×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Universal Music Group Revives Polygram Label for Film and TV Production

Universal Music Group is reviving the Polygram Entertainment banner as the music giant seeks to expand its film and TV production activity.

UMG said Saturday that Polygram will be tasked with producing movies and TV programs and financing documentaries, with an emphasis on projects tied to artists connected to UMG labels. The first project from the imprint will be a documentary on Motown Records, one of the iconic music labels in the UMG vault. Also in the works is “Mystify,” a docu about the life of Michael Hutchence the late singer of INXS.

David Blackman, who was recruited to head UMG’s newly formed film and TV unit in January, will oversee the Santa Monica-based Polygram operation, reporting to UMG exec VP Michele Anthony and Universal Music Publishing Group chairman-CEO Jody Gerson.

“Polygram will play an important role in furthering UMG’s global strategy to produce the very best in audio-visual storytelling and provide our artists with an important medium for their expression and creativity,” Anthony said. “Music is essential to film and television – and the stories surrounding our artists and their music provide compelling narratives for audiences around the world.”

“The Story of Motown” will be spearheaded by Steve Barnett, chairman-CEO of Capitol Music Group. The project is billed as the first Motown doc to have the participation of label founder Berry Gordy, who will make material from his personal archive available for the first time. Polygram, Motown, Ghost Pictures and Fulwell 73 (the production banner run by James Corden and “Late Late Show” exec producer Ben Winston) are producing.

“Mystify” is a co-production of Polygram, Surfing Cowboys, Ghost Pictures and Passion Pictures. Richard Lowenstein is on board to direct; John Battsek is producing.

The Polygram Entertainment initiative was unveiled by UMG chief Lucian Grainge and the group’s Grammy Showcase event at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles.

UMG has been edging into the documentary arena for the past few years, having served as a producer of the 2015 Amy Winehouse documentary “Amy” and HBO’s “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.”

(Pictured: Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson at the London premiere of “Motown the Musical” in 2016)

More TV

  • AMERICAN HORROR STORY: 1984 -- Pictured:

    'American Horror Story' Recap: 'Episode 100' Pushes '1984' Forward in Time

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Episode 100,” the sixth episode of “American Horror Story: 1984.” One hundred episodes is a big milestone in television these days, so kudos to “American Horror Story” for getting there. Also kudos for pulling out all the stops for this big episode — it definitely [...]

  • Seth Meyers TV Take Podcast

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Announces Seth Meyers's Standup Special

    In today’s TV news roundup, Netflix announced the premiere date for “Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby” and Epix released a trailer for “Belgravia.” CASTING AMC announced that “Succession” actor Sarah Snook, David Costabile (“Breaking Bad”) and Sonya Cassidy (“Lodge 49”) have been cast in its upcoming anthology series from Will Bridges and Brett Goldstein. The still-to-be-titled series is set 15 years into the [...]

  • Rachel Maddow

    Four Female Journalists Will Moderate Next Democratic Debate

    Four women will moderate the next Democratic debate, slated for broadcast on MSNBC. Rachel Maddow, the primetime host; Andrea Mitchell, the veteran foreign correspondent; Kristen Welker, the NBC News White House correspondent; and Ashley Parker, a Washington Post White House reporter, will moderate the event, MSNBC said Wednesday. The broadcast is slated for November 20. [...]

  • Neilsons Measurment Problems TV Digital

    Megan Clarken, Key Nielsen Executive, Will Depart Company (EXCLUSIVE)

    Megan Clarken, a Nielsen executive who has been instrumental in the company’s quest to keep tabs on consumers in the many new ways they have to watch TV, is leaving the measurement giant. “After 15 years at Nielsen, Megan Clarken will be leaving at the end of the month to take on a new position [...]

  • James Murdoch

    James Murdoch on 'Succession,' Pete Buttigieg and Climate Change

    James Murdoch doesn’t watch Fox News and he doesn’t watch “Succession.” “There are some shows that you just know you’re never going to watch,” the youngest son of media mogul and Fox Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch told Vanity Fair editor-in-chief Radhika Jones on Wednesday, alluding to to the HBO series centered on a family-run media [...]

  • Freddie Prinze Jr First Impressions

    Freddie Prinze Jr. Joins ‘Punky Brewster’ Sequel Pilot at NBCU’s Peacock Streamer

    Freddie Prinze Jr. is joining another pilot, this time at NBCUniversal’s forthcoming Peacock streaming service. He will play a recurring role in the “Punky Brewster” sequel pilot which was ordered when the Peacock unfurled its slate of feathers back in September. Prinze Jr. was a part of the pilot for the CW’s “Nancy Drew” earlier [...]

  • Traci Blackwell

    BET Names Traci Lynn Blackwell Head of Scripted

    Traci Lynn Blackwell has joined BET has head of scripted programming. Blackwell joins BET from the CW, where she was senior VP, current programming. As executive VP, scripted programming, Blackwell will lead all originals efforts for BET Networks’ linear channels and streaming service BET Plus. She will report to BET Networks president Scott Mills. “Traci [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content