VH1 Partners with Actor-Writer-Producer Nick Cannon for Original Movie ‘Drumline: A New Beat”

nickcannonVH1: Los Angeles, CA — Building on the ratings success of last year’s “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” VH1 has green lit its next scripted movie, “Drumline: A New Beat” (tentative title). Entertainer and producer Nick Cannon joins movie producers Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson and Dallas Austin, producers of the original Drumline feature film from Fox 2000, as executive producers on the project. Cannon also will appear in the movie, which is being penned by Regina Hicks and Karin Gist. Principal photography will begin in the spring, targeting a Fall 2014 premiere. The movie is produced by VH1 in partnership with Fox Television Studios.

“Drumline: A New Beat” will eschew a sequel format, instead focusing on a new set of characters at a fictional New Orleans university. The story follows Danielle (Dani) Bolton, an upper class Brooklyn girl who defies her parents in order to attend a college in Louisiana so she can join – and revitalize – their once-prominent drumline. Dani’s quest to become the first female section leader of the drumline in the school’s history will be hampered by upperclassmen (including her cousin, Tyree), her feelings for fellow band mate and rival, Jayven, and the school’s crosstown rivals.

“DRUMLINE was not just a successful film; it was a cultural happening,” says Nick Cannon. “Even though it was released over a decade ago, I am constantly approached by people on the street who tell me how much of an impact it made on them. As a producer, my thought was, ‘How do we create an updated version that would translate to today’s audience and still feel fresh and original?’ Adding a female lead character really makes sense and VH1 is the perfect network to partner with on this modernized take on what is considered a unique and classic film experience. ”
“’Drumline’ has become one of those beloved cornerstone films for a generation, always generating high ratings when we air it on VH1,” said Susan Levison, Executive Vice President of Original Programming & Production, VH1. “We’re beyond excited to revisit that ‘Drumline’ magic with Nick Cannon, Wendy Finerman, Dallas Austin and Jody Gerson to create a film that features a strong, relatable storyline, great music and a little nostalgia — all of which viewers have come to expect from a VH1 original movie.”

“Drumline: A New Beat” is the latest project fueling VH1’s successful momentum into the scripted arena. VH1 delivered the highest-rated original cable movie of 2013 among adults 18-49 with “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story.” 4.5 million total viewers tuned in for its October 21 premiere, which earned a 2.9 rating in the A18-49 demo and scored as the most-tweeted TV topic that day, generating over 2 million tweets. VH1 also had the highest-rated new scripted cable series last summer in the adult 18-49 demo with its freshman series “Hit The Floor.” VH1 has carried that ratings success into 2014 with the third season premiere of “Single Ladies,” which ranked first in its time period among non-sports cable networks with adults 18-49, women 18-49 and women 18-34.

In addition to Nick Cannon, Wendy Finerman, Jody Gerson, and Dallas Austin, “Drumline: A New Beat,” will be executive produced by Maggie Malina and Michael Goldman. Susan Levison and Jill Holmes will executive produce for VH1.

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Jill Scott to join Usher as a mentor on ‘The Voice’

Usher and Jill ScottNBC’s “The Voice” is taking it to the next level, by inviting some of the music industries cream of the crop to mentor alongside they’re grade A coaches Latin sensation Shakira, R&B star Usher, rock star Adam Levine and country star Blake Shelton.

Just weeks after the announcement that Usher and Shakira will be returning (replacing Cee Lo and Christina Aguilera…again) Usher announced that when he returns, he’ll be doing it with a bang! Teaming up with Usher on the upcoming season of “The Voice,” is none other than Jill Scott.

EXTRA revealed that the show’s February 24th return will feature Scott as a mentor for team Usher.

Usher told “Extra’s” Renee Bargh, “That’s my secret weapon, incredible, as a writer, as a musician, as an actress, all those elements really help to prepare artists.”

Scott added, “When Usher calls, you take the call.”

Her advice to contestants? “Listen to your gut, follow your heart and it will lead you somewhere special.”

BET Networks and ICON MANN Partner to Honor Black Men!

nickBET Networks and ICON MANN today announced a partnership to celebrate the positive impact that Black men are making domestically and across the globe with the launch of ICON MANN™ “28 Men of Change.” ™ This special Black History Month initiative will share the journeys of 28 contemporary trailblazers whose formula for success includes empowering others, and who credit their personal and professional advancement to their continued investment in philanthropy.GTY_Forest_Whitaker_mEach day, beginning February 1, 2014, BET Networks will feature the personal story of one of the “28 Men of Change” ™ with 2:00 minute vignettes on BET and Centric. BET.com will offer viewers original videos, photographs and editorial features on these inspirational figures, providing a personal and in-depth interview detailing how they have combined their passion with their purpose.
The diverse list of celebrants recognizes men from multiple countries and a wide array of industries spanning entertainment, business, art, law, finance, medicine, science, politics, education and professional sports. Each individual selected continues to inspire many different generations with his vision, ability, commitment and success in creating positive changes throughout the world.

The group of honorees selected for the inaugural ICON MANN™”28 Men of Change” ™ include (in alphabetical order):
1. Lonnie Bunch III, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
2. Nick Cannon, TV Host, Writer, Director, Executive Producer and Philanthropist
3. Lee Daniels, Film Producer and Oscar-Nominated Director
4. Kasseem ‘Swizz Beatz’ Dean, Grammy Award-Winning Record Producer, Composer and Philanthropist
5. Dr. Courtney Hollowell, Cook County Hospital Chairman of the Division of Urology
6. Nyjah Huston, Professional Street Skateboarder
7. Charles Jenkins, Pastor of the Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church
8. Ron Kirk, Sr. Council of Gibson Dunn and Former U.S. Trade Representative
9. Edward Lewis, Co-founder of Essence Magazine and Latina Magazine
10. Ndaba Mandela, Chairman, Africa Rising Foundation
11. Leland Melvin, NASA Astronaut
12. Dr. Steve Perry, Founder and Principal, Capital Preparatory Magnet School
13. Nile Rodgers, Musician, Producer, Composer and Philanthropist
14. Dr. Robert Ross, President and CEO, The California Endowment
15. Marcus Samuelsson, Chef and UNICEF Ambassador
16. Gary Simmons, Artist
17. Forest Whitaker, Actor, Producer and Director

The remaining honorees will be revealed each day during the month of February 2014.
Founding Partner of ICON MANN™ Tamara N. Houston comments, “There is so much wealth and inspiration within our Black Diaspora, of good men, great men being leaders within the community, the home, across the nation and around the globe. It is time we start to shine the spotlight on them and focus on what is possible. We are thrilled beyond measure with the support that Louis Carr and the entire bet family have provided ICON MANN.”

Are you a songwriter?

Hey I wrote a hit song but never got paid, what happened? Has this ever happened to you? Probably not unless you are one of the 1.5 million songwriters and counting sitting back putting your best ideas and rhymes foot forward.

Record Execs who don’t write any songs  but stack in millions on paper. We call them thieves in the music industry. So, just how do you protect yourself and earn the money you deserve?

First, register your songs with a Rights Organization such as ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. Make sure you have a writer’s account as well as a publisher’s account to protect your music. An investment of $35.00 will go a long way. You must have a publishing company to receive the big money. To register your publishing company ask your rights organization what the fee is. You can do so by registering the name as a Dba, LLC or Corp (e.g. Time Slot Publishing).

Second, if someone else helped you write the song, determine if there will be a 50/50 split down the middle or 50/40/10 depending on how many writers are involved. Know what your splits are and sign off on it with everyone in writing.

Third, make sure to copyright your songs. You can visit copyright.gov. You can register your songs online as an album or single for only $35.00.

Fourth, make sure you upload your songs to get encoded through Mediabase or BDS (Nielsen) so that whenever your song is played on the radio, satellite, etc, you can receive royalties for your song. If your song is registered with I-Tunes or amazon for example, you can also receive royalties from there as well. Make sure you are signed up with sound exchange to receive mechanical royalties which come to you and only you.

Fifth, work your song and make sure you have a plan on how to get it in rotation or pitch to  an artist to perform your song. All steps above, makes way for great things to happen such as licensing your song out to tv shows, movies, films, etc. And have fun.

So, there’s no excuse to keep writing those great hits and have all of your business in order.  (courtesy of Andrea Wilson, President)