SANTA MONICA, Calif., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Nickelodeon has green-lit The Naked Brothers Band, cuing the start of production in New York City on 13 episodes of the rock 'n roll "mockumentary" comedy series slated to premiere in January '07 with a star-studded 90-minute TV movie followed by weekly half- hour telecasts. Creator/executive producer/writer and first-time director Polly Draper (thirtysomething) doubles as off-camera mom to real-life brothers Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff, who play superstar band leaders and write and perform all of the show's original music. Celebrated jazz musician Michael Wolff - real-life father to the Wolff siblings and Draper's husband -- keeps it all in the family but plays against type as the screen tweens' musically inept dad and serves as co-executive producer and music producer for the series. Albie Hecht (The Rugrats Movie, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events) serves as executive producer on the series in association with Nickelodeon Television.
"Nickelodeon is incredibly excited to be working with Polly and her family on this uniquely different comedy series and are very proud to be able to showcase the talents and original music of the Wolff brothers," said Nickelodeon's Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming. "The Naked Brothers Band series is a show that will make you laugh, but is intimate and genuine in its approach to dealing with everyday kid issues through the larger-than-life story of kid rock stardom."
Draper, who makes her directorial debut with The Naked Brothers Band 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 has been 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 adolescence. The cameras track the charismatic, rock stars - led by dreamy, sensitive singer-song writer Nat, 11, and energetic, unabashedly adorable drummer Alex, 8 -- on and off stage, focusing, too, on their celebrity lifestyle with all of its perks and problems.
Throughout the series Nat, Alex and several of their original childhood band mates will share the screen with celebrity guest appearances including VJ Matt Pinfield and George Lopez. The television movie that introduces the series also features cameo appearances by Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Ann Curry, Arsenio Hall, Cyndi Lauper, Tony Shalhoub and the cast of the television series thirtysomething (Polly Draper, Mel Harris, Melanie Mayron, Peter Horton, Patricia Wettig, Timothy Busfield and Ken Olin).
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," and adds, "The simple, yet kid-poignant music and videos might even inspire other real kids to go after their own dreams, making up their own songs or shooting their own homemade-style music videos."
Polly Draper's memorable portrayal of wry, sensitive Ellyn Warren in the acclaimed thirtysomething (1987-91) earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (1988). As writer-producer- star of The Tic Code (1999), about a young boy with Tourette's syndrome, she received numerous accolades and won the Berlin Film festival. Her acting credits include numerous TV appearances and starring roles in such feature films as The Pickup Artist, Making Mr. Right and Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain and on Broadway in Four dogs and a Bone, Brooklyn Boy and Closer.
Albie Hecht is president/CEO of Worldwide Biggies Inc., which targets the family entertainment, animation and teen markets and is comprised of four divisions: television, film, Biggies Broadband and a nonprofit sector, Shine Global. Prior to launching Biggies, he created and served as president of MTV networks' Spike TV, the first network for men. And pre-Spike, Hecht was president of film and television entertainment for Nickelodeon. His executive producer credits include such blockbuster family features as The Rugrats Movies (1-3), The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, Lemony Snicket's a Series of Unfortunate Events, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Clockstoppers and Snow. In television, he developed SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly Odd Parents, Blue's Clues and the long- running live-action hit All That. He also created and executive produced The Kids Choice Awards. Hecht supervised the creation of Nickelodeon's first television animation studio in Los Angeles and Nickelodeon's first digital animation studio in New York.
Nickelodeon, now in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 90 million households and has been the number- one-rated basic cable network for eleven consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. .