Moesha was an American situation comedy / drama series that was produced for the UPN network from January 23, 1996 to May 14, 2001.
Pop music star Brandy Norwood was the star of this thoughtful but upbeat inner-city comedy set in Los Angeles. When the series premiered, Moesha (Brandy Norwood), was about to turn 16. Frank Mitchell (William Allen Young), her dad sold cars for a local Saturn dealership; Dee Mitchell (Sheryl Lee Ralph), her stepmother, taught at Moesha’s school, Crenshaw High School; and Myles Mitchell (Marcus T. Paulk), was her smart-mouthed kid brother. Mo’s friends included Hakeem Campbell (Lamont Bentley), a neighbor and classmate, who seemed to eat all his meals at the Mitchell home; Kim Parker (Countess Vaughn), her pudgy, outspoken best friend who had a crush on a disinterested Hakeem; and Niecy Jackson (Shar Jackson), a classmate who hung out with them and was the third member of the ‘Three Live Crew’. Andell Wilkerson (Yvette Wilson) ran The Den restaurant where Mo and her friends hung out after school. In April, Dee became the faculty advisor for the school newspaper ‘Cry of the Cougar’ and less than a year later, was promoted to vice principal. During the 1996 – 1997 season Moesha was dating Quenton ‘Q’ Brooks (Fredro Starr), but unsure about how serious he was about her and as a result, they broke up. Early in 1997, Frank, with help from some friends, bought his own Saturn dealership.
At the start of the 1997 – 1998 season Moesha was sent, despite her objections, to Bridgewood, a preppie private high school. In February she became co-editor of the school newspaper, the ‘Bridgewood Banner’, but few episodes actually dealt with the private school, concentrating instead on her family and her old friends. At the end of the season she went to a slumber party at which a couple of boys were planning to sleep over and when she was dragged home by her irate father, they had an ugly confrontation. She left home and went to Andell’s, where she lived for five months until she reconciled with her dad. The reconciliation took place when Myles got everybody to make up at Frank’s birthday party and he let her go back to Crenshaw for her senior year. At the end of the season Kim and Hakeem were accepted to Santa Monica College and Moesha, who had been accepted to Northwestern University’s School of Journalism, decided to postpone college to take a job at the magazine ‘Vibe”.
That fall Moesha was working at ‘Vibe’ while Niecy was at Santa Monica College, as was Kim (in her own series, ‘The Parkers’). Frank took in his troubled teenage nephew, Dorian Long (Ray J. Norwood), who had arrived from Oakland and tried to straighten him out. Early on Moesha was fired from ‘Vibe’ and enrolled at California University. Dorian, the scam artist (who had given himself the rap name D Money), went too far and almost got sent back to Oakland before he showed real remorse. In February Hakeem was accepted to C.U. and a visiting aunt revealed that Frank was actually Dorian’s father – he’d had an affair during a tough period in his first marriage and fathered him out of wedlock; Frank’s sister had adopted the baby. The family didn’t take this well and Moesha moved into a crummy room at a C.U. dorm. She and her dad eventually made up, but Dorian still harbored resentment. In April Moesha and Hakeem started dating again. Dorian got involved with a low-life but Frank bailed him out and reluctantly, sent him to a juvenile boot camp. Moesha was offered a summer job touring as business manager for Q’s rap group. She turned him down to stay with Hakeem, but due to a misunderstanding they broke up and Moesha wound up taking the job with Q.
In September Moesha was back from the tour and engaged to Q. Dorian had survived boot camp (and cleaned up his act) and was preparing to start his senior year in high school and Dee was preparing to go back to Jamaica, where she had been offered a full-time education position. Moesha’s new roommate at school was obnoxious Alicia (Alexis Fields) – but she made up with Niecy and they became roommates. Hakeem was trying hard to get her back while Q was on tour in Japan. Frank wasn’t pleased when Moesha finally told him she was engaged to Q, but they broke up at Thanksgiving. In February Dorian told Moesha he wanted to find his birth mother and she helped him track her down. The following week they found Barbara Lee Kennedy (Olivia Brown), his mother, with whom he started to build a relationship. In May Dee came home in time for Dorian’s high school graduation. He had gotten a recording contract and in the season finale a guy who had been in jail with him tried to muscle in on his recording income. When Dorian refused, the guy kidnapped Myles. In the cliffhanger ending, as Moesha was about to tell Frank she was going to live with Hakeem, Dorian interrupted with the news about Myles and Moesha fainted. Since the series was canceled, there was no resolution.
Each episode opened and closed with Moesha reflecting on how what happened affected her life and relationships.
Re-runs currently air on Viacom's The N and The CW Television Network.