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Soul Train may not have reached the end of the line after all, It was confirmed this week that Don Cornelius, the founder of the hit TV show, has sold the franchise to a production company called, MadVision Enter-tainment.
Who’s MadVision? Founded in 2006, the Los Angeles based company is owned by three urban media vets namely Kenard Gibbs, the group publisher for Ebony and Jet Magazines, Anthony Maddox, a producer at NBC and executive from Sean Jean’s film company, and Peter Griffith who founded a hip hop web portal and assisted with the brand marketing of VIBE Magazine.
The deal was struck back in May, but neither Cornelius nor the MadVision founders would discuss it until now. “The series has never been shown on DVD, and it’s not been utilized on video-on-demand or mobile or Internet platforms,” Griffith told the New York Times this week. “There are many opportunities that we are exploring.”
Neither the company nor Mr. Cornelius would comment on the sale price.
In the 1970s and 1980s, “Soul Train” became a household word and helped many Black artists get the national attention they deserved including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, The Temptations and many others. But the real stars were the young dancers who would strut their stuff each week and who can forget the Soul Train scrabble board.
Mr. Cornelius, now 71, who is always very abrupt when he speaks, was clear about his decision to sell.
“Thirty-five years is a long time,” he said.