UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP AND GRACE/BEYOND COMMENCE DEVELOPMENT OF THREE NEW TELEVISION SERIES
Current Project Titles Include 27, Melody Island and Mixtape
LOS ANGELES, August 21, 2017 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, and Grace/Beyond (GB), the multi-faceted entertainment production company led by principal partners Josh Wakely, Mikael Borglund and Trevor Roy, announced today that the companies have started development on three new television series with the temporary titles of 27, Melody Island, and Mixtape.
The new productions build on the successful relationship between the two companies. UMG’s Republic Records releases soundtracks to Josh Wakely’s Beat Bugs, the Netflix hit animated series where each episode is inspired by a Beatles song, including performances by several UMG artists. The companies are also collaborating on an Untitled Motown Project at Netflix that will feature newly recorded versions of Motown classics. As part of a new agreement between the companies, GB will develop future projects based on UMG’s recorded music and publishing catalogs.
The newly commenced projects include:
27 (current title)
A startling array of legendary musicians, artists and entertainers died tragically young at the age of 27. This series explores the life circumstances behind a fictionalized variety of characters coming to a crossroads at the pivotal age of 27. Viewers will be able to experience the series in a traditional linear format as well as engaging with it through interactive choice of storytelling. The live-action, scripted program features songs from artists spanning the UMG publishing catalogs.
Melody Island (current title)
Each episode of this animated series for children features a story inspired by a classic UMG master or composition with an uplifting message and tropical island feeling. Live action segments hosted by luminaries from popular culture will teach children a project or craft they can do at home with their families or fellow students in the classroom. The series weaves encouraging messages with classic songs interpreted by contemporary music superstars.
Mixtape is a melodically rich episodic drama that mirrors the way a mixtape works – fast forwarding, pausing and rewinding on the pivotal moments that define the relationships, love and heartbreak of the stories’ characters. Each episode is based on and connected to an iconic song on that forms the 12-track season.
GB principal partners Wakely, Borglund and Roy are the creative and production team behind the Emmy Award-winning Beat Bugs, which features re-imagined versions of The Beatles’ classics by music superstars of today including P!nk, Sia, Eddie Vedder, Rod Stewart, and many others.
In addition, GB’s principal partners are behind a highly anticipated Untitled Motown Project that features newly recorded versions of Motown songs from the Jobete and Stone Diamond publishing catalogs by some of music’s most popular and acclaimed artists. Smokey Robinson is the series’ Executive Music Producer and UMG is a primary investor in the series. The soundtrack will be released on UMG’s Motown/Capitol label through GB’s Melodia imprint, which previously released the Beat Bugs soundtrack through UMG’s Republic Records.
“From my very first meeting with Josh, I was struck by his unique vision and innovative storytelling that holds music as the centerpiece of his film and TV projects,” said Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG. “I’m so proud to expand our relationship with Josh, Mikael, Trevor and the incredibly talented team behind the Emmy Award-winning Beat Bugs and the forthcoming Motown show. At UMG, we support and work with great artists from every medium and I’m thrilled to be working closely with Grace/Beyond to bring original experiences to life based on our extensive catalog and artist rosters.”
“It’s an incredible honor to be entrusted with the jewels of these catalogs of music and songs to create projects that will perpetuate their popularity and reach new audiences around the world,” said Josh Wakely, principal partner at Grace/Beyond. “I’ve long held some very specific ideas that have been burning through me while I searched for the right environment in which to bring them to life. This agreement is a creative dream come true, as I know we have found the perfect partners in Lucian Grainge, Michele Anthony, Boyd Muir and the entire UMG team.”
About Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world leader in music-based entertainment, with a broad array of businesses engaged in recorded music, music publishing, merchandising and audiovisual content in more than 60 countries. Featuring the most comprehensive catalog of recordings and songs across every musical genre, UMG identifies and develops artists and produces and distributes the most critically acclaimed and commercially successful music in the world. Committed to artistry, innovation and entrepreneurship, UMG fosters the development of services, platforms and business models in order to broaden artistic and commercial opportunities for our artists and create new experiences for fans. Universal Music Group is a Vivendi company. Find out more at: http://www.universalmusic.com.
About Grace: A Storytelling Company
Grace is a global independent film and television development and production banner led by filmmaker Josh Wakely and his business partner, Trevor Roy. Grace’s output is distinguished by innovation, and imaginative creative and business partnerships, combined to cultivate transformative storytelling. Based out of Australia and the U.S., Grace is committed to producing intelligent, elevated, talent-driven film and television projects to a worldwide audience.
Beyond International Limited (ASX:BYI) is a leading international producer and distributor of television and digital content and is one of the largest independent distributors of home entertainment product in Australia. The Company is headquartered in Sydney and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. Beyond has produced over five thousand hours of television programs for broadcast internationally including Mythbusters, White Rabbit Project, Taboo, Selling Houses Australia, Deadly Women and Facing Evil. The company has production offices in Sydney, San Francisco and Los Angeles and produces programs for Australian, U.S. and international broadcasters. Beyond’s international distribution business markets an extensive program catalogue sourced from third party producers and internal production. This business unit is headquartered in Dublin, with sale offices in London and Sydney. The Home Entertainment operation focuses on digital and DVD distribution and has an extensive catalogue of product, which is distributed throughout Australia and New Zealand. The Digital Marketing business performs online search optimization, website creation, development and performance and online media sales within Australia and New Zealand.
Melodia is a new and innovative global music label, working with world-leading artists, iconic catalogues and powerful entrepreneurial thinking. It is the home for extraordinary music and storytelling. Melodia was formed by the principals of Beat Bugs’ production entities to release music from this series, including “Beat Bugs: Best of Season 1 & 2 (Music from the Netflix Original Series),” as well as future film, television and theatrical endeavors, in conjunction with the company’s partners.