One of those shows from the USA that became very popular over here. The shows combined music and laughter in the style of a traditional sitcom.
The Monkees was the name of the american TV series that ran from 1966 until 1968. There were two series totalling fifty eight episodes. It was also the name of the band that were formed in 1965 originally recording until 1971.
Aspiring filmmaker Bob Rafelson developed the initial idea for The Monkees in 1962, but was unsuccessful in selling the series. In May 1964, while working at Screen Gems, Bob Rafelson teamed up with Bert Schneider, whose Father, Abraham Schneider, headed the Colpix Television and Screen Gems Television units of Columbia Pictures. Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider ultimately formed Raybert Productions.
It was the 1964 Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night that encouraged Bert Schneider to revive Rafelson’s idea for The Monkees. This time as “The Raybert Producers”, they were more successful and sold the show to Screen Gems Television on April 16, 1965.
The original idea was to cast existing New York folk rock group, The Lovin’ Spoonful, who were not widely known at the time. However, they had already been signed to a record contract, which would have denied Screen Gems the right to market music from the show.
Auditions were held and a band formed. The show debuted on September 12, 1966. In the early days the band themselves had little input into the musical side although this would change as the series progressed.
When the series ended in 1968 The Monkees carried on as a band initially until 1971. The series was picked up by the BBC during the 1970’s and was shown as part of the programming for kids school holidays and also on a regular basis as part of mainstream kids TV (dates not known).
In 1986, twenty years after it’s original broadcast, there was renewed interest in the show leading to a tour and new record. The group continued to release records and tour in various line ups with and without Mike Nesmith until 2011. British member Davy Joners died suddenly in 2012.
The series follows the adventures of four young men (the Monkees) trying to make a name for themselves as rock ‘n roll singers.
Channel: NBC Network (USA), BBC1 (UK)
Created By: Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider
Original Transmisson Dates(US): September 12th, 1966 – March 25th, 1968