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The Jacksons: An American Dream 

The story of the Jackson family and their rise to success.




Won 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Complete series cast summary:
Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs ...  Joseph Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Angela Bassett ...  Katherine Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Holly Robinson Peete ...  Diana Ross 2 episodes, 1992
Margaret Avery ...  Martha Scruse 2 episodes, 1992
Alex Burrall Alex Burrall ...  Michael Jackson (aged 6-8) 2 episodes, 1992
Jermaine Jackson II Jermaine Jackson II ...  Jermaine Jackson (aged 13-17) 2 episodes, 1992
Bumper Robinson ...  Jackie Jackson - age 12-16 2 episodes, 1992
Kelli Martin Kelli Martin ...  La Toya Jackson - Age 8-10 2 episodes, 1992
Floyd Roger Myers Jr. ...  Marlon Jackson - age 7-9 2 episodes, 1992
Monica Calhoun ...  Rebbie Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Jason Weaver ...  Michael Jackson (aged 9-14) 2 episodes, 1992
Ángel Vargas Ángel Vargas ...  Tito Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Terrence Howard ...  Jackie Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Lanei Chapman 2 episodes, 1992
Elizabeth Narvaez ...  Dee Dee 2 episodes, 1992
Billy Dee Williams ...  Berry Gordy 2 episodes, 1992
Vanessa Williams ...  Suzanne de Passe 2 episodes, 1992
Monica Allison ...  Hazel Gordy 2 episodes, 1992
Danielle Nicolet ...  Verla 2 episodes, 1992
Finis Henderson III Finis Henderson III ...  Apollo Theatre MC 2 episodes, 1992
Grady Harrell Grady Harrell ...  Jackie Wilson 2 episodes, 1992
Jimmy Castor Jimmy Castor ...  Royal 2 episodes, 1992
Eugene Lee ...  Bill Bray 2 episodes, 1992
Bobby Mardis Bobby Mardis ...  Chicago Theatre MC 2 episodes, 1992
Narcissa Marte Narcissa Marte ...  High School Girl 2 episodes, 1992
Charles E. Timbers Jr. Charles E. Timbers Jr. ...  Dr. Hayes 2 episodes, 1992
Shakiem Evans Shakiem Evans ...  Tito Jackson - Age 10-14 2 episodes, 1992
Ebonie Smith ...  La Toya Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Maya Nicole Johnson Maya Nicole Johnson ...  Janet 2 episodes, 1992
Jacen Wilkerson Jacen Wilkerson ...  Marlon Jackson - Age 10-12 2 episodes, 1992
Nicholas Phillips ...  Randy Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Wylie Draper Wylie Draper ...  Michael Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Colin Steele Colin Steele ...  Jermaine Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Marcus Maurice Marcus Maurice ...  Marlon Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Robert Redcross Robert Redcross ...  Randy Jackson 2 episodes, 1992
Randy Kirby Randy Kirby ...  Reporter 2 episodes, 1992
Terry Coleman Terry Coleman ...  Tito's Friend 2 episodes, 1992
Erin Wiley Sands ...  Groupie 1 2 episodes, 1992
Rana Kirkland ...  Groupie 2 2 episodes, 1992
Melanie Taylor Melanie Taylor ...  Airport Fan 1 2 episodes, 1992
Emily Williams Emily Williams ...  Airport Fan 2 2 episodes, 1992


The Jacksons are your average working-class family in Gary, Indiana; but when their father discovers the kids have an extraordinary musical talent they form a band. Winning talent show after talent show they soon hit it big when Motown calls. From there they become the now famous Jackson 5. But along the way their success brings trouble and turmoil Written by Tony Meier <discokid@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


There's fame...there's fortune...and then there's family. Sometimes it's hard to choose.


Biography | Drama | Music


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Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Jason Weaver who played Michael Jackson sang some of the songs in the series See more »


In the scene when the actor who plays Michael Jackson is doing his solo performance for Motown, the single, glittery glove he is wearing is on his right hand. In the actual performance, the real Michael Jackson is wearing the glove on his left hand. See more »


Joseph Jackson: You know, Berry Gordy's not gonna be satisfied until he has one of my boys calling him "Daddy".
See more »


Referenced in Plump Fiction (1997) See more »

User Reviews

Indispensable Docudrama
11 September 2020 | by view_and_reviewSee all my reviews

The selfish part of me appreciates what Joe Jackson did, whereas the compassionate part of me despises what he did. What was it he did you ask? Created the Jackson 5 and by extension of that Michael Jackson.

"The Jacksons: An American Dream" is about Joe Jackson's dream. When he met Katherine in 1945 he expressed to her that he had a dream of being big in boxing and/or music and move to California. He wasn't able to achieve that by his own musical talents, but he was able to achieve it through the talents of his sons. Unfortunately, he drove them like a dog sledder in the final leg of the Iditarod. On the more forgiving end of the scale, he was too demanding and robbed his kids of a childhood. On the less forgiving end of the scale, he was an abusive monster. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle and of course it's all a matter of perspective.

This mini-series is a must see for any Jackson 5 or Michael Jackson fan. My earliest pop music memories of Michael Jackson. He was the entire musical universe to me as a kid. There was no one that could even come near him. He was the sun and every other performer was just a planet orbiting around his brilliance. "The Jacksons" let us in on the creation process of the Jackson 5 and Michael Jackson. Angela Bassett was terrific as Katherine Jackson and Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs was equally awesome as Joe Jackson. After those two consistent characters, the other actors chosen were excellent likenesses. "The Jacksons" is a well done docudrama that was absolutely necessary.

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Release Date:

15 November 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Jackson Five See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (4 episodes)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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