Finding Episodes of Davy Jones’ 1960 Series The Monkees

Rick Forchuk retells how The Monkees originally came to air, and where to find the series now


The (apparently underpaid) cast of The Monkees

Since the death of Davy Jones, my interest in the ‘60s TV series The Monkees that I grew up with has been revived. Is it possible to get episodes of the original series on DVD?
– S.U., via e-mail

The Monkees aired on NBC from September of 1966 to September of 1968, and offered up a total of 58 original episodes.

Originally designed to be a quick television version of The Beatles A Hard Day’s Night, the big surprise was that the group produced a number of hit records as well as a hit TV show, a very profitable byproduct.

The series won its timeslot every week and was an outstanding moneymaker for the network, which paid the actors, Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Peter Tork, and Michael Nesmith, just $450 per episode. They also received royalties on the record sales, but got nothing for the merchandising which sold their likenesses on everything from lunch boxes to comic books.

Eventually they sued the network for their share, and were forced to settle for just $10,000 while the distributors made millions. An interesting coincidence is that the night The Beatles debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, Davy Jones was also performing on the same stage as a member of the cast of Oliver Twist.

DVD sets are readily available in a variety of formats, as there have been several different releases. You can find them in the TV section of such big-box stores as Best Buy and Future Shop, or you can order online from such outlets as