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Pete Smith, Red Planet produce Motown drama

Former Cineflix Studios and NBCUniversal International boss Pete Smith is hooking up with writer Tony Jordan to create a 10-part musical series about the Motown movement.

Pete SmithSmith (left), who earlier this month was announced as managing director of Greek broadcasting group Antenna, is working with Jordan, film producer Duncan Kenworthy (Notting Hill, Love Actually) and former Universal Music UK chairman John Kennedy to create and distribute Stop! In the Name of Love.

Jordan’s Red Planet Pictures is attached to produce the show following a deal with EMI Music Publishing, which owns the Motown catalogue.

The show will use music producer Berry Gordy’s famous record label as a “integral part of the contemporary drama’s storyline about a group of smart thirty-somethings and their search for love and friendship”. The characters will break out into song within the spoken narrative.

Producers say they hope to the show will draw comparisons to titles such as Sex & the City and Mamma Mia!.

Smith and Death in Paradise producer Red Planet are currently opening conversations with broadcasters in the UK and internationally, though none are attached at this stage.