Subscribe To Motown Gets Musical Miniseries From Love Actually Producer And Life On Mars Creator Updates
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To me, there will be no greater musical era than The Motown Years that covered the entire 1960s. Sure, the record labels were more interested in creating singles rather than fully-fledged albums, leading to a lot of sound-alike material, but the singles are some of the most classic tunes in existence. And they’ll serve as the backdrop for the musical TV drama Stop! In the Name of Love, a miniseries that is being developed by Tony Jordan, creator of the time-hopping British crime drama Life on Mars and Duncan Kenworthy, producer of modern U.K. classics like Love Actually and Four Weddings and a Funeral, as well as Fraggle Rock. While some might scoff at two British guys making a film about a music genre that mostly involved African American artists, I think it’s a much more interesting concept than whatever American network TV would come up with on its own.
The musical performances will be woven in and out of a central narrative following a group of smart women in their thirties all searching for love and friendship. Not exactly the most novel idea I’ve ever heard, but it’s the same basis for many of the most successful female-driven features and TV shows in recent years, such as Sex and the City. Plus, they’ll be singing Diana Ross, Gladys Knight, and the Marvelettes, so that automatically puts this into the upper stratosphere of fiction, musical or otherwise.
As you can imagine, quite a few people have to be involved in order to get a music-themed series off the ground, but Variety reports all parties are on board. Jordan will be writing the 10-episode series, and both men will be executive producing. They partnered with former NBC Universal exec Peter Smith, former Polygram Music and Universal Music U.K. employee John Kennedy (who will serve as music consultant), and EMI Music Publishing, the company that owns the entire Motown library.
Jordan’s impassioned words are enough to get me tapping my toes in interest, saying they “set out to make a series that truly reflects the multi-cultural world we’ve become.” He then cites Motown’s music as “perfectly encapsulating the ecstasy and heartbreak of love, providing a powerful punch that dialogue alone sometimes just can’t reach.” This guy definitely gets it.
Considering my appreciation for country music began to dwindle once I hit adolescence, I was never the right audience for a show like Nashville. But there’s no way that anyone could outgrow a musical era that defies duplication. And who better to represent Motown than one of the families that skyrocketed the label’s popularity.