All Aboard New ‘Soul Train’
After 38 years, "Soul Train" has new owners and maybe a new lease on life.
The iconic show, owned and produced by Don Cornelius, has produced no new episodes in years but has lived on in syndicated reruns. Production company MadVision Entertainment bought the franchise from Cornelius in May and plans to open the "Soul Train" archives for older consumers as well as to create a new version of the program for younger ones, according the New York Times.
With the popularity of televised dance contests like ABC’s "Dancing With The Stars" and Fox’s "So You Think You Can Dance?" the time might be ripe for a resurrection of "Soul Train," which was as much about the young dancers it showcased every week as it was about presenting the latest in urban music and fashion.
Its new owners think it’s time "Soul Train" took advantage of technologies not available when platform soles, bell-bottomed pants or eight-track tapes were all the rage.
"The series has never been shown on DVD, and it’s not been utilized on video-on-demand or mobile or Internet platforms," MadVision co-founder Peter Griffith told the Times. "There are many opportunities that we are exploring."
Another of MadVision’s co-founders, Kenard Gibbs, is a publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines. Anthony Maddox has worked as a producer at NBC and ran Sean Combs’ Bad Boy Films.
Cornelius stopped producing new episodes of "Soul Train" in 2006. "The Best of Soul Train" is shown on weekends in syndication.
Los Angeles-based MadVision is backed by Leo Hindery’s New York private equity firm InterMedia Partners LP, according to Bloomberg News.