We know Nashville is hot — whether the industry is health care, real estate or music. It's also gaining stature in the TV world, it appears: Jack Black and Dwight Yoakam are reportedly teaming up to executive produce Belles & Whistles, a Fox comedy-with-some-music series set in Music City. Adam Gold with the Scene passes on the info here.
Belcourt Theatre Executive Director Stephanie Silverman and her team are embarking on a $4.5 million expansion and renovation of the Hillsboro Village staple. The highlight of the project is the addition of a third screen but many other features of the building will get a serious facelift. Jim Ridley has the story in this week's Scene.
With the theater in its best fiscal health this century — debt is low, and some $2.2 million has already been raised even before The Belcourt goes public this week with its $4.5 million capital campaign — staffers say the timing was now or never. Shortly after the theater hosts its annual sellout holiday run of It's a Wonderful Life, The Belcourt will close, and R.C. Mathews Contractor will begin a furious push toward a grand unveiling in June 2016.
(Renderings courtesy of Tuck-Hinton)
The entertainment law group of superregional firm Dickinson Wright, which is led out of Nashville by Derek Crownover, has recruited five attorneys in Las Vegas to grow its ranks in media, sports and entertainment to 20. The new additions include members who count Trisha Yearwood, the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Shaquille O'Neal among their clients.
“We are lucky to have this new group from Vegas,” Crownover said. “They have a deep knowledge of the trademark, branding, television and sports worlds. They expand our reach across the country, but more importantly, they help us provide top-tier service to our artist, acting and sports clients who enter these worlds as they grow their brands in new mediums.”
Read the full release on the hires here.
Sony/ATV Nashville has promoted Josh Van Valkenburg to senior vice president, Nashville A&R, MusicRow.com reports.
Van Valkenburg will oversee Nashville A&R and new songwriter and artist signings. He will continue to develop the existing Sony/ATV roste and will report to Sony/ATV Nashville President and CEO Troy Tomlinson, according to the music publication.
Read more here.
Executives at ABC have renewed their commitment to Nashville, giving the show a fourth season and putting it within sight of all-important syndication. The Hollywood Reporter has a rundown of all the show decisions made for ABC here.
Ryman Hospitality Properties Chairman and CEO Colin Reed hasn't been shy of late in trumpeting the great numbers put up by his company's Nashville entertainment properties, led by the Ryman Auditorium and Wildhorse Saloon. In the first quarter of this year, that division posted operating profits of $2.1 million on revenues of $16.7 million. Those numbers were up 284 percent and 17 percent, respectively, year over year.
Reed also has in recent quarters repeatedly hinted at grander plans for the division, which has been lifted big time by the overall Nashville tourism boom. But they've been teasings more than anything else and Reed delivered another one on his team's earnings conference call Wednesday morning. Asked how he would value the entertainment business relative to Ryman's core hospitality operation, Reed said he would politely say no to any bidders looking to put an arena business valuation on his entertainment crown jewel. Then came the latest tease.
"We think that this business provides and builds unique content and we're spending more of our time thinking about how we can actually build more content," Reed said.
TopGolf International Inc. is set to sign a lease to take space in a building slated for the East Bank of the Cumberland River and near the fast-changing Germantown, Nashville Business Journal reports.
Relatedly, the Metro Council will vote tonight on a request zoning change that would a facility to accommodate a Topgolf facility. Currently, the site is zone industrial.
Founded in the United Kingdom, TopGolf is now based in Dallas.
Read more here.
The state budget passed last week included $8 million in incentives for a potential fourth season of local filming of the ABC show Nashville. A decision on whether the show will return should be made soon. Metro and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. are preparing their own slices of the incentives pie, but the details are still to be revealed. Nate Rau at The Tennessean has more info here.
In discussions with government officials, representatives from the show prepared a fact sheet touting its impact on the local economy. Local tourism leaders have tied the city's booming leisure travel at least in part to the popularity of "Nashville." However, no official economic impact study has been conducted.
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