The Naked Brothers Band (TV series)
|The Naked Brothers Band|
|Created by||Polly Draper|
|Developed by||Albie Hecht (Not credited)|
|Written by||Polly Draper (21 episodes)
Magda Liolis (10 episodes)
Bob Mittenthal (10 episodes)
Michael Rubiner (8 episodes)
|Directed by||Polly Draper (season 1–3)
Melanie Mayron (season 1–2)
Jonathan Judge (season 2–3)
|Theme music composer||Nat Wolff|
|Opening theme||"If That's Not Love"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||40 (+2 specials) (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Albie Hecht
|Producer(s)||Ken H. Keller
Kari Kim (1 episode)
Tim Streeto (1 TV movie)
|Cinematography||Ken H. Keller|
|Running time||Approx. 30 min. (Episodes)
Approx. 1 hr. (TV movies)
|Production company(s)||Kidzhouse Entertainment
|Picture format||4:3 SD/ProRes 422 codec|
|Original release||February 3, 2007– June 13, 2009|
|Preceded by||The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie|
The Naked Brothers Band is an American musical comedy television series created by Polly Draper. The show depicts the daily lives of Draper's sons, who lead a fictional world-renowned rock band in New York City. As a mockumentary, the storyline is an embellishment of their real lives, and the fictional presence of a camera is often acknowledged. Lead vocals and instrumentation are contributed by the siblings; they wrote the lyrics themselves. The show stars Nat Wolff and Alex Wolff, the lead singer-songwriter, and drummer, respectively. Nat's fictional female admirer and real life friends—including the guitarist who had no prior acquaintance with the family—feature as the other band members, with the siblings' genuine father and Draper's husband as their accordion-playing dad and Draper's niece as the group's babysitter.
The series is a spin-off of Draper's film of the same name that was picked up by Nickelodeon, premiering in January 2007. Draper, star of Thirtysomething and her writing The Tic Code, is the executive producer of the series, and often writer and director. Albie Hecht, former Nickelodeon chief and founder of Spike TV, is the executive producer, under his Worldwide Biggies tag. Draper's jazz musician husband Michael Wolff, bandleader of The Arsenio Hall Show, serves as the music supervisor and co-executive producer with Draper's brother, Tim, as the consulting producer.
The show first aired in the United States on the network on February 3, 2007 to an audience of exactly 4.7 million viewers. Viacom announced, it "delivered Nickelodeon's highest-rated premiere in seven years" and instantly became one of the most favorable for children aged 6–11. According to an article by TV reporter Jacques Steinberg, of The New York Times, the series' popularity is equivalent to Hannah Montana and Cory in the House. Three seasons aired and concluded unexpectedly on June 13, 2009 due to the network placing high demands on the family that would disrupt the siblings' schooling. The series earned 1 Broadcast Music, Inc. Cable Award; 2 Writers Guild Award nominations, winning one WGA; 3 Young Artist Award nominations; and was nominated for 1 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award (both in the United States and United Kingdom).
- 1 Development
- 2 Production
- 3 Season synopses
- 4 Cast
- 5 Media
- 6 Awards
- 7 Reception
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The series' title derived from an incident when the brothers were very young: they arose from the bathtub shouting, "We're 'the naked brothers band!" Although Nat revised the band's title to The Silver Boulders in preschool, Polly Draper revived it as she felt it would be more suitable for the show. Most of Nat's music, which he has been composing at the piano from the time he was 5, emboldens the scripts Draper writes for many of the episodes. She also acknowledges how the show is more "like an adult comedy [than]...a typical kids show" in terms of not using a laugh track.
|—Polly Draper, series creator and executive producer|
Draper explains the events that precede the show: "Nat kept putting signs on his door: I want to be a child actor! I said, 'No, it's too brutal.'" She says, in early 2007, "Nat decided he wanted to film his own sitcom, so we did a film called Don’t Eat Off My Plate...I pretended to interview his friends and do a documentary." Following the home video, Draper had the idea of making a mockumentary film about the band; she decided to introduce them as music icons like The Beatles. Filmed in mid-2004, the movie was originally independent, and Draper's brother, Tim, a venture capitalist, provided financial incentives for the shoot. In addition, Draper and Wolff's famous celebrity friends—such as Uma Thurman, Julianne Moore, Cyndi Lauper, Tony Shalhoub, Arsenio Hall, and the ensemble cast from the ABC television drama Thirtysomething (including Draper herself)—are featured making cameo appearances.
|—Tom Aschiem, executive vice president and general manager for Nickelodeon|
In late 2005, Draper and Wolff entered the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival, where it won the audience award for a family feature film. Albie Hecht was visible in the audience; he bought the film for the network. Nickelodeon urged the family to start a television series based on the film, and a reluctant Draper agreed. Draper recalls, "When Nickelodeon first asked us about doing a series, we said, 'How about a cartoon, so the kids could stay normal?' They said, 'No, we love your kids.'"
Draper mentions in early 2008 during a family interview at the Times Center Stage that, prior to the series' broadcast, she advised the cast members to not look themselves up online. Draper told them that they should not become preoccupied by the comments written by either the press or their viewers. In addition to prohibiting their boys from searching their names online, Draper and Wolff forbid them from auditioning. The boys are also enrolled in private school in New York City to keep them exposed to the real world.
|—Marjorie Cohn, executive vice president of development and original programming for Nickelodeon|
The series is produced by Kidzhouse Entertainment in association with Worldwide Biggies, and principal photography takes place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn over the summer and early fall so the boys attend private school throughout most of the year.
The enormous studio is large enough that cast members play basketball with friends in a separate room when they are finished filming episodes. Moreover, during a family interview at the Times Center Stage in January 2008, Nat mentions that the family's authentic home is not as multi-colored as in the show.
Draper manages to keep an eye on her two boys. For example, the cast was filming an episode that featured the band recording a video; Nat, who did not want to make out in the scene due to his crush Rosalina watching, mistakenly smooches her. He then confesses to his mother that he was puzzled as to what the instructions were. The scene being filmed was that of the first season's ninth episode "First Kiss (On the Lips, That is)" which was directed by Melanie Mayron, who acted alongside Draper in Thirtysomething.
|"We all joke about it. They ask, 'What's it like to direct?' I say, 'It's the same as in real life.' They don't listen to me as a mother. And they don't listen to me as a director. So I just feel right at home."|
Polly Draper is showrunner—the executive producer and production leader—which means her presence is evident. For example, during production for the fourth episode of the second season, as the boys play restlessly on a purple sofa, their mother (who was not directing the episode) admonishes them over the loudspeaker by saying, "Both of you, try to smile more." Occasionally, family disputes occur on set; for example, in July 2008—after filming for a long period of time on the set—when Draper gives one of the boys' an instruction, one of the siblings' replies, "I know, Mom!"
As head writer (another task of the executive producer), Draper led the writer's room, edited scripts, and conveyed storyline ideas for each episode. While the first season was predominately written by Draper, the other writers were Magda Liolis, Michael Rubiner and Bob Mittenthal, and Will McRobb and Chris Viscardi. Moreover, Draper and Melanie Mayron were the only directors for the season. While consisting of the same panel of writers for the series (to the exclusion of McRobb and Viscardi), Jonathan Judge joined Draper and Mayron as a director for the second season. The last episode Mayron directed for that season, and thus the series, featured her as a fan on the radio (by providing the voice over). By the third season, Mittenthal joined the writing team as co-executive producer, with Draper and Judge directing every other TV movie while Mark Salisbury directed the initial animated episode and Rosario Roveto, Jr. directed the concluding episode. It differed from other seasons as the third season consisted of one webisode, and four TV movies and episodes.
According to writer Felicia R. Lee, of The New York Times, the siblings act "chatty, guileless, fun-loving," much as they do in their genuine lives. She also notes that, of the show's characters, "no one over 18 has much sense." Draper's role as creator—the developer of the original characters and storylines—allowed her to contemplate her boys' fictional birth mother as deceased; her name is never revealed. However, in the show, the boys' father is infatuated with an estranged lady named Betty. Moreover, although portraying fictional characters, the ensemble cast—including real life friends David Levi; Thomas Batuello; and Cooper Pillot (as well as the series guitarist, Qaasim Middleton)—keep their full names on-screen. Nonetheless, Allie DiMeco plays Rosalina; the siblings' cousin Jesse Draper portrays the group's puzzled nanny; and the boys' father Michael Wolff plays their inept accordion-playing dad, the latter whom Draper notes she wrote similar to that of a child.
The Timmerman Brothers—a band no longer famous—consists of three siblings, who in real life are Polly's nephews, Nat and Alex's cousins, and thus Jesse's brothers and cousin. Moreover, Jesse's real life father, Polly's brother, and thus Nat and Alex's uncle reoccurs as the school principal. Jesse's sister and cousin have been added as recurring stars during the second season. They play Jesse's sisters named Tessy and Bessy who appear as the dancing girls in Alex's new music video. In addition, Qaasim's real life mother, the actress and singer-songwriter Toni Seawright, as well as his younger brother and Seawright's son, the actor and musician Kahlil Middleton appear as themselves during the second season while Seawright is also featured in the third season. Thomas' real life brother also reoccurs as himself during the second season. During a family interview in January 2008 by TV reporter Jacques Steinberg, of The New York Times, Nat notes the French bulldog E.T., who plays David Levi's dog in the show, belongs to the Draper-Wolff family in real life.
|"Having our life turned into a mockumentary wasn’t as big a deal as some would think. We took all the friendships, Alex’s one liners, and my music and put it into a storyline; it was a heightened reality...The show created a great audience for us..."|
Albie Hecht foreshadowed the success of the series after watching the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival. In an article, Hecht told reporter Felicia R. Lee, of The New York Times: "They're just real: real brothers, real friends; it's all the stuff kids do when they're hanging out on the playground. The idea that you're watching a documentary is so much fun. Then you put them into that fantasy of being a world-famous rock band, and that's the sauce that makes it work."
In October 2006, online videos from their Nickelodeon website had been played over 11 million times. Moreover, before the show's debut, "a fan recognized Nat and Alex in a Florida hotel. She sent them a note: 'Are you the Naked Brothers?' 'They were so excited,' Draper recalled. 'The show hasn't even aired yet and now walking down the streets kids are calling out their names. They can't believe it.' "
|—Editor Craig Cobb|
Craig Cobb was the picture editor for the series; he was also the assistant editor for Sex and the City. Cobb worked with Louis Bertini, the supervising sound editor of the series, who had been the editor for Sex and The City. Of the editing process, Bertini explains that editing the show was not much different from editing Sex and the City; they brought a similar "approach and constriction to the audio elements", although unlike Sex in the City, the show had a "larger cartoon element". However, Cobb considered the editing to be a challenge because he felt that a certain degree of unscripted "magic on set" existed that required more work. Because most of the children on the series are not actors—in addition to the music that was to be added—the editing process created a situation that was somewhat "messy". Nonetheless, Cobb believed the combination of factors created a "magic" of its own "and it's what makes this show really shine".
When an episode completed filming, Cobb edited on the Final Cut Pro application, which normally took four days to complete. Bertini—who spent the same amount of time editing—then converted unnecessary script and added sound effects. Cobb says, "The 16:9 SD workflow was the plan for the 2008 season, but that has changed. We're working in 4:3 SD with the ProRes 422 codec, so we're cutting in a broadcast-quality format that we'll later output without having to recapture all the footage."
According to Cobb, it is very difficult to coordinate the television's screen-framing:
|“||There are many issues to consider. If I were able to cut it 16:9, I would be able to keep an eye on the outside edges of the frame. Since I only cut it in 4:3, I don’t get to see what's going on in the entire frame. Therefore, should an HD version be required, potentially a lot of adjustments will have to be made in the final edit. Occasionally, we've had to look at the 16:9 footage to reposition a couple of shots and I’ve seen light stands and such that will have to be removed somehow in a 16:9 version of the show. However, everything has been shot in 16:9 HD, so we will never have to stretch any images to fill the 16:9 frame.||”|
|—The Associated Press|
When reporters from the Associated Press compared the show to the Disney Channel musical comedy series Hannah Montana, Michael Wolff remarked, "The boys are natural musicians who just happen to be on TV." Moreover, Tom Asheim, the executive vice president and general manager for Nickelodeon, said, "This is our version of The Monkees. Nat Wolff wrote all the music, which I think distinguishes the show. Sometimes I think you get a sense from bands that they are [faking it] like Milli Vanilli. This really is by kids and for kids."
Nat and Alex sing, compose, and perform all of the show's songs; their father also produces the music with Michael A. Levine. The series' music editor, John Davis coordinates the songs' musical numbers, and Amy Cervini and Russ Spiegel are the music instructors.
|—Jonathan Bernstein, Entertainment Weekly|
On October 9, 2007, the debut of the first season's self-titled soundtrack album released into stores. It was produced by Wolff and Levine and distributed by Nick Music and Columbia Records. All of the music on the album includes tracks composed by Nat, apart from "Alien Clones" and "I Could Be", which were composed by Alex. The day before, on October 8, the band had an autograph signing for 1,500 fans at Virgin Megastore in Times Square, New York City; they also performed their original song "I'm Out" to a live audience on Good Morning America. Additionally, the group's first MTV music video released for their song "If That's Not Love".
|"They actually write great pop melodies, like a young Beatles kind of thing. Kids can tune in to a TV show and watch other kids write songs? There's never been anything like that."|
|—special guest star Joel Madden, People|
On March 18, 2008, the single "I Don't Want to Go to School" was sold to Walmarts across the country. A month later, on April 15, the second season soundtrack album, I Don't Want to Go to School debuted into stores. Tracks from the album include songs all written by Nat, including "I Don't Want to Go to School", with the exception of "Why" and "Three is Enough" which Alex composed. Other songs on the album include bonus tracks such as "Tall Girls, Short Girls...You", by Nat and "Changing" by Alex. The producers of the album were also Wolff and Levine and was distributed by Nick Music and Columbia Records. To praise the release of their new album, they performed their song, "I Don't Want to Go to School" live on the NBC morning show Today.
Their unreleased soundtrack, titled Throwbacks, for the third season was made available free of a charge on their website as an online download in October 2013. The album artist is Nat and Alex Wolff, and it took four years to develop due to the unannounced cancellation of the series in June 2009.
The pilot episode was originally an independent film shot in mid-2004 depicting Nat and Alex Wolff when they were nine and six years old respectively and premiered as a TV movie special on January 27, 2007. They film a documentary about their world-renowned band, The Silver Boulders, as they fracture due to Nat's song about a girl named Rosalina. At the end, the band reunites as The Naked Brothers Band.
Famous celebrities either acknowledge they are huge fans of the band or have appeared with other supporting roles; in real life, they have either worked or are friends with the Draper-Wolff family. In addition to the noted Thurman, Moore, Lauper, Shalhoub, Hall, and the ensemble cast of Thirtysomething (including the boys' mother) making cameo appearances, the other special guests were Ricki Lake, Ann Curry, jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Cindy Blackman, David Thornton, Gretchen Egolf, James Badge Dale, Barbara eda-Young, and Brent Popolizio.
Season 1: 2007
Season one debuted in February 2007 and concluded in June; however, one additional episode and television movie aired in October 2007. The first season aired 13 episodes, including a two-part episode, TV movie special "Battle of the Bands" airing on October 6, 2007.
The first season features Nat and his younger brother Alex, who are 11 and 8 years old respectively. David, Thomas, and Cooper are also 11 with Qaasim and Rosalina being 10 and 13 respectively. Daniel Raymont plays of the role of the music video director, and Tuffy Questall portrays Tuffy, the driver of the band's psychedelic bus. The first season also has guest appearances by radio host Matt Pinfield, rap artist Snoop Dogg, comedian George Lopez, and actor and musician Keli Price.
The first season's premise is the group is recording their first studio album as well as starring in several music videos to promote it. In the first episode "VMAs", Alex is horrified by his horoscope Jesse reads to him, and the band's music video for their song "Banana Smoothie" wins an MTV Video Music Award at the end. In later episodes, Nat's initial attempts at stand up comedy fails before receiving advise from George Lopez. Throughout the season, Nat does not like when David and Thomas ridicule his affection for Rosalina. Although neither admits their feelings for each other, it becomes quite obvious that Nat and Rosalina do. As time goes on, Rosalina kisses Nat on the lips in his dressing room.
Moreover, Alex becomes mad and runs away when Jesse dates The Timmerman Brothers. Along the way, Alex becomes friends with an orphan named Juanita at a skatepark. When the boys' father arrives back from his overnight vacation, he starts dating an estranged lady named Betty, who Cooper and Jesse initially hired to clean the mess in the Wolff family's apartment without much success. In addition to a "Battle of The Bands" between The Naked Brothers Band and The LA Surfers (the latter featuring lead singer Bobby Love, a manipulative con artist who tries to steal Nat's girl friend), the season ends with Nat and his band performing at a charity event they put together for Juanita and her foster family.
Season 2: 2008
The second season aired 15 episodes, ending on June 6, 2008 with a three-part episode, TV movie special.
In the second season, Nat is 12 and Alex is 9. Rosalina is 14, whereas Qaasim, Thomas, David, and Cooper are 12. Guest stars for the season include syndicated cartoonist Jules Feiffer, musician Joel Madden, skateboarder Tony Hawk, George Lopez, Matt Pinfield, and musician Phil Collins. During the first half of the season, Daniel Raymont portrays Wing with Teala Dunn and Emily Richardson returning as Juanita and Patty Scoggins, respectively. When the band goes on tour, the tour driver Tuffy (Tuffy Questall) takes on more of a lead recurring role.
The second season begins with a school masquerade party and prom. In later episodes, Nat, Alex, and Cooper have dates at a local movie theater; the siblings alongside Joel Madden and a girl, who's a quite critical news reporter, compose a song together at the piano during a live talk show; and Mr. Wolff's girl friend neglects him after meeting his twin brother who's a successful jazz pianist. In addition, the band starts prepping for their tour with several band rehearsals. Prior to leaving on their tour bus, the band members are conflicted with personal issues. Mr. Wolff is still coping from his break up with Betty, David is upset about leaving his dog, E.T. behind, and Rosalina is worried about the possibility of not saying "good bye" to her father. Nonetheless, all their concerns work themselves out: George Lopez advises Mr. Wolff to continue his passion for playing the accordion despite his break up, Tuffy ends up allowing David to bring his dog, and Rosalina's father makes it to the stop before the bus leaves.
Following several concert performances (including one at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio as well as a state county fair), the TV movie special "Polar Bears" depicts the ending of the band's tour in New Orleans, Louisiana, where they—along with their babysitter, Jesse—reunite with the siblings' father and the Wolff family's dear friends who are victims of Hurricane Katrina. On the ride down there, Jesse accidentally has Alex watch An Inconvenient Truth and, after viewing it, he becomes very concerned about the polar bears potentially becoming extinct due to global warming. During their visit, Mr. Wolff's friend's older daughter as well as Nat, Qaasim, and Rosalina encounter misinterpretations over their romantic interests. The band ends up donating the money raised from their performance at an elaborate-styled ballroom to a charity supporting climate change.
Season 3: 2008–09
The third season began with the television movie "Mystery Girl", which premiered on October 18, 2008. The season also aired three other TV movies, one animated special, and three episodes, concluding with "No School's Fools Day" on June 13, 2009.
In this season, Nat, Thomas, David, and Cooper are 13 with Qaasim being 12, while Alex is 10 and Rosalina is 15. The season features an array of celebrities making cameo appearances, including actresses Miranda Cosgrove and Whoopi Goldberg, singer Natasha Bedingfield, and musicians David Desrosiers and Simon Kirke. Other celebrity appearances include musicians Tobin Esperance and Questlove, actor and musician Leon Thomas, actress Victoria Justice, and talk show host Dave Attell. Daniel Raymont, Tuffy Questall, Teala Dunn, Catherine Curtin, and Matt Pinfield all return with Andrew Keenan-Bolger portraying Christophe, the director of the new Magical Mystery Girl Movie.
The new season depicts the band shooting their initial theatrical film called the Magical Mystery Girl Movie. Nat stars as Daniel, Rosalina as herself, Miranda Cosgrove as Daniel's girl friend, Alex as Oliver, Juanita as the girl in Oliver's new music video, with Mr. Wolff and Jesse playing themselves and Principle Schmoke and Tuffy portraying sumo wrestlers in diapers. Christophe is the stubborn director; he is later overthrown and replaced by Cooper, the producer of the movie. Christophe appears again in The Premiere, who pilfers the movie's metal film cassette.
On the other hand, Rosalina temporarily leaves the band to travel on a worldwide cruise. During her trip, the band members read the newspaper and the front cover depicts Rosalina kissing a French man. When Rosalina returns to visit, she and Nat have an internal dispute and Rosalina subsequently quits the band. Because of this, the group must find a new bass player. Cooper calls for a "Naked Idol" contest and the outfit selects Kristina Reyes as their new bassist. However, Nat later makes up with Rosalina and she rejoins the band while retaining Kristina as well. "The Premiere" TV movie ends with them watching the Magical Mystery Girl Movie in the theaters as well as the band performing Nat's new song "Just a Girl I Know".
- Nat Wolff stars as himself, who initially has short, brown hair before growing it out in later seasons. As the incisive, lead singer-songwriter and keyboardist for the band, Nat plays guitar for such songs as "Taxi Cab", "I'll Do Anything", "Curious", and "I Feel Alone". Nicknamed "The Girl Magnet," his crush on bandmate Rosalina emboldens his love songs, and she even kissed him on the lips in his dressing room during the first season. In the second season, Nat and Rosalina go to prom together, then on a triple date, and in the final TV movie "Polar Bears", the two become a couple. However, by the third season, their relationship becomes strained when Rosalina embarks on a six-month boat cruise around the world.
- Alex Wolff stars as himself, the dark brown, puffy curly-haired younger brother of Nat's, portraying the outfit's highly energetic drummer. He switches to keyboards for the following songs he writes and sings: "Changing", "Why", "Jesse", and "All I Needed". Other songs Alex composes include "I Could Be", "Alien Clones", and "Three is Enough". Due to his exuberance, he has a number of fake tattoos; Alex also wears socks tied around his ankles and a red, white and blue do-rag on his head during the first season. Throughout the series, he has a deep affection for Jesse and considers her to be his girlfriend. He also disapproves of her dating other men, including The Timmerman Brothers.
- Thomas Batuello stars as himself, playing the group's cellist. In the show, he often coordinates mischievous acts with David. During the first season, Thomas and David claim not to take an interest in girls; they often ridicule Nat because of his feelings for Rosalina too. By the second season's episode "Cleveland", Thomas, nonetheless, becomes envy of Nat for obtaining all of the female fans' affections. After Rosalina leaves for a six-month cruise around the world during the third season, Thomas becomes the band's temporary bassist.
- Allie DiMeco stars as Rosalina, the bassist and Nat's highly noted female interest. Due to her perplexing relationship with Nat, she quits the band twice. First, after becoming involved with a manipulative con artist named Bobby Love—lead singer for the punk rock group The LA Surfers, she encounters an internal dispute with Nat and subsequently leaves the group. After Bobby pilfers her lyrics sheet and performs their song live at the "Battle of The Bands" competition, however, his true identity is revealed and Rosalina instantly approaches Nat sobbing in his arms while asking for his forgiveness, thus rejoining the outfit during the first season. After Rosalina returns from her long cruise in the third season, she and Nat have an internal dispute about her being depicted in the newspaper kissing a French man and subsequently breaks up with Nat, thereby quitting the band again. Under Cooper's guidance, the outfit develops a nationwide singing competition to replace Rosalina, choosing Kristina as their new bassist. As soon as the reconstructed band settles, an abrupt Rosalina asks to rejoin and so she becomes their second guitarist.
- David Levi stars as himself, a blond-haired boy with glasses playing the keyboardist. In addition to his involvement in all of Thomas' pranks, David also admires his own dog, E.T.
- Qaasim Middleton stars as himself, an African-American child with dreadlocks portraying the group's guitarist. In the show, he is known for being quite skillful at flirting with girls and is highly intelligent.
- Cooper Pillot stars as himself and is the band's manager, dressing in a suit and wearing large sunglasses. In the show, Cooper has a crush on a girl named Patty Scoggins.
- Jesse Draper stars as Jesse Cook, the band's babysitter and tutor who tends to wear a mini-skirt and has many tattoos. Because Jesse is not very intelligent, Rosalina and Qaasim grade the band members' school assignments for her. She calls Alex her "little boyfriend," and much to his noted disapproval, Jesse dates the Timmerman Brothers—Donnie, Johnny, and Billy.
- Michael Wolff stars as Dad (also known as "Mr. Wolff" or "Sonny"), Nat and Alex's inept accordion-playing father. He embarrasses his sons on many occasions; for example, he sometimes tries to appear in the band's performances by playing the accordion. Sonny has performed at the Hoboken Rathskeller restaurant, and dates an estranged woman named Betty, but she later breaks up with him for his twin brother Miles (also played by Wolff).
(In order of appearance):
- Daniel Raymont plays the role of the music video director, appearing and talking quite similar to Borat Sagdiyev in the first season; Wing during the second season; and Abdul in the third season episode titled "Valentine Dream Date".
- Tim Draper portrays Joe Schmoke, the principal of Amigos Elementary, Middle, and High School.
- Billy Draper, Adam Draper, and Coulter Mulligan play the roles of Billy, Donnie, and Johnny Timmerman, all of whom are nonsensical. Together, they formed The Timmerman Brothers, an initially quite successful musical group whose popularity diminished when their voices deepened during puberty.
- Teala Dunn stars as Juanita, Alex's skateboard buddy and female interest.
- Catherine Curtain portrays Betty, the noted estranged lady who wears a blonde wig. Although initially being hired by Cooper as a maid, she made excuses by explaining how she is technically a "cleaning specialist," and therefore, does not "actually clean"; rather, she "guides others on how they should clean." She dates Sonny and plays the ukulele in their two-member band, The Honey Bunnies. However, the other characters strongly dislike their music. In the second season episode "Uncle Miles", it is noted that Betty leaves Sonny for his jazz musician twin brother Miles, and reappears again in the third season episode "Valentine Dream Date".
- Emily Richardson plays Patty Scoggins, Cooper's romantic interest. Initially known as "Ms. Scoggins," she first appears as the manager for The LA Surfers in the first season TV movie "Battle of The Bands".
- Eleanor Draper and Lisa Mulligan portray Tessy and Bessy, Jesse's sisters and the dancing girls in few of the band's music videos during the second season.
- Kristina Reyes stars as herself, first appearing in the third season TV movie "Naked Idol". When she is chosen to fulfill Rosalina's spot as the band's bassist, Nat initially acts disrespectful to her because he is upset about the departure of, and his break up with, Rosalina. However, Nat and Kristina have a talk and a friendship forms between them. During their chat, she explained to Nat how she always dreamed of playing in the band and admired him dearly after hearing his song "Rosalina" broadcast on the radio when she was ten years old. In the TV movie "The Premiere", Rosalina asks to rejoin the band and they decide to keep Kristina as the bassist with Rosalina returning as their second guitarist.
|Pinfield, MattMatt Pinfield||Himself||1
|Episode 1, VMA's
Episode 9, First Kiss (On The Lips, That Is)
Episode 11-12, Battle of the Bands
Episode 13-15, Polar Bears
Episode 5, Supertastic 6
|Frequent guest star|
|Dogg, SnoopSnoop Dogg||Himself||1||Episode 1, VMA's||Minor appearance|
|Lopez, GeorgeGeorge Lopez||Himself||1
|Episode 3, Nat Is A Stand-Up Guy
Episode 9, Everyone's Cried At Least Once
Episode 13–15, Polar Bears
|Recurring guest star|
|Price, KeliKeli Price||Bobby Love||1||Episode 11–12, Battle of the Bands||Played chief antagonist in TV movie special|
|Hecht, AlbieAlbie Hecht||Interviewer #1||1||TV special, Been There, Rocked That||In real life, Hecht is the executive producer of the series, under his Worldwide Biggies label.|
|Liolis, MagdaMagda Liolis||Interviewer #3||1||TV special, Been There, Rocked That||In real life, Liolis is a writer for the series.|
|Russ Spiegel||Interviewer #6||1||TV special, Been There, Rocked That||In real life, Spiegel is a music instructor for the series.|
|Feiffer, JulesJules Feiffer||Himself||2||Episode 4, Three is Enough||In real life, Fieffer—alongside Ann Curry—attended Nat and his band, The Silver Boulders' benefit concert shortly following the 9/11 terrorist attacks; it was staged outside the Draper-Wolff family's apartment.|
|Madden, JoelJoel Madden||Himself||2||Episode 5, The Talk Show||Played leading role in episode|
|Hawk, TonyTony Hawk||Himself||2||Episode 6, The Bar Mitzvah||Minor role|
|Mayron, MelanieMelanie Mayron||Interviewer||2||Episode 10, Cleveland||Mayron played the voice over as an estranged fan who claimed to be from Mars. This was the last episode Mayron directed for the series; she starred alongside The Naked Brothers Band creator and showrunner, Draper, who is also the stars real life mother, on the ABC television drama Thirtysomething.|
|Collins, PhilPhil Collins||Himself||2||Episode 13–15, Polar Bears||He was televised on the news, discussing his dislike for Alex when the reporters gossiped that he said "[The Naked Brothers Band] is bigger than Santa Clause."|
|Cosgrove, MirandaMiranda Cosgrove||Herself||3||Episode 1–2, Mystery Girl||She portrayed the girl who was to kiss Nat in the new Magical Mystery Girl Movie.|
|Bedingfield, NatashaNatasha Bedingfield||Herself||3||Episode 6, Christmas Special||Bedingfield sang alongside Nat and Leon Thomas III for Nat's new composition "Yes We Can". Prior to the episode's broadcast, Bedingfield appeared in a music video of the same name with Nat.|
|Goldberg, WhoopiWhoopi Goldberg||Herself||3||Episode 6, Christmas Special||Goldberg is the presenter for the homeless boy (Thomas) at a Christmas celebration and announces Nat, Bedingfield, and Thomas to the piano as they perform "Yes We Can".|
|Leon Thomas III||Leon Williams||3||Episode 6, Christmas Special||He portrays the homeless boy who performs "Yes We Can" alongside Nat and Bedingfield.|
|Justice, VictoriaVictoria Justice||Herself||3||Episode 8, Valentine's Dream Date
Episode 11–12, The Premiere
|Minor appearance. In "The Premiere", she portrays one of many girls who desire to walk with Nat across the red carpet during the Magical Mystery Girl Movie premiere in theaters.|
|Desrosiers, DavidDavid Desrosiers||Himself||3||Episode 9–10, Naked Idol||He auditions for a chance to replace Rosalina as the bassist during the "Naked Idol" try-outs.|
|Esperance, TobinTobin Esperance||Himself||3||Episode 9–10, Naked Idol||He auditions for a chance to replace Rosalina as the bassist during the "Naked Idol" try-outs.|
|Attell, DaveDave Attell||Himself||3||Episode 9–10, Naked Idol||He announces Nat Wolff, Alex Wolff, and the "Naked Idol" contestants to the stage.|
|Thompson, Ahmir "Questlove"Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson||Himself||3||Episode 13, No School's Fools Day|
- The Naked Brothers Band: The Video Game was released October 20, 2008.
|United States||Nickelodeon, The N||February 3, 2007|
|UK and Ireland||Nickelodeon (UK and Ireland)||May 29, 2007|
|Australia and New Zealand||Nickelodeon (Australia and New Zealand)||February 23, 2008|
|Germany||Nickelodeon (Germany)||October 20, 2007|
|Spanish America||Nickelodeon (Latin America)||July 21, 2007|
|The Netherlands||Nickelodeon (Netherlands)||April 2007|
|Brazil||Nickelodeon (Brazil)||July 21, 2007|
|Pakistan||Nickelodeon (Pakistan)||August 20, 2007|
|Bulgaria||Nickelodeon (Bulgaria)||November 16, 2007|
|Greece||Nickelodeon (Greece)||April 20, 2012|
TV movie premieres and releases
|Season||Title||Episode #||First Air Date||DVD Release|
|1||The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie||Pilot||January 27, 2007||April 3, 2007|
|1||"Battle of the Bands"||11–12||October 6, 2007||September 4, 2007|
|2||"Sidekicks"||14–15||January 21, 2008||N/A|
|2||"Polar Bears"||26–28||June 6, 2008||June 17, 2008|
|3||"Mystery Girl"||29–30||October 18, 2008||N/A|
|3||"Operation Mojo"||31–32||November 22, 2008||N/A|
|3||"Naked Idol"||36–37||March 14, 2009||N/A|
|3||"The Premiere"||38–39||April 11, 2009||N/A|
Debuts and releases
|Season||Episodes||First Air Date||Last Air Date||DVD Release Date|
|Season 1||13||February 3, 2007||October 20, 2007||January 8, 2008|
|Season 2||15||January 21, 2008||June 6, 2008||October 21, 2008|
|Season 3||12||October 18, 2008||June 13, 2009||N/A|
In 2005, The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie won the audience award for a family feature film at the Hamptons International Film Festival. Of Hecht's attendance, he said, "I could see there was an audience for this. They're real kids, real brothers, making real music."
Draper received a Writers Guild Award nomination for the episode "Nat is a Stand-Up Guy" in the section of Children's Episodic and Specials in 2008. The following year, in 2009, the TV movie Polar Bears won Draper a WGA for Children's Script — Long Form or Special; it was the only one nominated in the category. In 2007, Nat was nominated for Best TV Actor at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in the United Kingdom. Moreover, the adult Wolff and his sons received a Broadcast Music, Inc. Cable Award for their work on the show's music. In 2008, the series' cast performed at the KCAs in United States; the following year, Nat was nominated for Favorite TV Actor.
|"The songs, actually written by Nat, may not top the charts, but they're far more tolerable than Kidz Bop and are hard to shake once the show is over. Amazingly, all of the kids here [are] real musicians. If Draper really wants to create a show business legacy, she should sell her secrets on how to get kids to practice their musical instruments."|
|—Laura Fries from Variety|
Felicia R. Lee from The New York Times called both the film and television series, "an ebullient mock documentary." When the film premiered on the network, it was seen by an average of 2.7 million viewers; it placed the top 10 spot on the Nielsen VideoScan children's non-theatrical DVD charts. The movie was also broadcast four times, producing a total viewership of 14 million. The band's hit song "Crazy Car" sold more than 100,000 downloads online; it was placed on the top 100 Billboard Charts for seven weeks and the track was featured on the Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice, Vol 3.
According to a 2007 PRNewswire article, the show "quickly became one of the top programs for tweens on television". The series is in a popular category of children's TV shows, along with Disney Channel's Hannah Montana and Cory in the House. By October 2007, Nick.com's message boards had 5.3 million pages viewed, causing online madness. The show has three video games online that have been played about 24 million times. Moreover, fans have downloaded over 800 thousand podcasts.
|"They could really do well. In the past, Nickelodeon properties had done OK, but they have not really had huge successes like Disney's Hannah Montana or High School Musical, but the viewership numbers for the Naked Brothers are promising and they could be the ones to break through."|
|—Geoff Mayfield, director of charts and senior analyst of Billboard Magazine|
The premiere of the series acquired the channel as favorable for children aged 6–11; Nielsen Media Research calculates—of in that age range—approximately 1.3 million people have watched the first 10 episodes of the series. For all ages, most of the first season attracted approximately 2.8 million viewers per week. It was one of the quickest starts in about three decades for the network. The evening the show debuted on the channel aired two episodes, averaging out to a total viewership of 4.7 million. The first one, "VMA's", drew exactly 3.5 million viewers. The next airing was "Wolff Brother's Cry Wolff" which garnered a sum of 3.8 million viewers; the episode gave the channel its most favorable ratings in seven years. From February 12 to 18 in 2007, repeats for the series garnered 4 million viewers; it was the sixth most watched program for the week.
For all ages, the premiere of the season one TV movie "Battle of the Bands" was quite successful, garnering a viewership of exactly 3.8 million. The second season TV movie "Sidekicks" debuted to a total of 3.6 million viewers with the season's finale TV movie "Polar Bears" drawing 1.7 million viewers for children aged 6–11; the latter was the second most watched show for the week in that age group. The series flourished the most with the airing of the season three TV movie "Mystery Girl", producing a viewership of 4 million. A month later, the TV movie "Operation Mojo" was broadcast to an audience of 2.8 million viewers. When the season three TV special "Valentine Dream Date" aired, it was also successful; exactly 3.2 million viewers watched it.
The executive vice president of development and original programming for Nickelodeon, Marjorie Cohn explains: "The Naked Brothers Band series has exploded and continues to grow in popularity as a multiplatform and international property for Nickelodeon." She also notes, prior to broadcasting the second season, that "Nat and Alex are bonafide rock stars who have captured the hearts of kids everywhere with their original music and we're excited to kick off a brand-new season of their hit series. This season finds the band prepping for their tour while still having the same ups and downs of kid-dom that their fans at home are experiencing. It's this authenticity that's the appeal of the show—plus the music is irresistible."
The family had encountered an incident in the past; the family had to delist and change their phone number in Lower Manhattan because fans worldwide were calling their apartment relentlessly. Draper recalls, "Little girls would call and say, 'Helloooo, is [Nat] there? We just love him.' The only thing that's comforting is, they're pretty harmless at that age." According to Nat, "After the show came on, people began to really treat us like huge rock stars. They'd scream on the street, and we'd look behind us to see what they were screaming about, because we didn't realize it was us."
Despite the show's prosperity—in terms of its viewership ratings, as it came close to wrap up filming for the third season, network bosses urged the family to lengthen the season from 13 episodes to 60. Nevertheless, prior agreements had already been made between Draper, her husband and the staff at Nickelodeon that shooting would not interfere with the boys' school schedule. Network executives chose no longer to conform to the family's demands, prompting Draper and Wolff to cancel the series in mid-2009. Of the cancellation, no formal announcement had been made by either the family or network until Nat disclosed the incident to the press in 2013.
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