The story of The Jacksons, the most successful musical family in history, is the stuff of which dreams are made. In 1992, the four-hour ABC miniseries The Jacksons: An American Dream chronicled the rags-to-riches tale of that Gary, Indiana family who conquered the music world.
Now this Emmy Award-winning production starring Oscar- nominated Angela Bassett, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Vanessa Williams and Billy Dee Williams premieres on DVD.
The Jacksons: An American Dream (Motown/UME), released December 11, 2001, is presented in a two-disc DVD package. With Michael Jackson’s Invincible album debuting at #1 in early November, the broadcast of this fall’s Madison Square Garden reunion of The Jackson 5, the re-release of the complete J-5 Motown catalog on special two-fer packages, and the miniseries’ recent rebroadcast on VH1’s “Movies That Rock,” The Jacksons: An American Dream is a DVD dream come true for fans of Michael, Janet and the rest of the Jacksons. Lending new life to this docu-drama and its original VHS release, The Jacksons: An American Dream features completely remastered visuals and audio.
Highlights among the performances in the production are of The Jackson 5 hits “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “ABC” and “I’ll Be There” as well as Michael’s “Motown Records 25th Anniversary Show” solo performance of “Billie Jean.” The miniseries was nominated for four Emmys, including Outstanding Miniseries, and won for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Choreography for the renowned Michael Peters.
The Jacksons: An American Dream stars Bassett as Jackson mother Katherine and Hilton-Jacobs as Jackson father Joseph, and follows their lives from the day they met to the day The Jacksons reunited for the Victory Tour. As they become childhood superstars in the ’60s and grow into adult musical icons in the ’70s and ’80s, the family deals with the trials and tribulations of musical stardom when it mixes with family life and social life.
Viewers witness sons Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael become the record-breaking Jackson 5 with the assistance of Motown scion Berry Gordy (played by Billy Dee Williams), Motown executive Suzanne DePasse (portrayed by Vanessa Williams) and superstar Diana Ross (Holly Robinson Peete). Daughters Janet, LaToya and Rebbie also are included as is son Randy (who later joined The Jacksons). The Jacksons: An American Dream was co-produced by Jermaine, whose son plays him as a teenager.
The Jackson family history has taken some twists and turns over the decades – and its difficulties and triumphs can be witnessed on The Jacksons: An American Dream.