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The headline ain’t lying: comedy classic Blues Brothers, which started life in the ’70s as a Saturday Night Live sketch, is getting a television series for some reason. The series last surfaced in 1998 as Blues Brothers 2000 (which is really a lot better than it gets credit for), but it hasn’t been seen much since then. While the decision to pitch a TV series is puzzling from a mass appeal perspective, it sort of makes sense when you understand how the players are involved.
Variety reports that Universal owns the rights to the property on the film side, but that original star Dan Aykroyd and Judy Belushi, the widow of Aykroyd’s co-star John Belushi, own the TV rights. Aykroyd will be pitching networks with a pilot script that he wrote alongside former SNL writer Anne Beatts, Wayne Catanie and Kieron Lafferty.
The story follows brothers Jake and Elwood, who have been recently released from prison. It turns out that Elwood was actually raised in an orphanage, and so the show opens on him trying to find his real father. Aykroyd won’t reprise his old SNL role, but he’ll apparently lend his voice to the show as Jake and Elwood’s parole officer.
I’m still trying to figure out why this is happening.