“The Royal Flush” (prod. #4701) first aired @ 7:30/6:30 p.m. Central Time in Living Color on NBC Television as the premiere episode of The Monkees, a comedy-fantasy series from Raybert/Screen Gems TV Productions heavily influenced by The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night (United Artists, 1964) and Help! (United Artists, 1965), which reflected the misadventures of an unknown, young, longhaired, modern-dressed group and its dreams on the way to fame and fortune. Produced by Robert Rafelson and Bert Schneider, it starred David Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork, all of whom were chosen from a lot of 437 applicants who answered an ad in the September 8, 1965 issues of The Hollywood Reporter and Daily Variety. The sponsor of the week was Kellogg’s™, and the songs were were Boyce & Hart's “This Just Doesn’t Seem To Be My Day” and Goffin & King's “Take A Giant Step.” The third Monkees episode to be filmed, “The Royal Flush” was the first to be helmed by James Frawley, an initial member of innovative NYC comedy troupe The Premise, who would go on to direct the bulk of The Monkees' 58 half-hour segments (32 to be exact). Frawley would soon be greatly rewarded for his efforts on “The Royal Flush”; it won the Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement In A Comedy Series for 1966-67. [/center] The success of the TV series and the hit records it helped generate made The Monkees the rage of America, imitating and, at times, even eclipsing The Beatles' own success! The series cranked out 58 episodes for 2 seasons on NBC, finally ending in September 1968. But what a following The Monkees have had during the course of that run: 2 Emmy Awards, 4 #1 hit albums, 3 #1 hit singles, and 2 sold-out concert tours...not to mention the admiration and adulation of fans worldwide, something which continues to thrive to this very day!!