In 1967, four unknown actors in a kids' TV show became the biggest pop band in the world. In America, they outsold Elvis and The Beatles combined. They were The Monkees. With their anarchic TV show and contagious pop songs they attracted a cult following that survives to this day. The Monkees were no ordinary band: they are credited as being the industry's first manufactured pop group. Behind the sugary smiles and bubblegum pop songs lay a cut-throat business enterprise fuelled by money, ego and the ambition of some of the biggest names in Hollywood. A business enterprise that, ultimately, was to end in tears. This program charts the rise and fall of this unlikely pop group, telling the inside story of four young men who were hand-picked to become overnight superstars, melting the hearts of teenyboppers around the globe and earning their creators huge record sales.
Narrated by Christopher Plummer, this offers a rare, personalised look at the American film industry, featuring the remarkable men and women whose drive and ambition founded the "Dream Factory" that became Hollywood. This personal history of Hollywood's founders draws together interviews with important past and present industry figures, archive photography and excerpts from the greatest American movies of all time to better understand how the interpersonal relationships, collaborations and conflicts between key personalities created an industry and an art form. These biographies are set against the backdrop of the major events in American history such the Great Depression, World War II and the Civil Rights Movement and will investigate how Hollywood responded to the changing world around it.