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Blues Brothers and Panacea Entertainment Have Big Plans

Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd

Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi -- John Belushi's widow -- and Panacea chief Eric Gardner are eyeing a TV series, Broadway musical, books and more.

The newly formed Blues Brothers Approved Ventures LLC has teamed with Panacea Entertainment to manage the Blues Brothers property, which Panacea founder and chairman Eric Gardner will oversee.

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The news comes months after it was announced that Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi (John Belushi's widow) and Gardner would be developing and producing a Blues Brothers primetime TV series.

The trio are eyeing an animated series, a Broadway musical, licensing, endorsements, a branded radio network, book publishing, telephony and an accelerated Web and social networking presence. Also, a Las Vegas residency is being pursued for The Official Blues Brothers Revue, which stars Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty as Jake and Elwood.

"Thirty years after Jake passed through the veil, the Blues Brothers are being introduced to not one but two entirely new generations of music lovers,” Aykroyd said. “Judy and I welcome the experienced guiding hand of Eric Gardner, who envisions ways of expanding our reach and impact which we never even thought of."

Said Gardner: "The Blues Brothers is one of the world's most iconic brands. Like Coca-Cola and Nike, it speaks volumes that Jake and Elwood are instantaneously recognizable simply from a few illustrative brushstrokes: black fedoras, sunglasses and skinny ties. I look forward to working with Danny and Judy to expand their brand across multiple platforms around the globe."

The Blues Brothers were created by Aykroyd and John Belushi in the late 1970s and first appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. The group, which included Steve Cropper and Donald "Duck" Dunn from Booker T. and the MG's, hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200 in 1979 with the live album Briefcase Full of Blues. The following year, John Landis directed The Blues Brothers, a feature that starred Aykroyd and Belushi and boasted a host of soul and R&B legends including James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles.