Nickelodeon's New Teenick Series The Naked Brothers Band
Nickelodeon's new tween rock 'n' roll "mockumentary" comedy series The Naked Brothers Band will launch with a star-studded TV movie, Saturday, January 27 -- featuring cameos by Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Arsenio Hall, Cyndi Lauper, Tony Shalhoub, Ann Curry and the cast of thirtysomething -- and rock on weekly with half-hour episodes, premiering Saturday, February 3.
Creator/executive producer/writer/director Polly Draper (thirtysomething) doubles as off-camera mom to Nat and Alex Wolff, who play superstar band leaders and write and perform all of the show's original music.
Celebrated jazz musician/composer Michael Wolff (The Arsenio Hall Show) -- the stars' real-life dad and Draper's husband -- keeps it all in the family but plays against type as the screen tweens' musically inept father and serves as the series' music supervisor/co-executive producer. Albie Hecht (The Rugrats Movie, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) is executive producer of the series in association with Nickelodeon Television.
"The Naked Brothers Band is kid-genius at its best", said Tom Ascheim, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Nickelodeon Television. "The entire production showcases the Wolff family's musical and dramatic talents while delivering an amusing, behind-the-scenes glimpse at being a kid rock star. We are simply ecstatic about it!"
Draper, who makes her directorial debut, affirms, "The Naked Brothers Band was born purely from the imagination of my kids, and as a mom, first and foremost, I knew I had to document this time in their lives. I knew immediately I wanted Nickelodeon to be the home for The Naked Brothers Band because they're bold enough to try something as authentic, real-kid as this is, and this experience is a dream come true for my whole family!"
Inspired by the Wolff siblings' real-life, preschool-born band, The Naked Brothers Band follows a world-famous rock group, chronicling their fame, friendship, temporary break-up and adolescent experiences. The cameras track the charismatic, rock stars -- led by dreamy, sensitive singer-songwriter Nat, 12, and energetic, unabashedly adorable drummer Alex, 9 -- on and off stage, focusing, too, on their celebrity lifestyle with all of its perks and problems. Featured as well are the Wolff boys' real-life friends and band mates from pre-school days: cellist Thomas (Thomas Matuello) and keyboard player David (David Levi), along with guitarist Qaasim (Qaasim Middleton) and bassist -- Nat's crush -- Rosalina (Allie DiMeco). Cooper (Cooper Pillot), the band's pint-sized manager, completes the tween troop, and Jesse (Jesse Draper) is Nat and Alex's ditzy tutor/babysitter and real-life cousin.
They're introduced in the movie, which won the audience award for a family feature film at the Hamptons International Film Festival in 2005, and in which stars such as the afore-noted Thurman, Hall, Moore, Lauper, Curry, Shalhoub and the cast of the classic series thirtysomething (Polly Draper, Mel Harris, Melanie Mayron, Peter Horton, Patricia Wettig, Timothy Busfield and Ken Olin) pay tribute to their genius. In the film, too, which makes its TV premiere on Nickelodeon, artistic differences fracture the band when Nat's ballad "Rosalina" is deemed too sissy by some and Thomas's "Boys Rule, Girls Drool ..." strikes Nat as sexist.
Luckily harmony is restored as the series unreels. Throughout the season, Nat, Alex and their pals will share the screen with celebrity guests including VJ Matt Pinfield and George Lopez. The former turns up in the first regular episode, "VMA's", on February 3, when the band is nominated for its first video music award. The kids find themselves relying on their horoscopes to determine the outcome and face the added pressure of host Pinfield's pessimistic take on their fate.
As for the musical element of the show, series' Executive Producer Albie Hecht says, "Nat Wolff's soulful and catchy original songs will be a hit with kids and adults alike. We think the music and the videos will even inspire other real kids to go after their dreams, writing their own songs or shooting their own homemade-style music videos."
Naked Brothers Band - The Movie will be released on DVD in Spring 2007 and will include a number of exciting bonus features for fans, such as an exclusive, extended play CD sampler with music tracks from the movie.
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