Theme music composer Kurt Farquhar
Theme song Moesha Theme Song
Final episode date 14 May 2001
Spin-off The Parkers
|Created by Ralph FarquharSara V. FinneyVida Spears|
Starring BrandyWilliam Allen YoungCountess Vaughn(Seasons 1-4)Sheryl Lee Ralph(Seasons 1-5)Marcus T. PaulkLamont BentleyYvette Wilson(Seasons 1-5)Shar Jackson(Seasons 2-6)Fredro Starr(Seasons 2-3)Ray J(Seasons 5-6)
Opening theme "Moesha", performed by Brandy
Ending theme "Moesha" (Instrumental)
Cast Brandy, Countess Vaughn, Lamont Bentley, Marcus T Paulk, Shar Jackson
Moesha was 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 Denise Mitchell, a high school student living with her family in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was originally ordered as a pilot for CBS's 1995–1996 television season but was rejected by the network. It was then picked up by UPN, who 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.
The show focuses on the life of a middle class African-American 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, The Brothers Saturn), has married Dee, the vice-principal at Moesha's school, much to Moesha's disagreement. 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. The sitcom was portrayed to take place in the affluent Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
The 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 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's relocation from her home.
EpisodesSee List of Moesha episodes
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.
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 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, Nikki's childhood best friend, in 2000.
Several Moesha cast members (including Brandy Norwood) made crossover appearances on The Parkers.
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). Though this was never referenced again on The Game, the Melanie and Derwin characters re-appeared in the Girlfriends Season 7 finale episode for a cameo. 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.
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.
In the UK, Moesha aired on Channel 4 from 1996 until 1998, only showing the first three seasons. It also aired on Nickelodeon (edited for kids viewing) from 1996 to 2000 showing the first four seasons, Paramount Channel and Trouble.
Since 2008, The show has been running in syndication in Spain, Italy, Israel, Russia, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Liberia, Jamaica, Japan, China, India, Korea, Singapore, Brazil, South Sudan, Australia, and Mexico.
As of 2013 Moesha currently airs on Up TV, Centric, and BET until mid 2016. On Up, it is edited for content to make it more "family-friendly" and is often edited for extreme time constraints on BET and Centric. Since October 1, 2016 Fuse began airing reruns.