After the failure that is BET was sold into a big ole money making machine who only sees the African American as someone that wants to watch video’s all day and who can be sold a studio produced musical act that can neither sing nor dance I was sadden when I read this article.. No ill feelings to the man, he hung in there as long as possible and the new cat at least has some cred but then again he was around during those Mase shiny suit days….
I just hope the new version doesn’t have Ryan Seacrest…
After 38 Years, ‘Soul Train’ Gets New Owner
People who think of “Soul Train” as an artifact from 1970s television may be surprised to learn that the 38-year-old song-and-dance show was never canceled. Although no new episodes are produced, it lives on in reruns that showcase the taste-making music, hairstyles and fashions of decades past.
Now a production company, MadVision Entertainment, has bought the “Soul Train” franchise from its founder, Don Cornelius, and plans to breathe new life into it. The plan is to open up the show’s archives for older consumers as well as to create a new version of the program for younger ones.
“The series has never been shown on DVD, and it’s not been utilized on video-on-demand or mobile or Internet platforms,” Peter Griffith, a co-founder of MadVision, said. “There are many opportunities that we are exploring.”
MadVision, which was founded in 2006 by three urban media veterans, is best known for the Showtime stand-up comedy series “White Boyz in the Hood.” One of the founders of MadVision, Kenard Gibbs, is the group publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines. Another founder, Anthony Maddox, worked as a producer at NBC and ran Sean Combs’s Bad Boy Films. Mr. Griffith, the third partner, founded a hip-hop Web portal and worked with Vibe to extend the magazine’s brand.
The deal for “Soul Train,” reached in mid-May, is the first acquisition for MadVision, which is based in Los Angeles. Neither the company nor Mr. Cornelius would comment on the sale price.
Mr. Cornelius, a former disc jockey, was not just the creator of “Soul Train,” but also the writer, producer and host. He produced the pilot for “Soul Train” in 1970.
Three years later, calling the show an “almost instant success,” a reviewer for The New York Times said that “Soul Train” was to “American Bandstand” as “Champagne is to seltzer water.” Later, the director Spike Lee called it an “urban music time capsule.”
“We had a show that kids gravitated to,” Mr. Cornelius said.
In the 1970s and 1980s, “Soul Train” helped glamorize black music, featuring performances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson and other hit makers. But the real stars were the young dancers who would strut their stuff, laying the groundwork for countless dance programs , including current ones like Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance?” and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
But the “Soul Train” brand has not entered the Internet age. Its Web site has barely been updated since 2006, when Mr. Cornelius stopped producing new episodes. “The Best of Soul Train” is now shown on weekends in syndication.
For MadVision, the rights issues will be complicated. The company will have to compensate artists, producers and labels for rebroadcasts of the songs played on the show.
As for 2008 version of “Soul Train,” Mr. Griffith said the company is in talks with potential producers about what the show might look like.
Mr. Cornelius, now 71, didn’t mince words about his decision to sell.
“Thirty-five years is a long time,” he said.