Nick Cannon getting busier in TV, radio
Multihyphenate builds slate, hires execs, gets morning show
The company has opened offices in New York and Los Angeles and has tapped an executive team led by Cannon's longtime manager Michael Goldman, who serves as his partner.
It also is building a slate of TV projects, including "Josie and the Pussycats" reality and scripted series in the works at TeenNick, a special at MTV and a puppet show for Adult Swim.
Cannon also is making his foray into radio with a daily morning drive show on CBS Radio's WXRK-FM New York (92.3 Now). He debuts on the hit-oriented station Jan. 19, hosting the 6-10 a.m. block Monday-Friday.
"I always wanted to do radio," said Cannon, who has frequently filled in for radio hosts Ryan Seacrest and Steve Harvey.
NCredible also is venturing into publishing, signing a deal with Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing Division to produce a multimedia book series to coincide with the upcoming premiere of the Cannon-written and -directed Nickelodeon movie "The School Gyrls."
The film features the NCredible-signed three-girl singing group whose debut album will be released by Island Records.
Cannon penned the first book, a movie novelization, and plans to be involved in the writing of the six original novels under the pact. There also are plans for potential second movie and a possible TV series.
Separately, as part of what Cannon calls "a 360 concept," NCredible has partnered with Archie Comics to launch a School Gyrls comic book series.
In addition to the activities at NCredible, Cannon is keeping his summer job and will return as host of NBC's "America's Got Talent" next year. He also will co-host the Disney Parks Christmas Parade on Dec. 25 on ABC.
Cannon serves as chairman of TeenNick, which replaced Nickelodeon's channel the N.
"I'm the youngest chairman in TV history," he joked. "No one expected me to do much, but I'm in the office every day."
Charged with creating a brand identity for the network, he went for "youth empowerment" -- embodied by last week's inaugural HALO Awards, in which teens were recognized for community work.
Cannon is looking to add some girl power to TeenNick's lineup with "Josie," based on the Archie Comics characters, which Cannon calls "the first rock 'n' roll girls group."
He is partnering with Atlantic Records to launch a worldwide search for three girls to form a Josie and the Pussycats band, which would be chronicled on a potential reality competition series. The plan also includes a possible "Josie" offshoot, a dramedy scripted series starring the new band members.
At MTV, where Cannon produced the sketch-comedy show "Wild 'N Out," he is behind "Nick Cannon Presents Hatin' on '09," a comedic year-in-revew special that will air on New Year's Day. Cannon taped an appearance as President Obama, with rapper-actor 50 Cent also set to do a segment.
Also at MTV, NCredible did a reality docudrama pilot "Son of a Gun: A True Bronx Tale," about young rapper Corey Gunz, and is proceeding with filming additional episodes of the show about Gunz, one of the first artists on Cannon's music label.
At Adult Swim, NCredible is working on puppet show set in the real world. Written by Hadjii, it is about members of a hip-hop group who live together and are on the verge of making it big.
"It's a hip-hop version of 'Entourage' with puppets," Goldman said.
In addition to Goldman, also joining the executive team at NCredible are several other longtime Cannon associates: PR and marketing executive Tracy Nguyen will oversee day-to-day operations, Ray Brown will shepherd the company's music division, and Dorian Graham will be involved in alternative TV development.
And though he has come a long way since his days as 12-year-old who would travel two hours on the bus from San Diego for the chance to do a two-minute performance at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood, where he had to wait in the kitchen because they serve alcohol, Cannon still finds time to do some stand-up at clubs and on the "America's Got Talent" audition tour.
Like many aspiring comedians, he started out dreaming about a feature career. But the businessman in him quickly took over, and he embarked on a career as an entrepreneur instead.
"I don't want to be the next Will Smith or the next Denzel Washington," he said. "I want to be the first Nick Cannon, the first person to do something. Hopefully, I will still do movies, but I want to be able to be my own man, run my own company."
Cannon recently signed with UTA. He is also repped by attorneys Nina Shaw & Loan Dang and radio agent Robert Eatman.