Beatles films inspire new Jonas Brothers TV show

Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:25pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Could the Jonas Brothers become the next Beatles? Or merely the new Monkees?

The chart-topping teen idols, who elicit piercing shrieks from their young fans wherever they go, are starring in a Disney Channel series inspired by the Beatles' movies as well as the zany American made-for-TV group the Monkees.

The Jonas siblings -- Kevin, 21, Joe, 19, and Nick, 16 -- will appear as themselves in the barely fictional comedy series "Jonas," premiering on the cable channel in May.

The squeaky clean brothers, beloved by the young daughters of President-elect Barack Obama, play members of a popular band trying to live normal lives at a regular school, despite being trailed by throngs of ardent fans.

Described as a fusion of situation comedy and music video, the show also features hitherto unknown brother Frankie, 8, (known as the "bonus Jonas") playing their younger brother.

The TV show originally was envisioned as a spy series, but producers said on Friday the concept was changed as the Jonas Brothers became a global teen phenomenon over the past 12 months.

"It's hard not to make parallel comparisons to the Beatles in 1962 and 1963 when you see the kind of response that the Jonas Brothers' fans have to them. It's a force of nature," executive producer Roger Schulman told reporters at a preview.

He said the Fab Four's 1964 big-screen romp, "A Hard Day's Night," was "very much a template," as was their 1965 follow-up, "Help!" Another inspiration was the Monkees, who spawned a short-lived series in the mid-1960s, delirious fans and a succession of hit singles.   Continued...

<p>The Jonas Brothers (L-R), Kevin Jonas, Joe Jonas and Nick Jonas pose backstage after presenting at the 66th annual Golden Globe awards in Beverly Hills, January 11, 2009. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson</p>