‘Jessie’ Lead Will Get Engaged, a First for the Disney ChannelBy: Kathy Karadza - April 18, 2014
The title character of the Disney Channel comedy series Jessie will accept a marriage proposal from her boyfriend towards the end of the season this fall, making her the first lead character on the network to become engaged.
The 22-year-old lead character, Jessie Prescott, played by actress Debby Ryan, will break new ground in Disney television history when she becomes deeply involved with and then engaged to her boyfriend, 25-year-old Brooks, on the series during the final four episodes of the upcoming fall season.
“Jessie is an adult, and we felt we could tackle this in a way that still feels appropriate for our audience,” said Adam Bonnett, Disney Channel executive vice president of original programming.
Jessie focuses on the title character, a young Texan woman who moves to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming an actress. She is hired to work as a nanny for a wealthy couple, and care for their four children they adopted from Africa, India, and America.
The Disney Channel focuses on programming geared towards children ages 6 to 11, but Jessie, which is in its third season, also attracts a slightly older “tween” audience, ages 9 to 14. The show is popular, with an average weekly audience of 2.9 million viewers. According to Nielsen company statistics, Jessie ranks in the top five series for children and younger teenagers.
The romance between Jessie and Brooks is depicted innocently, showing the couple going on picnics in Central Park and movie dates, Bonnett said.
Ryan, who plays Jessie and turns 21 on May 13, is in her real life not in a rush to get married to her boyfriend of one year, Josh Dun, musician of Twenty One Pilots. Ryan said, however, that it is believable that Jessie would marry, as people in Ryan’s social circle have started to become engaged and marry recently.
Ryan makes her directorial debut on Jessie this season, and is currently finishing work on an album she plans to release in June.
Jessie airs on the Disney Channel on Fridays at 8 p.m. EST.