The Roots
The Roots

Via their Passyunk Productions shingle, hip-hop band The Roots are venturing into film and TV production, teaming up with Amazon to develop 2 series that will premiere on the streaming platform: first will be an animated children’s series tentatively titled “South Street Sounds”; and the second will be a live-action children’s series.

The first (the animated series) is written by Becky Friedman (“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”) and will feature music by The Roots. It follows three friends growing up in the most musical of neighborhoods, where the birds tweet to a beat, every shop-keeper, pizza-maker and crossing guard dance perfectly in time, and having a bad day means literally singing the blues. With such musical surroundings, it’s only natural that these three friends have formed a band called “South Street.” Together, creative-scatterbrain Zora, future-entrepreneur Nick, and disaster-averse Tyson, pride themselves on playing gigs for any occasion: no event is too big or too small! As they prepare for their performances, mishaps, obstacles and just a touch of chaos is never too far behind. With the help of their musical neighbors and through the strength of their own friendships, every episode ends in harmony, says the press release.

The second (the live-action) series is being kept underwraps for now.

Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson said, “As we venture into the world that is film and television production, we couldn’t think of a better partner than Amazon to help us develop these first two children’s projects.”

Tarik Trotter added, “Our love for music started as young kids, and we hope to inspire a generation of future artists, musicians and music fans through the stories we tell and the music they hear on these shows.”

“Driven by The Roots’ passion for music and the arts, these projects are perfectly aligned with our mission to inspire kids to think creatively and musically about the world around them,” said Tara Sorensen, Head of Kids Programming, Amazon Studios.

No other details are available on either project at this time.

The Roots served as the house band on NBC’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” from 2009 to 2014, and in the same role on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” since 2014.