'So You Think You Can Dance' Gets a Lifeline from Elvis Presley

The show's producer, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reaches a deal for a $30 million loan.
FOX

Sixty years after CBS reputedly directed cameramen for The Ed Sullivan Show to only film Elvis Presley from the hips up during a performance of "Hound Dog," the company behind So You Think You Can Dance can give its thanks to The King.

The Fox dance competition show is produced by 19 Entertainment, which on April 28, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy due to the cancelation of American Idol and more than $3 million owed to Simon Fuller, a co-creator of both shows.

On Monday, the debtor told the bankruptcy court that it reached an agreement with affiliate Elvis Blue Moon Parent for $30 million in interim financing as 19's parent Core Media attempts restructuring on some $400 million in debt. Core was originally set up to manage the intellectual property of Presley and managed Graceland for a time, but sold assets in 2013. The money from the deal was put into a holding company that will now help the debtor in its time of need.

According to a motion to approve the financing, "The DIP Credit Facility, if approved by the Court, will help fund the Debtors’ operations during these chapter 11 cases and allow the Debtors to continue the uninterrupted production and development of entertainment content, including continued production of its live shows, such as the popular television series So You Think You Can Dance, which is currently under production."

Court filings in conjunction with this reveal that the dance show priming its 13th season will require about $10 million in expenditures over the next three months. Fox fully funds the production of the show, according to a spokesperson for Core, but having liquidity is always helpful.

The financing comes as Core remains hopeful of completing restructuring with secured creditors including Tennenbaum Capital Partners and Crestview Media Investors. An agreement in principle is said to have been reached already.

The bankruptcy filing in late April happened upon word that Fuller could commence winding-up proceedings on 19 Entertainment in the United Kingdom. Soon after the Chapter 11, the Idol owner was able to get a U.K. court to recognize it and head off any winding-up petition. Fuller has retained Timothy Walsh and Darren Azman at McDermott Will & Emery to represent him in the American bankruptcy case. A successful restructuring could stave off any attempted liquidation of Idol rights, so Fuller's own moves will be worth watching.

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