The series follows Jessie Prescott, a young woman from a small town with big dreams who, rebelling against her strict father, decides to leave the military base in Texas where she grew up and moves to New York City. She accepts a job as a nanny and moves into a multi-million dollar penthouse on the Upper West Side with the wealthy Ross family which includes: jet-setting parents, Morgan and Christina; and their four rambunctious children: Emma, Luke, Ravi and Zuri; along with the family pet (and Ravi's companion) Mr. (later Mrs.) Kipling, a 7 ft (2 m) Asian water monitor, that was later revealed to be a female. With a whole new world of experiences open to her, Jessie embarks on new adventures in the big city as she grows to rely on the love and support of the children in her care. Assisting her are Bertram, the family's sarcastic butler, and Tony, the building's 20-year-old doorman.
The series was created by Pamela Eells O'Connell who'd had previous experience with the "nanny" sitcom formula, starting her career as a writer on the series, Charles in Charge and serving as co-executive producer on The Nanny, before working with Debby Ryan on The Suite Life on Deck. O'Connell is said to have developed Jessie specifically to showcase Ryan's talent. In an interview with the Star-Telegram, Ryan explained how the concept originated – "(O'Connell) and I were throwing ideas back and forth when The Suite Life was coming to an end, and she came up with this. I was absolutely captivated. Then Disney looked at the script and the show runner (O'Connell) and myself and they were like: 'Awesome. We like it. You're on in the fall'". In interviews with Variety, Disney CEO, Gary Marsh spoke of working with Ryan again, – "It's been thrilling to watch Debby grow from an unknown actress to one of our top stars. Debby is a talented young actress who connects to a wide fanbase because she's genuine, relatable and aspirational all at once. Our viewers have followed her from The Suite Life on Deck to 16 Wishes, and we're pleased to be working with her again."
The cast in December 2011 (Use cursor to identify)
With Ryan signed on, Disney Channel began the search to cast the Ross family in May 2011. Before casting was finalized, there were numerous differences in the original concept for several of the characters. The role of mother to the Ross children was originally a photographer named "Pandora", the role of eldest daughter, Emma was originally named "Anabel", the role of Luke was originally a boy adopted from Korea named "Hiro" and the role of Ravi was originally a boy adopted from South America named "Javier" who had a pet capybara instead of a monitor lizard. Some have speculated that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, as a prominent celebrity couple with a multi-cultural adoptive family, may have been one possible inspiration for the series. In an interview with the Boston Herald, O'Connell described her inspiration, saying – "I thought the celebrity parents and gorgeous penthouse would be glamorous, and a nice contrast to Jessie's more modest Texas roots. That fish out of water element makes for good stories, and I was inspired by many families who have adopted children of different ethnicities."
After casting was finalized and changes were made to several of the characters to suit the actors chosen, the series skipped the pilot phase and was put directly into production. Filming began in June 2011 on Stage 3/8 at Hollywood Center Studios which, prior to start of production, served as the soundstage where the Disney Channel series, Wizards of Waverly Place was taped. Thirteen episodes were originally ordered for the first season, but while the show's first season was in production, Disney Channel ordered an additional seven episodes bringing the total number of episodes for the first season to twenty. When asked about the atmosphere on set during an interview with MSN TV, Ryan described her relationship with the young cast – "I definitely feel like a nanny! They are smart kids, but they're real kids. They like to have fun. My policy is: We can play hard, as long as we work hard, and because we work hard, we need to play hard."
Cast and characters
Main characters of Jessie (Use cursor to identify)
Jessie Prescott (Debby Ryan), an idealistic and resourceful girl from the military base of Fort Hood, Texas. As a 2010 high school graduate rebelling against her strict father Jessie moved to New York City to realize her dreams of stardom, but with an unexpected turn of events ends up becoming a nanny to the four Ross children. Even though it is proven that Jessie is sometimes annoyed with the Ross kids, she also still loves them despite their antics. In the episode "Cattle Calls and Scary Walls" and "Teacher's Pest" her last name is revealed to be Prescott. She mentions her father in numerous episodes. In the episode "Make New Friends But Hide The Old", she reveals that she is an only child. Jessie also has a complicated love life, as seen prominently in "Break-Up and Shape-Up", when one of Jessie's old boyfriends, Ted, is in New York City, and she starts to have romantic feelings for him again, making Tony jealous in the process, while Jessie is also jealous of Tony training a pretty old friend of his, Vic, in a doorman—or "doorwoman" position. At the end of the episode, Jessie and Tony break up mutually, believing the spark is gone in their relationship.
Emma Ross (Peyton List), a diva, somewhat ditzy, cynical girl, eager to reorder the world to the way she sees it. Emma is the oldest child of the Ross family, even though she doesn't act like it sometimes, and is Morgan and Christina's only biological child. It appears in Season 1 that Emma spends most of her time with Zuri, and that she doesn't appreciate her brother, Luke, as much as her other siblings. In Season 2, she acts as Kitty Couture, a so-called educator of style. She is into fashion and starts to get along with Luke more. She and Ravi also start to spend time together as brother-and-sister, as long as either Jessie, Luke, Zuri, and/or Bertram is with them. Also in this season, Emma becomes more mature and responsible for her siblings, as she starts taking the role of a big sister more seriously, as seen in "Punched Dumped Love", when Emma snuck out to the dance in order to warn Luke about his date dumping him.
Luke Ross (Cameron Boyce), a clever and crafty boy who was born in Detroit (Michigan, United States) and has a passion for video games, break-dancing, and causing a bit of mischief around the penthouse while also being a little sarcastic at times. He considers himself a "ladies' man", having taken a liking to Jessie in particular. Luke even tried to date her in the first few episodes. Luke is the second-oldest of the Ross children. In the episode: "The Kid Whisperer", his full name is revealed to be Lucas. It seems that in Season 1, he spends a lot of time with his brother, Ravi, and has a close bond with Bertram. Even though he fights mostly with Emma, he tries to cope with her in many ways. Also, he's hardly seen with his sister, Zuri, unless they're planning "schemes" together, but she usually leaves him to fend for himself. In "Gotcha Day", Luke claimed that he was from Krypton (which his father once told him as a joke), but he knew where he is really from. In Season 2, Luke learns how to bond with Emma in a more brotherly way rather than a sibling rivalry kind-of-way. Also, he spends less time with just Ravi and more time with Jessie, Bertram, and even Zuri. He grows more quiet and independent throughout this season, and learns that Kenny the Koala won't always be there for him as his best friend, as he needs to start hanging out with real friends, as it's revealed in Quitting Cold Koala. His sibling relationship with Zuri starts to show in the middle of Season 2, especially in the episodes: "The Trouble with Tessie", "Quitting Cold Koala", "Panic Attack Room", and "The Jessie-nator: Grudgement Day". Luke also starts to understand Jessie's love life more ever since the events of "Punched Dumped Love" occurred. It is often shown that he's bullied throughout Season 1 (occasionally) & especially Season 2.
Ravi Ross (Karan Brar), an intelligent and gentle boy born (and raised for ten and a half years) in West Bengal, India and the newest addition of the Ross family. He is imbued with the culture of his beloved homeland, but is thrilled with his new life in America. He is the second-youngest of the Ross children. In Season 1, he seems to spend most of his time with Luke, but appreciates his sisters the same. In "Creepy Connie's Curtain Call", he starts dating Creepy Connie. It is revealed in that on Zuri's recent Gotcha Day they thought he was going to be a baby. He also spends time with his lizard Mrs. Kipling which he brought from India. In Season 2, he realizes that "Mr." Kipling is actually a "Mrs./Ms." Kipling, as revealed in "The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling". He also learns that Luke isn't the only sibling he has to spend time with. He starts hanging out with his sisters more, especially Zuri (as long as Jessie and/or Bertram is with them). Ravi & Zuri's siblingship downs a bit downhill in "Green-Eyed Monsters", but it raises up in "All the Knight Moves", when Ravi calms Zuri down from a chess nightmare. Even though Ravi is usually gentle, he can show his aggressiveness whenever he wants to, as seen in several Season 2 episodes and a few Season 1 episodes. In "Jessie's Big Break", Ravi almost tackles Bertram to the ground for accidentally sending away Mrs. Kipling to a zoo. In Panic Attack Room, he is shown to threaten Luke that he'll get his revenge on him for revealing his crush to the entire school of Walden Academy.
Zuri Ross (Skai Jackson), a sassy and talkative girl who was brought home from her birthcountry: Uganda, Africa. She is highly creative (with a penchant for rainbows, unicorns, mermaids, and country music, especially Rascal Flatts, Reba, and Carrie Underwood) and has many stuffed animals and imaginary friends. She is currently the youngest of the Ross children. In Season 1, she has close bonds with Jessie and Emma, although she does appreciate her brothers as well. She seems to spend the least amount of time with Luke, due to her purposes. In "Cattle Calls and Scary Walls", it is revealed that Johnny Depp is her godfather. In "The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling", Zuri shows signs of beginning to grow up by mourning the death of her imaginary friend Millie The Mermaid, complete with a funeral in the park. In "The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling", Bertram reveals Zuri's middle name, Zenobia. In "All the Knight Moves" Jessie realizes that Zuri is a chess prodigy. In "Quitting Cold Koala", She becomes jealous of Emma & Stuart, and at the end, Zuri goes out on a date with Stuart, which may have started a romantic friendship between the two. Because of this, Zuri's sibling relationship with Luke grows, in many crossways of Ravi & Stuart (starting from Season 2). In addition to Season 2, Zuri lets go of all of her imaginary friends, hinting that she's becoming a mature adolescent. She still keeps Chubby the Bear as a reminder of her younger childhood days. In "The Jessie-nator: Grudgement Day", it is revealed that Zuri often steals Luke's valuables, despite Luke's irritation.
Bertram (Kevin Chamberlin), the grouchy and often lazy butler of the Ross family, who begrudgingly helps Jessie navigate her job as nanny to the four Ross children. In "The Kid Whisperer", his hoarding obsession is revealed. In "Tempest in a Teacup", it is revealed that Bertram is claustrophobic. He also has a passion for opera music. Even though the Ross kids will get on his nerves sometimes(he is the primary target of many of Luke/Zuri's pranks), he deeply cares about them. In the episode "One-Day Wonders", it is revealed that his last name is Winkle. It is shown on his social page. Sometimes, he is seen to be hanging out with Emma. A running joke that shows his laziness is when another character would mention something Bertram should or should have done or get, which is usually fairly close to him. Bertram would then reach out his arm, move it up and down lazily, and say, "It's so far."
Mr. Kipling, later Mrs. Kipling,[note 1] (Frank) is the Ross family's house pet, a seven-foot Asian water monitor lizard, that Ravi brought from India when he came to America. In "The Secret Life of Mr. Kipling", it is revealed that she is actually a female monitor lizard and has laid twelve eggs. The names of Mrs. Kipling's twelve babies are Mowgli, Sanjay, Gupta, Slumdog, Kumar, Ravi Jr., Scooter, Rikki, Tikki, Tavi, Mohandas, and Padma.
Tony (Chris Galya) is the doorman in the building where the Ross family lives who has strong feelings for Jessie (and eventually becomes her on-and-off boyfriend) and helps her navigate her adventures in the big city. He also starts to date Jessie in "The Princess and the Peabrain". They later break up in "Break Up and Shape Up". As mentioned in "The Trouble With Tessie", his last name is Chicolini. His parents own a restaurant in Little Italy. A recurring joke on the show has Jessie asking the kids where they found something strange (but needed), and the response is invariably "Tony knows a guy." 
Morgan Ross (Charles Esten) is the father to the four Ross children and a famous movie director. The pilot episode reveals he is friends with George Lucas. In "Gotcha Day", he thought that a chili slip 'n slide was a great idea.
Mrs. Rhoda Chesterfield (Carolyn Hennesy) is the cold-hearted head of the city condominium board in the building where the Ross family lives. Her first spat with Jessie and the Ross clan involved Mrs. Kipling tearing her clothes up in the elevator. She dislikes anyone who is not rich, who is under 20, or who is less self-absorbed than herself. This sadly doesn't stop her from repeatedly hitting on Bertram, lavishing too much affection on her chihuahua, Zeus, or constantly calling Jessie by the wrong name (Bessie, Tessie, Nessie, etc.). In "101 Lizards", it is revealed that she has a daughter, Cassandra (whom she mistreats and refers to as her assistant), and owns a lizard sanctuary. It is also revealed that she has been married more than once. She had no romantic feelings toward her first husband and married him for his money. Despite her rivalry against the Ross family, it is shown in "101 Lizards" she seems to have a soft spot for Emma.
Officer Petey (Joey Richter) is a police officer who is strangely obsessed with the performing arts. In fact, he wanted to be an actor. The episode "Pain In The Rear Window" reveals that he has very little physical strength and cannot tolerate the sight of bruised skin, let alone blood.
Nanny Agatha (Jennifer Veal) is an unattractive, arrogant British nanny who frequently locks horns with Jessie and the Ross children. During their first meeting, she attempts to ban Zuri and Jessie from Central Park. Zuri and Jessie ignore Agatha and keep coming back, so Agatha starts posting mean things saying that Jessie is a bad nanny on her website "Toddler Tattler". Zuri, Jessie, and Christina stand up to Agatha and Agatha shuts down her website. Agatha has a twin sister, Angela (Jennifer Veal), revealed in "Evil Times Two", who is even more dishonest (but much prettier) and tries to steal Jessie's job, but the kids and Jessie stand up to her and she goes back to England. So far, this is the only time Agatha, who despises the long-favored Angela, was on the same side as Jessie. Officer Petey met Agatha (dressed as a clown) at a fair in the park, and thought she was cute until he learned her mole and snaggle-tooth were not part of her costume.
Rosie (Kelly Gould) is Emma's best friend who lives in a crime-ridden area of the city, but is actually a nice girl. She used Emma to lampoon a nasty girl in "Make News Friends But Hide the Old" but since Emma and Rosie both hate the bully, they become friends by the end of the episode. She returns again in "Trashin Fashion" as Emma's camera girl for their blog. Their friendship is threatened by Bryn in "Kids Don't Wanna Be Shunned".
Stuart Wooten (J.J. Totah), is a quickwitted yet lovestruck kid. He has a huge crush on Zuri and is a good friend to the Ross brothers. He appears in "Trouble with Tessie", "Quitting Cold Koala", and "Panic Attack Room". In the end of "Quitting Cold Koala", he and Zuri go on a romantic picnic, implying that they have a relationship. Stuart is usually nice and kind, but he's able to show his rudeness whenever he wants to, like Zuri does, as seen in later episodes. In "Quitting Cold Koala", he attempts to make Zuri jealous and hint that she likes him back. In "Panic Attack Room", he addresses the Ross brothers as neanderthals, annoyed that they interrupted his board game date with Luke & Ravi's younger sister (Zuri). He also has an obsession with different pants for different occasions, such as "picnic pants" and "panic room pants".
Bryn Breitbart (Katherine McNamara) is the antagonist of "Kids Don't Wanna Be Shunned" and "Diary of a Mad Newswoman". Bryn tricks all of Emma's friends into turning their backs on her by telling them that she is cooler than Emma because she is 6th in line from the Dane Crown. Later Jessie and Emma have a "Girls Night Out" and go to the movies. At the movies Jessie sees Bryn and tries to hide the fact that Bryn is there from Emma. In the middle of the movie Emma sees Bryn confronts her that she is a liar and that she is probably even lying about being 6th in line for the Dane Crown. Bryn admits that she is a liar and Rosie along with the rest of Emma's friends leave the movies with Emma and go back to the Penthouse. She then joins "What's Up, Walden?" with Emma, Luke, and Ravi. She then secretly gives Emma a fake scoop that gets her kicked off the show. Luke then develops a crush on her and before a broadcast, she gave him a kiss on the cheek, ruining his concentration and allowing her to take over the broadcast. She then planned to get Ravi kicked off so she could have the show all to herself, but Emma and Luke got her to admit what she did while Ravi hid in a locker and recorded her confession. They then blackmailed her into admitting what she did. Bryn then quits "What's Up, Walden?" and decides to take over the yearbook club.
Max Bauer (Matthew Timmons) is Jessie's young agent. He appears in "Caught Purple Handed". He says that he is living in his mother's basement and has to pay her rent. He gets Jessie her first informerical job as a hand model, but is fired with her after Jessie botches the job. Jessie later thanks Max for his faith in her and agrees to let him stay as her agent.
Connie Thompson (Sierra McCormick), also known as "Creepy Connie", is an insane girl with an obsessive crush on Luke. He describes her as "Creepy with a capital K". She appeared in the episode "Creepy Connie Comes a Callin", when she tutors Luke, but also tries to flirt with him. Then, she appeared in the episode "Creepy Connie's Curtain Call", when she auditions for the school play written by Jessie. She causes "accidents" to the female lead and understudies, so she can get the lead role and kiss Luke. In the episode "Creepy Connie's Curtain Call", she starts dating Ravi. She also is a fan of Harry Potter.
Chris Bosh (Himself) appeared in the episode "Say Yes To the Messy Dress". He keeps his stinky white socks from the tenth grade as a sign of "good luck", even though Luke disagrees with him and try to sabotage his chance to win a basketball game against the New York Knicks.
Shaylee Michaels (Maia Mitchell) appeared in the episode "Jessie's Big Break". She is a successful Australian actor who befriends Jessie. Her boyfriend McD (John DeLuca), who is also the director of the movie, attempts to flirt and kiss Jessie and later turn Shaylee against Jessie by claiming Jessie was lying to her. Jessie ultimately proves her innocence with Luke's camera footage proving that McD had indeed flirted with Jessie.
Adam Sandler (Himself) appeared in the episode "Punched Dumped Love". He appears as himself making spare change. He claims he wants to go by his nickname "Thunder".
Ted (Spencer Boldman) appeared in the episode "Break-Up & Shake-Up". According to Jessie, he was ugly when she dated him (and dumped) and is now a male model. Jessie attempts to use him to make Tony jealous. In the end, he goes off with Victoria (Lulu Antariksa)
Earl (Garrett Clayton) appeared in the episode "The Blind Date; the Cheapskate and the primate". He is the trash guy in the apartment.
In October 2013, Disney Channel announced another crossover episode. This crossover is with Good Luck Charlie, it is called "Good Luck Jessie: NYC Christmas", and it aired on November 29, 2013.In the episode , PJ (Jason Dolley) and Teddy (Bridget Mendler) go to New York for Christmas Eve and stay with Jessie for Christmas , as the trains are blocked.Also, PJ reunites with Skyler(his ex-girlfriend) 
Disney Channel did not broadcast "Quitting Cold Koala" on its originally scheduled date of May 17, 2013 and showed a rerun of "Kids Don't Wanna Be Shunned" instead. The episode did, however, appear on the Disney Channel web site, "WATCH Disney Channel", and on "Disney Channel On Demand", the channel's video-on-demand service. Disney Channel announced on their Facebook page "We are removing this particular episode from our regular programming schedule and will re-evaluate its references to gluten restrictions in the character's diet". The edited version of "Quitting Cold Koala" aired on July 5, 2013 as part of a 2 episode spectacular. All gluten jokes were removed in the revised version.
The pilot episode of Jessie was released as a free download via the iTunes Store one week prior to its Disney Channel premiere. Making its official debut on the Disney Channel on September 30, 2011, the series became the network's most-watched premiere on a Friday since September 2008, when The Suite Life on Deck debuted. The premiere of Jessie ranked as the No. 1 telecast at 9 p.m. with a total of 4.6 million total viewers in the target demographics, scoring 2.3 million viewers among kids 6–11 and 1.8 million viewers among tweens 9–14, with an average of 887,000 viewers among adults age 18–49. The most watched episode of Jessie is "Star Wars" with 7.32 million viewers and the least watched episode is "Quitting Cold Koala" with 2.24 million viewers. The series started airing on Disney XD on June 28, 2013 with no episode order. The series now has two airing networks in America.