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    New Kids Set for Nationwide Block Party

    They may not be new and they're definitely not kids, but they're heading back to the block.

    The New Kids on the Block—aka Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, Danny Wood and Jordan and Jonathan Knight—are out to prove they've still got the right stuff, confirming on the Today show Friday they're set to reunite and hit the road for the first time in 14 years.

    The quintet, a prototypical boy band from Boston who sold more than 70 million albums and provided the template for 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys, announced they would be embarking on a nationwide tour this fall following the release of a new album.

    "Long live the Block!" McIntyre shouted upon the group's revelation, doing his part to rile up the already overhyped crowd.

    "It is better than Christmas," trumpetetd Jonathan Knight.

    Once the man band was unveiled—with a drumroll and from behind a red-velvet curtain set up outdoors—Wahlberg wasted no time in getting down to the business of the announcement.

    "We started recording in August," he said. "Really, it was music that brought us back."

    Wahlberg also noted that the reunion announcement, which has been in the ether for months, was something the group wasn't planning on confirming so early on, but felt they needed to after word began to leak out in January.

    "We really weren't going to announce this yet," he said, adding that the boys-no-more band ultimately decided to confirm the rumors for their fans' sake.

    "The fans got a little excited, but they got a little unsure, so we thought we better come out and let them know it's official. We hope to tour in the fall—we're already setting up limited dates."

    The undeniably aged entertainers, reunited 22 years after first forming and 20 years after the release of their debut album, Hanging Tough, are apparently more than willing to embrace their status as the elder statesmen of teenybop pop. (Jonathan Knight's the eldest, at 39; Wahlberg and Wood are both 38; Jordan Knight is 37; and McIntyre is the baby, at 35.)

    Asked what they had in store for long-suffering fans on their new album, McIntyre teased, "Three things: the economy, health care and job security."

    "We've got some new material," Wahlberg said. "We're going to dance, we're going to sing, we're going to do it all."

    Not deterred by the inevitable litany of late-night jokes that will come in the wake of a group of thirtysomething men reuniting as a boy band, Wood put fans' NKOTB-loving minds at ease by clarifying that the group would not be changing its name to more closely reflect the passing of time.

    "We're all kids at heart, so it's not going to change," he said.

    Before retiring from center stage, the group also made one more eardrum-shattering announcement. The group's first live show in 14 years, before the launch of their tour, will take place May 16 on the Today show as part of the morning program's summer concert series.

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