The On Our Own TV show was a 30 minute comedy series on ABC about the oldest brother (Josh) of seven kids who was determined to keep his family together after their parents died. Since all of the kids were minors, Josh dresses up as a woman in order to convince authorities that the family's "Aunt Jelcinda" was raising them.
On Our Own Cast
Ralph Louis Harris .... Josh Jerrico (Full Series) / Aunt Jelcinda ("Mama J") (1994 Only)
Jussie Smollett .... Jesse Jerrico
Jurnee Smollett .... Jordee Jerrico
Jake Smollett .... Joc Jerrico
Jazz Smollett .... Jai Jerrico
Jojo Smollett .... Jimi Jerrico
Jocqui Smollett .... Jarreau Jerrico
Kimberley Kates .... Alana Michaels (1994)
Roger Aaron Brown .... Gordon Ormsby (1994)
Cindy Herron .... Shannon
T'Keyah Crystal Keymah .... Scotti Decker (1995)
Deon Richmond .... Kevin
Karen Kim .... Suki
Bumper Robinson .... Nat
Laura Ponce .... Nails
On Our Own Trivia
The inspiration for On Our Own almost certainly came from the 1993 movie, "Mrs. Doubtfire" and the series got a lot of criticism for "ripping it off" but that wasn't totally fair. Throughout entertainment history, men have dressed like women in order to get laughs.
Ratings began dropping after a few weeks when the man dressed as a woman thing apparently lost its attraction. In response they put the show on hiatus for a couple of months and rewrote the show to eliminate the "Aunt Jelcinda" character. In March of 1995 On Our Own returned with an episode where Josh got legal custody of his brothers and sisters.
Actress T'Keyah Crystal Keymah joined the cast as "Scotti Decker", a gorgeous young woman who moved into the Jerrico's building and was obviously intended to become a love interest for Josh or one of his older brothers. Unfortunately these changes didn't help the ratings so that interesting concept didn't have time to develop.
Just in case you didn't notice, all of the Jerrico kids except oldest brother Josh were portrayed by real life brothers and sisters! All of the Smolletts moved on to other things shortly after On Our Own ended except for Jurnee who has appeared on numerous other series including "Cosby", "Friday Night Lights" and a starring role on "The Defenders".
Episodes List With Original Air Dates
The First And Only Season
- Pilot Episode (9/13/1994)
- Last Tango in St. Louis, or, Dog Day after Groom (9/18/1994)
- Matchmaker Mama (9/25/1994)
- A Matter of Principal (10/2/1994)
- Nok 'til You Drop (10/9/1994)
- Swiss Family Jerricos (10/16/1994)
- Bargain Basement (10/23/1994)
- Bonnie is Really Clyde (10/30/1994)
- A Family Affair (11/13/1994)
- Baby Blues (12/4/1994)
- That's My Car and I'm Sticking to It (12/11/1994)
- All I Want for Christmas (12/18/1994)
- Parents' Night (12/28/1994)
- The Boarder (3/3/1995)
- Obstacle Illusion (3/10/1995)
- He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (3/17/1995)
- Girl Talk (3/24/1995)
- Little Rascals (3/31/1995)
- The Easy Way (4/7/1995)
- The Tonsil Tale (4/14/1995)
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