Moesha Information

From Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moesha
Moesha
Moesha Title Card.jpg
Genre Sitcom
Created by Ralph Farquhar
Sara V. Finney
Vida Spears
Starring
Theme music composer Kurt Farquhar
Opening theme"Moesha Main Title" performed by Brandy
Ending theme"Moesha Closing Theme" (Instrumental)
ComposersKurt Farquhar, Mark Mothersbaugh (season 1-2)
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons6
No. of episodes127 ( list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
  • Ralph Farquhar (seasons 1–2)
  • Sara V. Finney (seasons 2–4)
  • Vida Spears (seasons 2–5)
  • Jacque Edmonds
  • Warren Hutchenson
  • Fred Johnson
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time21–24 minutes
Production companiesRegan Jon Productions
(seasons 1–2)
Saradipity Productions
(seasons 3–4)
Jump at the Sun Productions
(seasons 3–5)
Big Ticket Television
Distributor CBS Television Distribution
Release
Original network UPN
Picture format NTSC
Audio format Stereo
Original releaseJanuary 23, 1996 (1996-01-23) –
May 14, 2001 (2001-05-14)
Chronology
Related shows The Parkers
Girlfriends

Moesha ( /mˈʃə/) is an American television sitcom that aired on UPN from January 23, 1996, to May 14, 2001. The series stars R&B singer Brandy Norwood as Moesha Denise Mitchell, an African-American high school student living with her family in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was originally ordered as a pilot for CBS' 1995–1996 television season but was declined by the network. [1] It was then later picked up by UPN, which aired it as a mid-season replacement. It went on to become the biggest success for the nascent network and one of the greatest hits over the course of the network's entire run. [2] The series was a joint production for UPN by Regan Jon Productions, Saradipity Productions, and Jump at the Sun Productions in association with Big Ticket Television.

Overview

The show focused on the life of an upper-middle-class Black family through the eyes of a typical girl named Moesha. Her father Frank, a widower and Saturn car salesman (and later owner of his own dealership, Brothers Saturn), has married Dee, the vice principal at Moesha's high school, much to Moesha's disapproval. The series was created by Ralph Farquhar, along with the writing team of Sara V. Finney and Vida Spears. The settings for the show include the Mitchell household, the teen hangout, The Den, and in some cases, Crenshaw High School, the school attended by Moesha, Kim, Niecy, and Hakeem. The sitcom was set in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Issues addressed

The show dealt with real social issues affecting teenagers, such as premarital sex, the death of a parent, teen pregnancy, drug use, race relations, sexuality, dementia, and day-to-day issues teenagers faced at home and school such as gender prejudice and inequality. [3] [4] In one of the most controversial episodes, "Secrets and Lies" (aired February 7, 2000), the Mitchell family learned from Aunt Hattie that Frank is the biological father of Dorian, whom the Mitchells and Dorian himself believed to be Frank's nephew. The shocking news of Frank's infidelity during his first marriage turned the family upside-down and resulted in Dorian's rebellion and Moesha moving out of the family home.

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
114January 23, 1996May 21, 1996
224August 27, 1996May 20, 1997
323August 26, 1997May 19, 1998
422October 6, 1998May 25, 1999
522August 23, 1999May 22, 2000
622September 4, 2000May 14, 2001

Cast and characters

Overview

Actor Character seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Brandy Norwood Moesha Denise "Mo" Mitchell Main
William Allen Young Franklin "Frank" Mitchell Main
Countess Vaughn Kimberly Ann "Kim" Parker Main Archive footage
Marcus T. Paulk Myles Mitchell Main
Lamont Bentley Hakeem Campbell Main
Yvette Wilson Andalusia Louise "Andell" Wilkerson Main Does not appear
Sheryl Lee Ralph Deidre "Dee" Mitchell (née Moss) Main Recurring
Shar Jackson Denise "Niecy" Jackson Recurring Main
Fredro Starr Quinton "Q" Brooks Does not appear Main Guest Recurring
Ray J Dorian Long Does not appear Main

Main

Season 1 cast of Moesha
  • Brandy Norwood as Moesha Denise "Mo" Mitchell – Like many teenagers, Moesha is trying to find her place in life. At every turn, Moesha, along with her friends and family, experiences new challenges and hilarious situations associated with the pressures and demands of growing up in an often confusing world. Moesha is headstrong, independent, and at times stubborn, but stands up for what she believes is right. She can sometimes be rebellious toward her father and stepmother. Through the first five seasons, Moesha would open the show speaking her thoughts into her diary. Moesha is 15–16 years old in season 1, and is 20-21 by season 6.
  • William Allen Young as Franklin "Frank" Mitchell – A Saturn car dealer and father to Moesha and Myles. Originally thought to be Dorian's uncle, he is later revealed to be the young man's father. Frank is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He is a graduate of Southern University and A&M College. Frank and Dee are strict disciplinarians to their children.
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph as Deirdre "Dee" Mitchell (seasons 1–5; recurring in season 6) – A high school principal attempting to balance her career with two additional roles as wife to Frank and stepmother to Moesha and Myles. Dee is also a strict disclipinarian to the kids. She is originally from Jamaica and would speak in a thick Jamaican accent when talking about her childhood or when angered. It is implied that Dee is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority due to a quote in the episode "Niece" in which Moesha says that she wouldn't be persuaded by Dee with Delta picnics. Ralph left her role as a main cast member following season 5. She did not appreciate the storyline in which the family discovered that Frank was Dorian's real father.
  • Countess Vaughn as Kimberly Ann "Kim" Parker (seasons 1–4) – Moesha's boy-crazy best friend who has a crush on Hakeem during the first two seasons, but later dates Michael. She leaves the show after the fourth season to star in her own spin-off series The Parkers with Mo'Nique, who played her mother, Nikki Parker. She and Nikki graduate from Crenshaw High School in 1999 and go on to study at Santa Monica College. Kim originally planned to go to the Fashion Institute of Leimert, but ended up going to SMC after the former shut down suddenly toward the end of her senior year of high school.
  • Marcus T. Paulk as Myles Mitchell — Moesha's pesky younger brother. Early in the series, he is known mostly for playing practical jokes on his sister and her friends. Throughout the series, he progresses from 3rd grade to 8th grade.
  • Lamont Bentley as Hakeem Campbell — A frequent visitor to the Mitchell household, he is Moesha's lifelong friend and neighbor, and later her boyfriend. In the spin-off The Parkers, it was revealed that he and Moesha were no longer in a relationship. He dated Kim's best friend Stevie Van Lowe (played by Jenna von Oÿ).
  • Yvette Wilson as Andalusia Louise "Andell" Wilkerson (seasons 1–5) — Moesha's adult friend and owner of the neighborhood hangout The Den. During season 5 she sells her establishment to a local funeral director. Andell is featured on the spin-off show The Parkers, where she owns a self-named restaurant and bar.
  • Shar Jackson as Denise "Niecy" Jackson (seasons 2–6; recurring in season 1) — Moesha's best friend and later her roommate. She has four brothers and four sisters whom she has to care for during high school, so she does not find time to work during high school like her friends Hakeem and Moesha. Niecy also made a guest appearance in a season 1 episode of Girlfriends.
  • Fredro Starr as Quinton "Q" Brooks (seasons 2–3; recurring seasons 4–6) — Moesha's longest-running love interest. He is from New York City and had an on-and-off relationship with Moesha until departing in the middle season 3 to manage a hip-hop group. Frank dislikes him, because he feels is a bad influence on Moesha. In season 6, Q proposes to Moesha and she accepts, but the engagement is called off when Q wants to sell Moesha's engagement ring to help support his hip-hop group on Thanksgiving.
  • Ray J as Dorian Long (seasons 5–6) — Moesha and Myles' long lost half-brother, previously said to be their cousin. Dorian is originally from Oakland, California, but runs away from his mother's home to live with the Mitchells. He was known to be a troublemaker back in Oakland so the Mitchells did not treat him lightly. Dorian is also an aspiring rapper going by the nickname, "D-Money". He graduates from high school during season 6.

Recurring

  • Bernie Mac as Bernard Jefferson “Bernie” Mitchell (seasons 1–4), Moesha's uncle and Frank's brother; Andell's boyfriend
  • Ricky Harris as Javon Aramis "J.W." Willis (seasons 1–3), a mechanic working for Frank; Andell's boyfriend
  • Merlin Santana as Ohaji (season 1; guest appearance in season 4), Moesha's first boyfriend
  • Kara Brock as Sara (season 1), a friend of Moesha, Kim and Niecy
  • Antwon Tanner as Michael (seasons 2–3; guest appearance in season 1), Kim's boyfriend and Q's teammate on the basketball team. He appears on one episode of ‘’The Parkers’’ where he attempts to reunite with Kim and revealing in the process that he has an infant daughter. Sadly, Michael is later killed in an oil fire at his factory job.
  • Kellie Shanygne Williams as Charrisse (seasons 2, 4), Moesha's cousin who is in college
  • Dwight Woody as Coach Vines, Crenshaw High's basketball coach (Seasons 2-3)
  • Melissa Joan Hart and Dru Mouser as Haley Dillard (season 3), Moesha's best friend at Bridgewood
  • Usher Raymond as Jeremy Davis (season 3; guest appearance in season 4), a love interest of Moesha who goes to Bridgewood
  • Dante Basco as Marco (season 3), a friend of Moesha's at Bridgewood
  • Monica McSwain as Mary Ellen Hobbs (seasons 3–4), a stuck-up girl at Bridgewood who clashes with what she perceives as Moesha having a " ghetto" personality. Although they dislike each other, Moesha comes to Mary Ellen's aid when the latter finds out that she is pregnant.
  • Jon Huertas as Antonio Avalan (season 4), a friend of Hakeem and high school student at Crenshaw High School
  • Brandon Quintin Adams as Aaron (season 4), Moesha's college-aged boyfriend
  • Mo'Nique as Nicole "Nikki" Parker (season 4; guest appearance in season 6), Kim's mother who goes back to high school in order to graduate with her daughter and her friends
  • Jo Marie Payton as Bernetta Campbell (seasons 4–5), Hakeem's mother, who works at the Magic Johnson theater. In The Parkers, she wins the lottery, and it enables her to quit her job, but she returns when Nikki Parker proves to be unreliable
  • Alexis Fields as Alicia (seasons 5–6; guest appearance in season 4), Moesha's rival and enemy at California University. She shares a room with Moesha, Niecy, and Brenda during their sophomore year of college
  • Marissa Jaret Winokur as Theresa (season 5), Moesha's roommate during her freshman year of college
  • Master P as Patience (season 5), a thug that Dorian associates with and later gets him into trouble
  • Lahmard Tate as Jerome (season 5–6), a friend of Hakeem's who attends college with him; Niecy's on-and-off boyfriend
  • Iona Morris as Sandra "Sandy" Mitchell-Long (season 5–6), Moesha's aunt and Dorian's adoptive mother from Oakland, California
  • Ginuwine as Khalib (season 6), a group member of Q's and later a love interest of Moesha
  • Jazsmin Lewis as Lanae Foster (season 6), an older woman that Dorian has a short-lived love affair with
  • Olivia Brown as Barbara Lee (season 6), Dorian's birth mother and sister-in-law of Maya Wilkes from Girlfriends
  • Bree Turner as Brenda (season 6), one of Moesha's and Niecy's roommates in sophomore year
  • Kim Whitley as Gertrude "Gertie" Lowe (season 6), a female who dated Frank, and later Nikki's best friend in The Parkers

Production

Opening credits

There have been different versions of the opening credits theme song, which was performed by Brandy. One version was used for season 1, a second version was used for seasons 2 and 3, and a third version was used for the final three seasons. Although the same recording of the theme song was used for the last three seasons, two different openings were used for each of the first three seasons.

The opening sequence for season 1 shows Moesha dancing in front of a fountain, walking with friends, dancing in a moving car, and winning at a game of chess while waving at a guy as he walks away.

The opening sequence for seasons 2 and 3 features the same scenario with some changes. Moesha was still dancing in front of the fountain but with a bass guitar player behind her. Instead of just depicting Moesha with her friends, this intro sees her playing basketball and baseball with her friends and family, driving with her friends, strutting down a block with Kim and Niecy, teaching Kim how to rollerblade (later replaced with footage of Moesha & Q chasing Myles), and once again being served a meal at the diner by Ansell while seated with her family. When Moesha is again distracted by a cute guy walking by, Frank tries to cover Moesha's eyes.

Season 4 showed the cast around the neighborhood and Moesha, Kim, and Niecy dancing at the fountain while wearing red outfits. Season 5 showed the cast dancing in a panoramic view as Norwood lip-syncs to the theme song on a background of clouds and a rising sun. The introduction for season 6 is similar to that of season 5, but features a twist. Since Yvette Wilson left Moesha to join the cast of The Parkers and Sheryl Lee Ralph's character Dee became a recurring character, the season 6 opening features footage of Norwood lip-syncing over the portion of the theme song where Yvette Wilson and Sheryl Lee Ralph appeared in the previous season's opening.

Spin-off and Brock Akil universe

Given her popularity for four seasons on Moesha, Countess Vaughn left the show in 1999 for her own show, The Parkers, which premiered on August 30, 1999, on UPN. It centered on Kim attending community college with her mother, played by comedian Mo'Nique. Leaving Moesha, Yvette Wilson joined the cast of The Parkers as Andell Wilkerson, Nikki's childhood friend.

Several Moesha cast members (including Brandy Norwood, William Allen Young, Shar Jackson, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Marcus T. Paulk) made crossover appearances on The Parkers. Lamont Bentley, being the most frequent, appearing in three episodes.

Though not direct spin-offs of Moesha, the shows Girlfriends and The Game were created by Moesha writer Mara Brock Akil and exist in the same universe as Moesha. The character Maya Wilkes ( Golden Brooks) from Girlfriends lives in Leimert Park like the characters of Moesha, and appeared in an episode babysitting for her sister-in-law Barbara Lee, who happened to be Dorian's birth mother. Niecy later appeared in an episode of Girlfriends.

The Game was spun off from Girlfriends with the loose thread of main character Melanie Barnett ( Tia Mowry) being a cousin of Girlfriends main character Joan Clayton ( Tracee Ellis Ross). The Melanie and Derwin characters re-appeared in the Girlfriends Season 7 finale episode at Joan's engagement party. On Moesha, Brandy played herself as a celebrity doppelganger to Moesha, and ironically Brandy joined the cast of The Game in its fifth season as Chardonnay Pitts, further complicating the notion of the shows existing in the same universe. [5]

Cancellation

By the sixth season, ratings for Moesha had dropped and UPN opted not to renew or air the series for a seventh season. [6] [7] [8] The series ended on an unresolved cliffhanger with Myles being kidnapped by a rival of Dorian, Moesha considering moving in with Hakeem, and a positive pregnancy test being found in the trash at Moesha's dorm room, without positive identification as to whose it was. Entertainment Weekly reported a rumor that certain plots were to be resolved on The Parkers, [9] but those storylines were ultimately never resolved. [8]

Possible revival

On November 3, 2017, the cast reunited on The Real and have expressed interest in reviving the show. "Absolutely, we need a reboot to this show, because we ended on a cliff," Norwood pointed out. [10] In August 2020, Norwood revealed she was in talks for a reboot, citing the show's success on Netflix. [11] [12]

Syndication

The show aired in syndication on UPN, Fox, and The WB affiliates. The series aired on WGN America (now NewsNation) from 2005 to 2008, The N from 2005 to 2009, Up TV, BET Her, and BET until mid 2016, Fuse until 2019, and Bounce TV until 2021. On Up, it was edited for content to make it more "family-friendly" and was often edited heavily for broadcast on BET and BET Her due to airtime constraints.

In the UK, Moesha aired on Channel 4 from 1996 until 1998, with only the first three seasons being broadcast. It also aired on Nickelodeon from 1996 to 2000, who only showed episodes from the first four seasons which were edited so they would be more suitable for broadcast on children's television. Paramount Channel aired the series from 2000 to 2003, as did Trouble from 2003 to 2006. From 1 November 2019, the programme started airing on Trace Vault following its rebrand from The Vault.

Since 2008, the show has aired in international syndication in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Israel, the Middle East, Russia, France, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Ireland, South Africa, Latin America, Brazil, and Australia. In Spain, it ran on Disney Channel from 2005 to 2011 in an edited format deemed suitable for children's television.

The series is currently streaming on Netflix in the US, while spinoff series The Parkers is available to stream on the platform as well. [13] The series is also available to stream on Paramount+, BET+, and Hulu. [14] [15] [16]

Home media

On September 27, 2011, CBS Home Entertainment released Moesha: The First Season on DVD in Region 1 via Amazon.com's CreateSpace program. This is a Manufacture-on-Demand (MOD) release, available exclusively through Amazon.com. [17]

DVD Name Ep # Release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
The Complete 1st Season 14 September 27, 2011 [17] N/A N/A

Ratings

The following table summarizes the U.S. television ratings for the series:

Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
1st January 23, 1996 May 21, 1996 1996 #141[ citation needed] 3.5[ citation needed]
2nd August 27, 1996 May 20, 1997 1996–1997 #134 [18] 3.5 [18]
3rd August 26, 1997 May 19, 1998 1997–1998 #141 [19] 4.0 [19]
4th October 6, 1998 May 25, 1999 1998–1999 #137 [20] 3.3 [20]
5th August 23, 1999 May 22, 2000 1999–2000 #130 [21] 2.4 [21]
6th September 4, 2000 May 14, 2001 2000–2001 #130 [22] 3.3 [22]

Awards

Year Award Category Recipient Ref.
1997 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress Brandy Norwood [23]
1998 NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Countess Vaughn [24]
1999 SHINE Awards Comedy Episode For episode "Birth Control" [25]
2000 SHINE Awards Comedy Episode For episode "Let's Talk About Sex" [26]

References

  1. ^ "William S. Paley Television Festival 1999: Moesha". The Paley Center for Media. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  2. ^ Brown, Evan Nicole (February 16, 2022). "How UPN Ushered in a Golden Decade of Black TV — and Then Was Merged Out of Existence". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  3. ^ Braxton, Greg (December 6, 1999). "Hot Topics Thicken Plot for 'Moesha' : Television: UPN comedy turns to grittier material that veteran staffers call stereotypical". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on May 24, 2022. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  4. ^ Mifflin, Lawrie (September 26, 1999). "TELEVISION/RADIO; UPN's 'Moesha,' The Nonwhite Hit Nobody Knows". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 18, 2015. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  5. ^ "The Game's Brandy: Chardonnay Will Keep Jason in Check". TVGuide.com. January 9, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  6. ^ Schneider, Michael (May 16, 2001). "UPN deals for 'Roswell,' benches vet 'Moesha'". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  7. ^ Carter, Kelley L. (May 14, 2020). "On TV, a fledgling UPN tried to follow NBC and Fox with black programming". Andscape. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Moesha Season 7: Why The Show Was Canceled". ScreenRant. April 7, 2022. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  9. ^ Rice, Lynette (June 6, 2001). "'Band' On the Run". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on April 21, 2009. Retrieved July 19, 2009.
  10. ^ Macke, Johnni (November 6, 2017). "'MOESHA' CAST WEIGHS IN ON POSSIBLE REVIVAL". People’s Choice. E! Online. Archived from the original on March 4, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  11. ^ Elizabeth, De (August 15, 2020). "Brandy Reveals She's "In Talks" for a "Moesha" Reboot". Teen Vogue. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  12. ^ Schneider, Michael (December 10, 2020). "'Sister, Sister,' 'Girlfriends' and Other Beloved Black Sitcoms Are Finding New Life on Netflix". Variety. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  13. ^ "Moesha". Netflix. Archived from the original on August 4, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2020.
  14. ^ "Moesha". Paramount Plus. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  15. ^ "Moesha". Hulu. Retrieved February 9, 2021.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  16. ^ Bjornson, Greta (February 2, 2021). "'Moesha,' 'Sister, Sister' and More Land on Hulu to Kick Off Black History Month Celebration". Decider. Retrieved February 9, 2021.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  17. ^ a b "Moesha Season (1996) Season 1". Amazon. October 29, 2011. Archived from the original on November 6, 2015. Retrieved October 29, 2011.
  18. ^ a b "The TV Ratings Guide: 1996-97 Sitcom Scorecard -- Not Much Changed As NBC 1st, Ratings Down Across The Board". The TV Ratings Guide. September 13, 2017. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  19. ^ a b "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly. No. 434. May 29, 1998. Archived from the original on November 13, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  20. ^ a b "TV WINNERS & LOSERS: NUMBERS RACKET - A FINAL TALLY OF THE SEASON'S SHOWS". Entertainment Weekly. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on October 29, 2009. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  21. ^ a b "The TV Ratings Guide: 1999-2000 Ratings History". The TV Ratings Guide. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  22. ^ a b "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly. No. 598. June 1, 2001. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  23. ^ Marghitu, Stefania (2021). "Stardom and Moesha: Brandy Norwood". Teen TV. Routledge. ISBN  978-1-138-71389-5. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  24. ^ Zurawik, David (August 30, 1999). "the laugh track; A funny thing happened on the way to a UPN sitcom for Baltimore's Mo'Nique. Now that she's arrived, the comic actress knows she has the makeup to be a star". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on June 23, 2021. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  25. ^ "'Moesha,' 'Felicity' top Shine kudos for sexual health segs". Variety. October 27, 1999. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  26. ^ "The SHINE Awards—2000 Winners". SHINE Awards. Archived from the original on August 20, 2008. Retrieved May 24, 2022.

External links