Three of the original small-screen fab four are teaming up for the first time in four years for a 15-city “Monkee Mania Returns 2001” tour expected to launch March 1, a spokesman told Pollstar.

Plans are to film one of the shows for a future TV special, and ultimately, to take the Monkees all the way to Broadway.

All four original members – Davey Jones, Mike Nesmith, Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz – embarked on a brief high-profile “reunion” tour in 1996. Then Nesmith left and the three others stayed on the road a while longer. Why bring them back out – with the exception of Nesmith – to do it again?

“A couple of the guys approached me to do it,” explained producer David Fishof, “and there’s been a VH1 special, and an original movie and an E! channel program about them. The ratings for all three of those programs were good. Their ‘Greatest Hits’ record went over 500,000 in sales for a gold record this summer. That’s a great combination.”

Lots of exposure and a spike in record sales weren’t the only motivation for Fishof and the band to take to the road for yet another summer.

“Then I went to some of Davey Jones’ shows (he performed in the Teen Idols package with Bobby Sherman and Peter Noone), and there’s eight-year-old girls screaming at him. And I said to myself, ‘wow – this thing just keeps on going.'”

The reaction to Jones on the Teen Idols tour was just one highlight in a year that saw yet another rekindling of interest in the group. While Jones and Dolenz have appeared on the Teen Idols package and as solo performers, Tork has been performing live with his Shoe Suede Blues band and has an acoustic act as well.

“The fans are still there and we’re just going into the new millennium with the Monkees,” Fishof said. Eventually, he hopes to take them to the Great White Way for a musical stage production on their lives and music called “Monkee Mania.”

But the tour comes first.

“We’re going to tour and do the TV special first, and then we’re going to go from there and see how it goes. But Broadway’s where I want to wind up,” he said.

Call them daydream believers. It’s the only way to explain how the Monkees are as hot as ever, 33 years after their career as sitcom stars ended.