Polygram Entertainment, Universal Music Group’s film and television division, along with Capitol Music Group, Motown Records and Fulwell 73 announced today that “Hitville: The Making of Motown” has been acquired by Showtime for release in North America with plans for a fall premiere, and Altitude for theatrical release in the UK and Ireland. The feature-length documentary chronicles the enormous success and enduring cultural impact of Motown Records, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary this September. Endeavor Content brokered both deals and represents the project worldwide.
Directed by Gabe and Ben Turner, “Hitville: The Making of Motown” focuses on the period beginning with the birth of the company in Detroit in 1958 until its relocation to Los Angeles in the early 1970s. The story of Motown is told through interviews with the label’s visionary founder, Berry Gordy, and many of its superstar artists and creative figures, as well as rare performances and behind-the-scenes footage unearthed from Motown’s vaults and Gordy’s personal archives. The doc is the first documentary about the iconic label with Gordy’s participation.
Gordy is an executive producer on the film. The film’s additional executive producers include CMG Chairman and CEO Steve Barnett, CMG COO, Michelle Jubelirer, Motown Records president Ethiopia Habtemariam and Polygram’s David Blackman along with Marty Bandier. Fulwell 73’s Leo Pearlman produced the film.
In making this announcement, Barnett said, “With Showtime and Altitude, we are excited to have two strong partners to bring the incredible story of Motown, one of the world’s most iconic record labels, to audiences in North America, U.K. and Ireland. As the first official documentary with Berry Gordy, the founder of the iconic label, audiences will gain new perspectives on the recording artists and songwriters who shaped the era.”
“‘Hitsville’ is critical not only to the history of music in America, but also the history of America itself,” said Vinnie Malhotra, Executive Vice President, Nonfiction Programming, Showtime Networks Inc. “And you’ve never seen Motown explored and remembered the way that Gabe and Ben Turner do it here.”