Smokey Robinson Producing Motown-Inspired Children's Series

Soul legend will be executive music producer for animated Netflix program

Smokey Robinson will be the executive music producer for a Motown-inspired animated children's program on Netflix. Credit: Paul Morigi/Getty

A Motown-inspired animated children's series, curated by soul legend Smokey Robinson as executive music producer, is coming to Netflix. 

The as-yet-untitled project takes place in the fictional city of Motown and will center around a shy, artistic boy and his friends, according to the Wall Street Journal. The episodes will revolve around classic songs like the Temptations' "My Girl" and Marvin Gaye's "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," though contemporary artists will also cover the songs for the series. 

"Great songs have great stories in them," said the show’s creator Josh Wakely. Wakely is also behind a similar animated show Beat Bugs based on Beatles songs that premieres on Netflix on August 3rd. Netflix, anticipating strong demand for the series, has already ordered a second season of Beat Bugs for November.

Children's programming is becoming the most competitive area for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and HBO Go vying for impressionable eyeballs. In January, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the video provider would more than double its original family-friendly content in 2016 from 15 to 35 programs.

Earlier this year, the longtime PBS program Sesame Street premiered on HBO and its online video provider HBO Go. In May, Amazon Studios ordered six pilots of kids' programming to potentially turn into full series for Amazon Prime subscribers.