September 30, 2011 – The Comedy Series Jessie Premieres on Disney Channel
“My whole world is changing, turning around, they got me going crazy, yeah they’re shaking the ground.”
On September 30, 2011, the teen sitcom Jessie premiered on the Disney Channel. The series became the channel’s most watched premiere on its broadcast night, with a total of 4.6 million viewers. As of the time of this post, the series is still running on Disney Channel, entering its fourth season. The show was created by Pamela Eells O’Connell, and stars Debby Ryan as Jessie, Kevin Chamberlain as Bertram, Peyton List as Emma, Karan Brar as Ravi, Cameron Boyce as Luke, Skai Jackson as Zuri, and Chris Galya as Tony.
The first episode, “New York, New Nanny,” begins with Jessie Prescott riding in an NYC cab, boring the cab driver with her life story about her overbearing Marine father and her life back in Texas. She realizes that she’s lost her wallet and is thrown out of the cab, landing at the front of the Fairfield Hotel, and meets the doorman Tony. A woman runs out of the building screaming, and a little girl asks Jessie to be her new nanny. The girl doesn’t take no for an answer, and drags Jessie inside the building. She is taken to the girl’s house, and introduces her to Bertram, the family butler, whose only requirement for a nanny is that she doesn’t “poop on the floor.” She is soon introduced to the three other kids in the family, whom Bertram calls “The Nanny Killers.” The three kids are fighting, and Jessie breaks up the fight. The parents finally arrive, and Jessie is surprised to find that they are none other than Morgan and Christina Ross, a supermodel turned mogul and a movie director. Jessie speaks one-on-one with Christina, who hires Jessie.
Jessie quickly moves in and gets to know the kids, starting with eldest son Luke, who has a crush on Jessie and does very little to hide it. She turns down Luke’s date, and decides to have everyone eat as a family, but has her hands full: eldest daughter Emma doesn’t like her little brothers; Luke continuously tries to get Jessie alone; youngest sibling Zuri would rather spend time with her imaginary friends; and third-eldest sibling Ravi’s pet lizard Mr. Kipling scares Jessie to death. However, Jessie is successful at getting the family around the table, but the siblings have nothing to say to each other, and leave the table one by one. Jessie tries to make up for the disastrous dinner by making cookies, and finds that the kids have run away because they dislike her. With the help of Tony, she finds that the kids are on the roof, ready to take off in their dad’s helicopter. As they berate her, Jessie fights back with some tactics she learned from her father, and makes them do push-ups. One by one, she tries to connect with the kids starting with playing video games with Ravi and feeding Mr. Kipling. While helping Emma with her science fair project, she finds that the Ross’ aren’t going to be able to attend Emma’s science fair. Jessie decides to fly their helicopter to the movie set to retrieve them. Unfortunately, they decide to fire her instead.
Jessie heads to Emma’s science fair, and while Emma is visibly disappointed that her parents couldn’t make it, Jessie reminds her that while they aren’t there with her in person, they will always be with her. Encouraged, she heads up to do her presentation, and is surprised to find her parents, who came in at the last minute. As Emma talks about gravity, Christina calls Jessie the gravity of the Ross family, keeping her as the nanny, and Jessie is overjoyed that they made it. Emma is announced as the winner of the science fair, and everyone heads off to celebrate at a family dinner.