Tuesday, January 14, 2014

U.K. TV Producers Plotting Drama Based on Motown Classics

Plans are afoot for 10-part musical TV drama show "Stop! In The Name of Love," centered on the iconic sounds of Motown anthems. The show is being developed by a group of heavyweight U.K. backers and producers.

British independent production banner Red Planet Pictures will make the show after inking a deal with EMI Music Publishing, the owners of the publishing rights to Motown's extensive library of hits.

"Stop! In The Name Of Love" will sing out as a result of a collaboration between writer Tony Jordan (Life On Mars), top U.K. film producer Duncan Kenworthy (Notting Hill, Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral), Peter Smith, former CEO of Cineflix Studios and independent music consultant and former chairman of Universal Music U.K. John Kennedy.

Jordan is to write the show and will executive produce alongside Kenworthy via Jordan's production company Red Planet.

The TV production will use the music of Berry Gordy Jr.'s famous record label as an integral part of the contemporary drama's storyline, about a group of smart thirty-somethings and their search for love and friendship.

The show's characters will sing the songs within the spoken narrative.

"Stop! In The Name Of Love" aims to meld together elements of movies such as "Mamma Mia!" and "Bridesmaids" with TV's "Sex & The City," backers said.

The show also has the "co-operation and support" of Sony/ATV Music Publishing.

Jordan said: "The music of Motown is iconic, perfectly encapsulating the ecstasy and heartbreak of love and providing a powerful punch that dialog alone sometimes just can’t reach. The musical arrangements and cutting edge choreography will give us a uniquely modern take on a genre of music that is truly timeless."

Kenworthy noted that music has played a critical part in everything he has produced.

"Motown came from Detroit but captured the world. 'Stop! In The Name Of Love' will use Motown’s unforgettable tunes and powerful lyrics to help express the complicated love lives -- the heart and the heartbreak -- of the new world we’re living in."

Red Planet Pictures and the team led by former NBC Universal International president Peter Smith are in discussions with potential broadcast partners for the project, both internationally and in the U.K.

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