Moesha is an American sitcom series that aired on the UPN network from January 23, 1996 to May 14, 2001. The series stars R&B singer Brandy Norwood as Moesha Mitchell, a high school student living with her family in the Leimert Park neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles.
The show focuses on the life of a middle class African-American family through the eyes of a typical girl. 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 school, much to Moesha's dismay. 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 and the teen hangout, The Den.
See also: Very special episodeThe show dealt with real teen social issues such as teen pregnancy, drug use, race relations, premarital sex, the death of a parent, and day-to-day issues teenagers faced at home and school. In one of the most controversial episodes, "Secrets and Lies," the Mitchell family learned from Frank's Aunt Hattie that he 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's relocation from her home.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Moesha Mitchell (played by Brandy Norwood) - Like many teens, 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.
- Frank Mitchell (played by William Allen Young) - A Saturn dealer and father to Moesha and Myles. Originally believed to be Dorian's uncle, he is later revealed to be the young man's father.
- Deidra "Dee" Mitchell (played by Sheryl Lee Ralph, Seasons 1–5, recurring in Season 6) - An educator attempting to master two additional careers — as wife to Frank and stepmother to Moesha, Myles and Dorian.
- Kimberly "Kim" Parker (played by Countess Vaughn, Seasons 1–4) - Moesha's boy-crazy best friend who has a crush on Hakeem, but later dated Michael.
- Myles Mitchell (played by Marcus T. Paulk) - Moesha's pesky younger brother.
- Hakeem Campbell (played by Lamont Bentley) - A frequent visitor to the Mitchell household, he is Moesha’s lifelong friend and neighbor, and later boyfriend.
- Andell Wilkerson (played by Yvette Wilson, Seasons 1–5) - Moesha's older friend and owner of the neighborhood hangout, The Den.
- Niecy Jackson (played by Shar Jackson, Seasons 2–6, recurring in Season 1) - Moesha's friend and confidante who could never keep a secret.
- Quinton "Q" Brooks (played by Fredro Starr, Seasons 2–3, recurring thereafter) - Moesha's longest-running love interest.
- Dorian Long (played by Ray J, seasons 5-6) - Moesha and Myles' cousin, who is later revealed to be their paternal half-brother.
- Bernie Mac as Bernie Mitchell, Moesha's uncle and Frank's brother; Andell's boyfriend (Seasons 1–5)
- Ricky Harris as Javon 'J.W.' Willis, a mechanic working for Frank; Andell's boyfriend (Seasons 1–3)
- Merlin Santana as Ohaji, Moesha's first boyfriend (Season 1)
- Kara Brock as Sara, a friend of Moesha, Kim and Niecy (Season 1)
- Christian Coleman as Freddie, Hakeem's best friend and also a friend of Moesha, Kim and Neicy (Seasons 1-2)
- Nicole Pantenberg as Teresa, a friend of Moesha who butts heads with Kim and Hakeem's girlfriend (Season 2)
- Dwight Woody as Coach Vines (Seasons 2-3)
- Antwon Tanner as Michael, Kim's boyfriend (Seasons 2-3)
- Usher as Jeremy Davis, a love interest of Moesha who attended Bridgewood (Season 3)
- Dru Mouser as Haley Dillard, Moesha's first friend at Bridgewood (Season 3)
- Dante Basco as Marco, a classmate of Moesha's at Bridgewood (Season 3)
- Jaime Elysee as Morgan, a classmate of Moesha's at Bridgewood (Season 3)
- Monica McSwain as Mary Ellen, a classmate and rival of Moesha's at Bridgewood (Season 3)
- Jo Marie Payton as Bernetta Campbell, Hakeem's mother (Seasons 4–6)
- Alexis Fields as Alicia, a rival and later roommate of Moesha and Niecy (Seasons 4–6)
- Jon Huertas as Antonio, a friend of Hakeem (Season 4)
- Brandon Quintin Adams as Aaron, Moesha's college boyfriend (Season 4)
- Lahmard Tate as Jerome, Hakeem's friend and love interest of Niecy (Seasons 5–6)
- Marissa Jaret Winokur as Theresa, Moesha's roommate (Season 5)
- Olivia Brown as Barbara Lee, Dorian's birth mother (Season 6)
U.S. television ratingsEdit
|Season||Season premiere||Season finale||TV season||Ranking||Viewers|
|1st||January 23, 1996||May 21, 1996||1996||#141||3.5|
|2nd||August 27, 1996||May 20, 1997||1996-1997||#134||3.5|
|3rd||August 26, 1997||May 19, 1998||1997–1998||#141||4.0|
|4th||October 6, 1998||May 25, 1999||1998–1999||#137||3.3|
|5th||August 23, 1999||May 22, 2000||1999–2000||#130||2.4|
|6th||September 4, 2000||May 14, 2001||2000–2001||#130||3.3|
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.
|DVD Name||Ep #||Release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|The Complete 1st Season||14||September 27, 2011||TBA||TBA|
|The Complete 2nd Season||24||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|The Complete 3rd Season||23||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|The Complete 4th Season||22||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|The Complete 5th Season||22||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|The Complete 6th Season||22||TBA||TBA||TBA|
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 the adventures of Kim attending community college with her mother, played by comedian Mo'Nique. Leaving Moesha, Yvette Wilson joined the cast of The Parkers as Andell in 2000.
There have been four versions of the opening credits theme song.
- Used for Season 1
- Used for Season 2
- Used for Season 3, which was nearly identical to the season 2 version, but with elements from the first theme, as well
- Used for the last three seasons
Although the same recording of the theme song was used for the last three seasons, A different opening was used for each of the last three seasons.
- Season 1 showed Moesha dancing in front of a fountain, walking with friends, dancing in a driving car,and playing a game of Chess,..winning, while waving at a guy as he walks away.
- Season 2 & 3 had the same scenario as season one but had some changes. Moesha was still dancing in front of the fountain but with a bass player behind her. Instead of being with just her friends, she was shown to be playing basketball and baseball with her friends and family, driving with her friends and once again having a meal at the diner served by Andell with her family.
- Season 4 showed the cast around the neighborhood and shows Moesha, Kim, and Niecy dancing at the fountain.
- Season 5 showed the cast as Norwood lip-syncs to the theme song.
- Season 6 showed the cast as Norwood lip-syncs to the theme song. The same as Season 5 but with a twist. Since Yvette Wilson left to join the cast for The Parkers and Sheryl Lee Ralph's character became a recurring cast member in the show, Norwood is shown lip-syncing over where Yvette Wilson and Sheryl Lee Ralph once were in the Season 5 opening.
By the sixth season, ratings for Moesha had dropped and UPN opted not to renew the series for a seventh season. The series ended on an unresolved cliffhanger with Myles being kidnapped by a rival of Dorian, Moesha considering moving in with Hakeem, and an unknown positive pregnancy test being found in the trash at Moesha's dorm room. Entertainment Weekly reported that certain plots were to be resolved on The Parkers, but the storylines were never resolved.
The series aired in syndication on UPN, Fox and The WB affiliates from 2000 to 2005, then on WGN America from 2005 to 2009. It began airing on The N in 2005, but ceased in 2009. Starting April 14, 2012, the series will air on gmc (formerly Gospel Music Channel) and the rights to the show.
In the UK, Moesha aired on Channel 4 from 1996 until 1998, only showing the first three seasons. It also aired on Nickelodeon UK (edited for kids viewing) from 1996 to 2000 showing the first four seasons, Paramount Channel UK and Trouble TV UK.
Since 2008, The show has been running in syndication in Spain, Italy, Israel, Russia, France, Germany, Ireland, Holland, UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Jamaica, Japan, China, India, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, South Sudan, Australia, and Mexico.
|1997||NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Youth Actor/Actress||Brandy Norwood|
|1998||Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series||Countess Vaughn|
|2000||SHINE Awards||Comedy Episode||For episode "Let's Talk About Sex"|
- ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1995-1996". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ a b "Complete TV Ratings 1996-1997". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ a b "The Final Countdown". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #434 May 29, 1998. May 29, 1998. Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ a b "TV Winners & Losers: Numbers Racket A Final Tally Of The Season's Show (from Nielsen Media Research)". GeoCities. June 4, 1999. Archived from the original on 2009-10-29. Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ a b "TV Ratings 1999-2000". Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ a b "The Bitter End". Entertainment Weekly Published in issue #598 Jun 01, 2001. June 1, 2001. Retrieved 02-12-2010.
- ^ "Moesha Season (1996) Season 1: Movies & TV". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
- ^ "Moesha Season (1996) Season 1". Amazon.com. 2011-10-29. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
- ^ "'The Parkers' Win Big Laughs As No. 1 Show In Black Households". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 97 (18): 58. 2000-04-10. ISSN 0021-5996.
- ^ "Why TV's 'The Parkers' Remains a Hit With Black Viewers For a Second Season". Jet (Johnson Publishing Company) 98 (20): 62–63. 2000-10-23. ISSN 0021-5996.
- ^ Rice, Lynette (2001-06-06). "'Band' On the Run". ew.com. Retrieved 2009-07-19.