The Glorious Corner: “America’s Most Musical Family”, Vivendi ,”NYPD Blue”, and More

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America’s Most Musical Family judges

G. H. Harding

CHINA, HERE WE COME— Vivendi has announced that it has started negotiations with Tencent for a 10% investment in UMG. This minority stake is based on a preliminary equity valuation of €30 billion ($33.6b) for 100% of UMG; Tencent would have a one-year call option to purchase another 10% at the same price and terms.

Furthermore, Vivendi announced, it was exploring avenues of “enhanced cooperation” withTencent. A recent Bloomberg report speculated that the Chinese behemoth would come aboard as an investor in the majorest of the majors.

This in the wake of reports that Uni’s French parent would be spinning off as much as 50% of the company; how this minority investment will play into the larger financial narrative remains to be seen. In the meantime, here are some wise words from UMG boss Sir Lucian Grainge, who delivered the following while mounted upon his faithful charger.

Dear Colleagues,

Today Vivendi announced that they have entered into preliminary negotiations with Tencent for an investment of 10% of UMG’s share capital.   

This is an exciting development for both Vivendi and UMG and affirms once again just how much our strategy and hard work are succeeding.  As Vivendi discussed last week with its investors, we continue to deliver remarkable, record-setting results.  Our success is driven by placing our recording artists and songwriters at the center of everything we do and providing them with the industry’s best creative and commercial resources on a global basis.    

Obviously, we remain part of the Vivendi family—today’s announcement is about a minority investment by Tencent.  I can assure you that Vivendi’s Supervisory and Management Boards as well as the Bolloré family continue to be steadfast supporters of our strategy, our work and our teams.  And it goes without saying, that our commitment to recording artists and songwriters will continue unchanged. 

Clearly, the possibilities to accelerate and broaden our strategy are exciting.  But for now, it’s critical that we remain focused on our important work at hand.   

Thank you once again for your incredible achievements.  As validated by this announcement, our results to date have been historic.  As we move forward, we will continue to embrace change and disrupt the traditional business, as we build a bright future for ourselves, our artists and our investors.    



NYPD DISSOLVES — (Via Deadline) In one of the biggest surprises this past pilot season, ABC’s NYPD Blue reboot did not go to series but was kept in midseason contention with a possibility for redevelopment.

It now appears that particular iteration of NYPD Blue, a sequel to the original Emmy-winning series, is dead. It is not being redeveloped, and the cast was released in June.

But it’s not the end of NYPD Blue‘s comeback at the network, which aired the iconic 1990’s cop drama series.

“There are conversations about continuing it but possibly in a different iteration,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke told Deadline during TCA on Monday.

David Caruso

The recent NYPD Blue pilot starred newcomer Fabien Frankel and co-starred original cast members Kim Delaney and Bill Brochtrup. The sequel centers on Theo (Frankel), the son of Dennis Franz’s Detective Andy Sipowicz character from the original series, who tries to earn his detective shield and work in the 15th squad while investigating his father’s murder.

Like the original 1993-2005 ABC series, the follow-up, from NYPD Blue alums Matt Olmstead, Nick Wootton and Jesse Bochco, revolved around a core group of 15th Precinct officers/detectives, led by Theo. It also included Detective Craig Pettibone (Rick Gomez) and Detective Nicole Lazarus (Alona Tal). Delaney and Brochtrup reprised their roles as Diane Russell and John Irvin, respectively.

I loved NYPD Blue when it first aired. Die-hard fans will remember that David Caruso was actually Sipowicz’s partner first before he flew after one season to CSI Miami. Hey, Caruso has seemingly disappeared since CSI Miami went off the air … it’d be real neat to have him back in some capacity. Dennis Franz too … why they have his character murdered is anyone guess. Truth be told, he was the heart of the show. Jimmy Smits was great, but Dennis Franz was outstanding. 

See, this whole episode just illustrates why all these reboots don’t always work. Look at Murphy Brown. The one reason that Kelsey Grammar keeps giving about a possible Frasier reboot is just that … it’s got to work!

A.J. Calloway

SHORT TAKES — In Monday’s column we wrote about all the changes for the syndicated-Hollywood beat shows like ET and Extra. Word came over the weekend that Extra’s  A.J. Calloway was removed from the show due to two ongoing investigations regarding a sexual impropriety. We just want to add that in all the years of us writing about the goings-on in Hollywood-land … we never came across an individual, male or female, as rude as Calloway was. In fact, I’m quite sure there were many more such situations going on. He was, not a nice man. Karma’s a funny thing, right? … Tamron Hall, late of NBC’s Today Show, re-enters the TV-fray come September with her own talk show … headed up by none-other than Bill Gedde: best referenced as Barbara Walter’s right-hand for decades. Bill’s a formidable presence, and his participation makes me want to watch this show as it goes on … The Rolling Stones did their second local date Monday night and did a version of their “Harlem Shuffle”-the first time they performed that number since 1990 … Ciara is following in the footsteps of her NFL star/former Kid’s Choice Sports Awards host husband Russell Wilson by joining the Nickelodeon family. The Grammy winner will be a judge and serve as executive producer, alongside Republic Records, onAmerica’s Most Musical Family, a new musical competition series, the network announced on Thursday. Ciara will be joined on the judges’ panel by David Dobrik and Debbie Gibson,(fresh off the MixTapeTour with NKOTB) with Nick Lachey to host. The competition show, which was first announced in February, sees 30 families compete for a recording contract with Republic Recordsand a $250,000 cash prize. The 12-episode series begins production this week in Los Angeles and is scheduled to premiere later this fall. In its quest to find the best family band in the U.S.,  America’s Most Musical Family  will feature a wide variety of talented and diverse families of two or more relatives who perform together, ranging from a father/daughter duo, sibling groups and a 12-member multi-generational brass ensemble, according to the network’s description … If you recall, Republic Records was where one Charlie Walk worked and he left the label under the scrutiny of several internal investigations focused on sexual impropriety. Ironically, Charlie is now working for Steve Stoute, who had his own investigations going after he was attacked by several members of the Bad Boy entertainment group years ago. Congrats to Nickelodeon on this new show … Chuck Negron, formerly of iconic band Three Dog Night, proposed to his long-time girlfriend and manager, Ami Albea, in the midst of his sixth appearance on the Happy Together Tour. The two met eight years ago and are currently on their sixth tour together. At a recent stop in Nashville, Tenn., the “Joy to the World” singer asked Albea’s father for his blessing. The rock legend and his fiance are planning a Spring 2020 wedding in Albea’s hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Negron and Albea first started dating when she asked him out on their first date to see her friend’s John Lennon Tribute Show, Just Imagine. The two have been inseparable ever since. She is responsible for implementing his oxygen therapy glasses onstage, which has contributed to the continued longevity of his career. Negron is planning to join the Happy Together Tour next summer for a seventh year. Albea also runs Rock n’ Pop Shop where she creates one of a kind re-purposed vintage memorabilia … And, a few weeks ago we alluded to a new album by one son of a famous father and the other a nephew. Turns out their big tour has just been canceled as one has got to have some surgery. We don’t wish any harm to anyone … but, karma’s a bitch ain’t it?

Republic Records

NAMES IN THE NEWS — Alison Martino; Robert Funaro; Tom & Lisa Cuddy; Adam White; Baz Golden; Ray D’Ariano; Jerry Lembo; Marion Perkins; Liz Rosenberg; Madonna; Curtis Urbina; Les Scwartz; Mark Bego; Adam Curry; Randy Alexander; Alan Reubens; Eppy; Steve Walter; Peter Abraham;Robert Miller; Sarah Clarke; and, CHIP.

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