1 9 9 0 – 1 9 9 1 (USA)
16 x 30 minute episodes
The teen pop sensations of 1989-91 (but a bane to most people not in their teens), the New Kids on the Block were a quintet of handsome pubescent boys from Boston who followed the path trod by the superior Jackson Five by amassing a few #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, like Hanging Tough and Step By Step, before becoming an ABC cartoon series.
Like the Jacksons, Donnie, Jordan, Joe, Danny, and Jonathan (Jordan’s younger brother) got into misadventures, which they straightened out by the end of each episode, plus performed a song or two.
Group manager Dick Scott appeared as a character while also serving as one of the producers of this series and approving all the cartoon’s storylines.
The show only featured the famous boy band in live-action sequences, handing off the voice work to other actors for the animated portions. Scott maintained that the boys in his group could not provide their own voices on the show because “it’s too complicated.”
Other characters seen included Nikko (David Coburn), the group’s pet dog, and Bizcut, or “B-Man,” (JD Hall), a bodyguard who protected the group from overzealous teenyboppers.
The “real” New Kids popped up in recorded bits on the show, such as the one showing them in concert doing This One’s for the Children, which aired as part of a primetime Christmas special on 14 December 1990.
The series garnered few fans outside the group’s base of young girls below college age, and those demographics deterred so many advertisers that ABC had to cancel the show after a year. The group disbanded after 1992.
Matt E. Mixer