On Our Own (1994)

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On Our Own
Premiere September 13, 1994
Finale April 14, 1995
Creator David W. Duclon
Developed by Thomas L. Miller &
Robert L. Boyett
Network/Provider ABC
Style 30-minute sitcom
Company Lightkeeper Productions,
de Passe Entertainment,
Miller/Boyett Productions,
Warner Bros. Television
Seasons 1
Episodes 20
Origin USA

On Our Own is a sitcom that aired on ABC.

The series centers on the Jerrico family, consisting of seven brothers and sisters (all of whom have names that start with "J") in the O'Fallon Park neighborhood of St. Louis who lose their parents and are being raised by the eldest brother. The early episodes focused on the siblings attempting to not be split up by authorities. This leads to Josh, the eldest brother who was trying to raise the family alone, to dress in drag and pose as older guardian, Aunt Jelcinda (also known as "Mama J"), to fool their case worker, Alana Michaels. Alana quickly sees through the charade, but decides to help the family stay together. Alana and the family attempt to fool Alana's boss, Gordon Ormsby, that "Mama J" is actually taking care of the family. Problems arise when Mr. Ormsby becomes enamored with "Mama J" and pursues her. Ultimately, "Mama J" tells Mr. Ormsby that she cannot enter into a relationship with him because she is focused on the well being of the children.

In December 1994, the series was put on hiatus and retooled. When it returned to the air in March 1995, Josh was granted full custody of his siblings, thus ending the need for the Aunt Jelcinda/Mama J character. The characters of Alana Michaels and Mr. Ormsby were also written out of the show, and a new character, Scotti Decker was introduced. Scotti, a young, attractive professional contractor, rented a room from the Jerricos in order to help the family make ends meet.

Having aired on Sunday nights at 7:30/6:30c during the first half of the season, On Our Own was moved to the 9:30/8:30c time slot following Step By Step on TGIF when it returned in March 1995. The changes to the series in the spring didn't help ratings, and after six more episodes, the show was canceled.



Actor Character
Main Cast
Ralph Louis Harris Josh Jerrico
JoJo Smollett Jimi Jerrico
Jazz Smollett Jai Jerrico
Jussie Smollett Jesse Jerrico
Jurnee Smollett Jordee Jerrico
Jake Smollett Joc Jerrico
Jocqui Smollett Jarreau Jerrico
Roger Aaron Brown Gordon Ormsby1
Kimberley Kates Alana Michaels1
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh Scotti Decker2

1 episodes 1-13
2 episodes 14-20


Season  Premiere Finale #
Season One September 13, 1994 April 14, 1995 20


DVD Releases

There are no DVD releases for this show.

External Links