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On Our Own
On Our Own Title Screen.jpg
Opening title sequence
Genre Sitcom
Created by David W. Duclon
Starring Ralph Louis Harris
Kimberley Kates
Roger Aaron Brown
T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh
Jurnee Smollett
Jussie Smollett
Jake Smollett
Jazz Smollett
Jocqui Smollett
Jojo Smollett
Theme music composer Jesse Frederick
Bennett Salvay
Opening theme "Chances Are" performed by Joe Turano
Country of origin  United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 20
Executive producer(s) David W. Duclon
Thomas L. Miller
Robert L. Boyett
Suzanne de Passe
Suzanne Coston
Location(s) St. Louis, Missouri (setting)
Warner Bros. Studios,
Burbank, California (taping location)
Camera setup Film; Multi-camera
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Lightkeeper Productions
de Passe Entertainment
Miller-Boyett Productions
Warner Bros. Television
Original channel ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run September 13, 1994 – April 14, 1995
Status Cancelled/ended

On Our Own is a short-lived American sitcom that aired during ABC's TGIF lineup during the 1994-1995 season. The series starred six real life siblings: Jazz, Jocqui, Jake, Jojo, Jurnee, and Jussie Smollett.[1]

The series was created and executive produced by David W. Duclon, one of the executive producers of Family Matters. The series was produced by Miller-Boyett Productions. This is the only short-lived Miller-Boyett sitcom that was produced by Warner Bros. Television for its entire run.



The series centered on seven brothers and sisters in the O'Fallon Park neighborhood of St. Louis who lose their parents and are being raised by the eldest brother, Josh Jerrico (Ralph Louis Harris). The early episodes focused on the siblings attempting to not be split up by authorities. This lead 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 (Kimberley Kates). Alana quickly sees through the charade, but decides to help the family stay together. Alana and the family attempt to fool Alana's boss, Mr. Ormsby (Roger Aaron Brown), 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 (T'Keyah Crystal Keymáh) was introduced.

The changes to the series didn't help ratings, and after six more episodes, the show was canceled by ABC.[2]



Cast of On Our Own
Episode # Episode title Original airdate
1-1 Pilot September 13, 1994
1-2 "Last Tango in St. Louis (aka, Dog Day after Groom)" September 18, 1994
1-3 "Matchmaker Mama" September 25, 1994
1-4 "A Matter of Principal" October 2, 1994
1-5 "Nok Till You Drop" October 9, 1994
1-6 "Swiss Family Jerrico's" October 16, 1994
1-7 "Bargain Basement" October 23, 1994
1-8 "Bonnie is Really Clyde" October 30, 1994
1-9 "A Family Affair" November 13, 1994
1-10 "Baby Blues" December 4, 1994
1-11 "That's My Car and I'm Sticking to It" December 11, 1994
1-12 "All I Want for Christmas" December 18, 1994
1-13 "Parents' Night" December 28, 1994
1-14 "The Boarder" March 3, 1995
1-15 "Obstacle Illusion" March 10, 1995
1-16 "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" March 17, 1995
1-17 "Girl Talk" March 24, 1995
1-18 "Little Rascals" March 31, 1995
1-19 "The Easy Way" April 7, 1995
1-20 "The Tonsil Tale" April 14, 1995

Award nominations

Year Award Result Category Recipient
1995 Young Artist Awards Nominated Best Performance by an Actor Under Ten in a TV Series Jake Smollett
Best Performance by an Actress Under Ten in a TV Series Jurnee Smollett


The series was briefly re-aired on TV One in 2007.


  1. ^ "The '94 TV Season: Who's New and Who's Back" (in English). Ebony (Johnson Publishing Company) 49 (12): 27. October 1994. ISSN 0012-9011.  
  2. ^ "The '95 TV Season: Who's Gone? Who's New? Who's Back?" (in English). Ebony (Johnson Publishing Company) 50 (12): 94. October 1995. ISSN 0012-9011.  

External links



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