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"The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats have long and successful legacies, and the opportunity to work with Lou on this new venture is exhilarating."
——Strauss Zelnick
COMIC BOOK CHARACTERS
COME TO LIFE
Pearlman, Zelnick, Archie Entertainment Launch Venture to Form Music Groups

It's another case of life imitating artwork.

Boy band impresario Lou Pearlman, former BMG CEO and ZelnickMedia principal Strauss Zelnick and Archie Entertainment Co-Chairman Michael Silberkleit have created a joint venture to launch real-life music groups based on the cartoon characters that make up The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats. No word from Richie Rich's camp as to whether he'll get a separate deal.

Previously, songs "by" the Archies and Josie and the Pussycats were performed by studio musicians. Most recently, for the Josie and the Pussycats movie and soundtrack, Letters to Cleo frontwoman Kay Hanley handled Josie's voice. For those of you a little long in the tooth, the Archies had a # 1 song in 1969 with "Sugar, Sugar."

The principals will conduct a nationwide talent search to fill the respective lineups of the Archies and Josie and the Pussycats music groups with living, breathing humans. Following the search, the two groups will begin work immediately on their debut albums and prepare for touring. Hopefully, they'll be good live draws.

In the fine tradition of Perlman's boy bands, the content of every activity involving the groups will be subject to the approval of Archie Entertainment, "in order to preserve the wholesome tradition of the beloved fictional Riverdale High School teenagers first introduced in the 1940s." Which was that enlightened time before desegregation, women's lib, the peace movement and the sexual revolution Ah, those were the days.

"I am proud to be associated with ZelnickMedia and Archie Entertainment," said Pearlman. " I hope to have as much fun developing these projects as the public will have watching and listening to them. And I can't wait to meet Veronica; she was always my favorite."

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Archie Entertainment and Lou Pearlman on this new endeavor," Zelnick gushed. "The Archies and Josie and the Pussycats have long and successful legacies, and the opportunity to work with Lou on this new venture is exhilarating. He loves it when I call him Big Poppa.'"

Said Michael Silberkleit: "We are very excited to see our characters, who have lived in the imaginations of generations of readers, come to life as members of singing groups that, with Lou's help, are sure to be loved by kids, young and old, just like the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC. All the kids down at the soda shop love the Backstreet Boys, don't they? Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna head over there myself for a chocolate malt. "

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