|Step by step, that eighth wonder of the world, the New Kids on the Block, sang their way into music history. Calendars, notebooks and posters weren’t enough for a group that sold 9 million records in 1990 alone, so the five dreamy teens appeared as cartoon characters on their very own ABC show.
The animated New Kids on the Block followed the adventures of Donnie, Danny, Jordan, Jonathan and Joe as they tried to get to their gigs on time but were somehow always sidetracked. And as if the quintet weren’t cute enough already, they even had Jonathan's pet dog Nikko to boost their sensitive guy appeal.
Protecting the boys from rabid teenage girls (and perhaps warning the actual fans watching the show) was the bodyguard Bizcut, a.k.a. “B-man." Also appearing was the group’s manager, Dick Scott. These were all based on real-life characters, but sorry girls, even the New Kids themselves were voiced by actors, not the real things.
The show was marketed as "the first MTV cartoon," because it featured the fast-paced editing that had come to be associated with that network. It also included live-action music videos to appease the adoring fans who hoped to see their faves in three-dimension. And hang tough, because if you waited long enough, you could also see the group pop up in interviews, talking about what they had learned from each week's episode.
Appealing mainly to young girls, an undesirable demographic for advertisers, New Kids on the Block was cancelled after one season. And once again proving the fickle tastes of pop-loving Americans, the group itself broke up a few years later, in 1994.