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The Famous Jett Jackson

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The Famous Jett Jackson
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Created by: Fracaswell Hyman
No. of seasons: 3
No. of episodes: 65
Original channel: Disney Channel
First aired: October 25, 1998
Last aired: June 22, 2001
Status: Ended


The Famous Jett Jackson is a joint Canadian and American Disney Channel Original Series coming-of-age television series for children ages 12–16 about a boy named Jett Jackson (portrayed by the late Lee Thompson Young) who plays a teenage secret-agent on a fictional TV show-within-a-show called Silverstone.

Premise

Jett Jackson previously lived with his actress mother in Los Angeles, but missed his home and his friends. Longing for a relatively normal life, Jett succeeds in getting the production of Silverstone moved to the fictional Wilsted, North Carolina, thus providing jobs to townspeople while affording Jett the chance to live with his father, Sheriff Woodrick "Wood" Jackson, and his great-grandmother, Miz Coretta (whom Jett calls Nana). Keeping in touch with his mother Jules by video link on his computer (though by the third season she also moved to Wilsted), Jett now spends part of his time with family, friends and school, and the rest living the life of a working actor and celebrity. In doing so, Jett often ends up in sticky situations, usually aided and abetted by his childood friend, J.B., his not-quite girlfriend Kayla, and sometimes by Cubby, Silverstone's wacky special effects wizard. In the second half of the series, Jett's new co-star, Riley Grant, is added to the mix.

The show within the show, Silverstone, is about a spy who works for Mission Omega Matrix(the acronym being a pun on the word "Mom")in order to save the world from villains like Dr. Hypnoto and the Rat. In contrast to Jett, Silverstone has no family, only his mentor, Artemus, and eventually his partner "Hawk"(surname Hawkins) ("played" by Riley Grant). From the second season onward, the action sequences and Silverstone subplots saw a greater increase.

Cast

Main

  • Lee Thompson Young as Jett Jackson/Silverstone
  • Ryan Sommers Baum as J.B. Halliburton
  • Kerry Duff as Kayla West
  • Gordon Greene as Woodrick Jackson
  • Montrose Hagins as Miz Coretta
  • Melanie Nicholls-King as Jules Jackson

Recurring

  • Jeffrey Douglas as Cubby
  • Lindy Booth as Riley Grant/Hawk
  • Nigel Shawn Williams as Nigel Essex/Artemus

Episodes

Main article: The Famous Jett Jackson episode list

History and related series

Show creator Fracaswell Hyman reportedly devised the character before casting Lee Thompson Young for the role. Like Jett, Young was raised in a single parent home in the South, and decided on an acting career at an early age. Young went on to write one of the episodes produced for the series.

The series included both young guest stars such as Hayden Christensen, Britney Spears and Destiny's Child and veteran stars such as Eartha Kitt, the latter of whom played the new coach of Wilsted's minor league baseball team in one episode.

The relative realism of Jett's home life sometimes gave way to fantasy or paranormal elements, such as one episode in which Jett learns about a shameful incident in Wilsted's history with a little prodding from the ghost of a key figure in the buried scandal. Other episodes dealt with issues in a more realistic and contemporary way, such as when J.B.'s father's family-owned store is threatened by the arrival of high-powered, "big box" competition, and another in which Jett's English teacher, Dr. Dupree, runs afoul of local attempts at censorship of a class reading assignment. Other episodes dealt with such topics as bulimia and the question of whether Jett, with his relatively sheltered and pampered home life, can truly understand or cope with the problems of other African Americans.

Although it was well received and regarded as a success, the series ended on June 22, 2001, allegedly due to Disney's unstated policy of making only 65 episodes per series. It was followed by a Disney Channel movie in which Jett finds himself trapped in Silverstone's world, and vice versa. In that movie he takes on Silverstone's role for real and is able to muddle through while Silverstone does the same thing in Jett's world until Miz Coreta finds out the truth and he returns home and sends Jett back as well. The movie ends with Jett returning to Silverstone's world and helping him complete his mission by rescuing Silverstone from Kragg and then defeating Kragg alongside his hero alter-ego. The series was in re-runs on Disney Channel throughout 2002 at 12:30 AM eastern/Pacific.

Film

Jett Jackson: The Movie premiered on Disney Channel in 2001.

Syndication

After being removed from the Disney Channel schedule in June 2004, the show briefly aired on ABC Family as part of the Jetix programming block. The show was briefly seen again on Disney XD in 2009.

Critical reaction

Response to the show was generally positive. Laura Fries of Variety, the Hollywood trade paper, noted in her review of Jett Jackson: The Movie that "Young serves as an appealing role model, much like Sarah Michelle Gellar's Buffy the Vampire Slayer --someone who can fulfill young, action craving audiences without the gratuitous violence. There's a sense of empowerment associated with these sort of roles, and handled correctly, they function as an excellent allegory for the confusing teenage years." Although she mentions "contrived plot devices", she also refers to the series as "clever" and "an extremely entertaining concept".

Awards and nominations

The series The Famous Jett Jackson and its young cast were nominated for Young Artist Awards, presented by the nonprofit Young Artist Foundation, in several categories in the course of the show's run:

Awards
Year Result Award Category Won
1999 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series, Leading Young Actor Lee Thompson Young
1999 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series, Supporting Young Actor Ryan Sommers Baum
1999 Won Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series, Supporting Young Actress Kerry Duff
1999 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Family TV Comedy Series The Famous Jett Jackson
2000 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Drama Series, Leading Young Actor Lee Thompson Young
2000 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Drama Series, Supporting Young Actor Ryan Sommers Baum
2000 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Drama Series, Supporting Young Actress Kerry Duff
2001 Nominated Young Artist Award Best Performance in a TV Movie Kerry Duff (Jett Jackson: The Movie)
2001 Won Parents' Choice Awards Silver Honor The Famous Jett Jackson


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at The Famous Jett Jackson. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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