The Monkees

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NBC (ended 1968)

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The Monkees

Show Summary

The Monkees is an American television program that originally aired from 1966 to 1968 on the NBC television network. The show's theme is that of an unknown local rock group from southern California that is trying to make it and the adventures they encounter.

Based on the 1964 runaway hit film A Hard Day's Night featuring The Beatles, up and coming filmmakers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider developed the concept of a similar band, only American, and their quest for fame and fortune. The idea was sold to Screen Gems in mid-1965 with a pilot script completed by the end of that year.

In late 1965, a casting call brought 400 actors to interviews resulting in 14 screen tests and audience evaluation. The four chosen were Micky Dolenz, who had starred in the TV series Circus Boy years before; Davy Jones, an English stage actor; Mike Nesmith, a non-actor but "real" musician; and Peter Tork, a folk musician from New York City.

Each episode would feature one or more songs using special effects and quick cut film techniques in what would become the template for MTV music videos 15 years later. Many of those songs were written by professional songwriters including Neil Diamond, Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart and Gerry Goffin and Carole King. The music on the first two albums was provided by Los Angeles studio musicians with the four actors adding vocals. The release of singles featured in the show would many times rocket to the top spot on the charts.

Since cancellation, The Monkees has enjoyed new life in syndication and occasional marathon showings on MTV. All episodes including previously unseen interviews and the original pilot have been released on DVD.

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    Categories

    Comedy

    Themes

    for the child in you, catchy soundtrack, witty remarks, Pre-Teens, 60s