At the same time, TV show creator Bernard Slade had begun watching the NBC show The Monkees and had also seen the Cowsills on Johnny Carson.
The Cowsill family, a Jackson 5–type musical group, was formed in the mid-1960s by the mother, Barbara. Their band consisted of her six children, Slusan, Bob, Barry, Bill, John and Paul.
During the same era, The Sound of Music hit its peak of popularity, reinforcing Bernard’s idea of a traveling family band. He considered using the Cowsills themselves but discovered their musical talents did not extend to acting.