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.
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.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.”