and all other music aspect of the programme, a position show bosses had initially eyed Kanye West for, according to TVLine.com.

Underground follows a group of plantation slaves who band together to plan a risky escape to freedom, and stars Law & Order: SVU actor Christopher Meloni, Aldis Hodge, Jurnee Smollett-Bell and James Lafferty.

The series is slated to premiere next year (16).

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The Wrap: John Legend's Get Lifted to Executive Produce WGN America's ...