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UMG IS READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP

Universal Music Group is jumping into the TV business with Lionsgate, signing a multiyear first-look deal to develop original scripted and unscripted television projects drawn from UMG’s labels, artists and music.

UMG’s film and television production and development division, Polygram Entertainment, and Lionsgate will be mining the catalogs of labels such as Capitol, Def Jam, Island, Motown and others to produce premium programming. In addition, UMG will produce soundtrack albums associated with projects created under this agreement.

The two companies have worked together on soundtracks for La La Land (Interscope), Hunger Games (Republic) and Divergent (Interscope), among others.

UMG EVP Michele Anthony said the partnership would “create an unmatched opportunity for our artists and labels and the stories they inspire. … Polygram has quickly become a home for Hollywood’s brightest creators and this partnership is a significant step in our television and audiovisual strategy, as well as our evolution as a global media company.”

UMG launched Polygram in early 2017 and has announced documentaries on Motown, INXS’s Michael Hutchence, Luciano Pavarotti and The Velvet Underground plus an animated film based on Bob Marley’s songs.

“We see so much opportunity for storytelling in the talent and properties that UMG represents, and we look forward to working together to bring these incredible stories to life in a way that resonates with a global audience,” said Lionsgate Television Group Chairman Kevin Beggs.

David Blackman, Head of Film and Television, Development and Production, UMG, noted, “There’s never been a more exciting time to be in the music space and I feel fortunate to be at a company that is uniquely positioned at the intersection of film, television and music with an unrivaled roster of artists who continue to impact culture globally.”

Lionsgate’s biggest music-based film is last year’s 2Pac biopic, All Eyez on Me.

 

 

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