April 1, 1994 (1994-04-01) – May 23, 1999 (1999-05-23)
Sister, Sister is an Americantelevisionsitcom starring identical twins Tia Mowry and Tamera Mowry. The premise of the show was that the girls (playing characters Tia Landry and Tamera Campbell) were separated and adopted at birth, one to a single mother, one to a single father, and have met again after 14 years apart.
The series ran from April 1, 1994 to April 28, 1995 on ABC, and was canceled by the network after two seasons, due to poor ratings. The series was picked up by The WB and aired on that network from September 6, 1995, through May 23, 1999.
In the pilot, the twins are reunited during a chance encounter shopping at a clothing store at the mall with their adoptive parents. The premise is similar to the movie The Parent Trap, in which a pair of separated-at-birth twins has a chance encounter at summer camp.
Tia Landry (Tia Mowry) is the intelligent twin from inner-city Detroit, where her adoptive mother Lisa (Jackée Harry) works as a seamstress; Tamera Campbell (Tamera Mowry) is the boy-crazy twin from the suburbs, where her adoptive father Ray (Tim Reid) owns a limousine service. After their unexpected encounter in the department store, Ray reluctantly allows Tia and Lisa to move in the house because Lisa was about to take a job in St. Louis, which would have separated the girls. The girls' neighbor is Roger Evans (Marques Houston), an annoying teenager who is infatuated with both of them, and who evolves from a nerdy pest to a handsome gentleman. In the final season when the girls go off to college, Roger disappears from the series without any explanation. By the fifth season, Tia and Tamera ended up with steady boyfriends, Tia with Tyreke Scott (RonReaco Lee) and Tamera with Jordan Bennett (Deon Richmond).
In the sixth season episode "Father's Day", the twins meet their biological father, Matt Sullivan, and learn that he is white and a famous photojournalist. Matt never married their mother, Racelle Gavin, because they never got the chance: she had been asked to paint a mural in Florida and he had been assigned "the opportunity of a lifetime" in the Middle East. Also, Racelle told him that she would later join him in Tel Aviv without telling him of her pregnancy. After six months, Racelle suddenly stopped writing. When the girls' mother died, Matt was not allowed to see them because he couldn't prove he was their father. When he searched for his twin daughters, he never found them because they had been adopted by two different people.
For the first five seasons, the series would often have Tia and Tamera, either together or separately, breaking the fourth wall by talking directly to the viewer. During the ABC run, Tia and Tamera would address the audience on some of the goings on in the storyline involving them and occasionally other main characters, usually Roger. After the series moved to The WB, the breaking of the fourth wall was limited mainly to certain episodes and usually only in the teaser scenes and featured increasingly less often by the fourth season. For some of the episodes in the fifth season, it was included but was dropped by the middle of the fifth season. The sixth season was the only season that did not include it.
The first two seasons also occasionally used popular Motown (who actually was the former parent of co-producers de Passe Entertainment) and other songs in some scenes, the first season used a mix of original recordings and versions using studio singers, episodes from the second season used the latter; the use of Motown and other music in the series largely ended after the season two episode "Playing Hooky", though characters and music artists performed popular music periodically in later episodes (e.g., Marques Houston's former group IMx, previously Immature, performing their single "Tamika" from the group's 1997 album, The Journey, in the season five episode "A Friend Indeed").
Tia Andrea Landry (Tia Mowry) – is honest, responsible, and mature. Tia is a straight-A student. She graduates from high school at the top of her class and she had aspirations to go to Harvard University, but was rejected, and attended University of Michigan instead. Tia's main boyfriend is Ray's mechanic, Tyreke, who later joins and becomes a police escort at her college. Tia and Tyreke's relationship started in the fifth season, though they break up for a time in the sixth season. Tia is often involved in many of Tamera's schemes, and Tamera sometimes has Tia to pose as her, usually to have Tia take a tough school exam in her place.
Tamera Ann Campbell (Tamera Mowry) – is Tia's total opposite in terms of personality. She is highly impulsive, and less intellectual than her sister, and a big fan of Coolio (as evidenced in the season three episode "Paper or Plastic?," when she threatens to quit her job as a scab worker at Food Boy when the store's manager and Lisa's ex-boyfriend Terrence denies her the night off on the night of a Coolio concert when she got tickets, and in the season four episode "Slime Party", in which Tamera answers all of the questions in a category on Coolio with ease while appearing on a teen-oriented game show). She has also voiced her penchant for the Hush Puppies shoe brand on several occasions.
Raymond Earl "Ray" Campbell (Tim Reid) – Tamera's father. He runs his own limousine service. His biggest weakness is attractive women, who often seduce him. A recurring joke when he is being seduced is that he often accidentally says something about the woman's body while talking to them, like saying "breast" while trying to say "rest", or "chardonaked" instead of "chardonnay". He dated Lisa for a time during the fourth season, though he and Lisa once accidentally kissed in the season one episode "The Concert", while dancing (only to find out that they were both thinking of their high school crushes while kissing). Though Ray is Tamera's adoptive father, he clearly aligns with Tia's personality as they are both intellectual and have more dignified personalities than Tamera and Lisa. Ray is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, and the Republican Party.
Lisa Landry Sims (Jackée Harry) - is a fashion designer by trade. She is the adoptive mother of Tia, though she is more aligned with Tamera's personality, sometimes even being more impulsive, lustful, and reckless than Tamera. She often cracks jokes throughout the episodes, which are typically at Ray's expense. She is prone to bouts of depression, during which she consumes high quantities of food (though it is also a running joke that Lisa has a hearty appetite even when she is not depressed). Until season three, Lisa ran her fashion design business, "Fashions by Lisa", out of Ray's house. In the third season episode "History a la Carte", Lisa moves her business to a cart in a local mall, which burns down because of a faulty popcorn machine in the season four episode "Sis-Boom-Bah", after which her business is once again run out of Ray's house. She marries Victor Sims in the finale.
Roger Evans (Marques Houston) – is Tia and Tamera's annoying neighbor. His advances were ill-received, however, and the repeated chorus by the various members of the household was "Go Home, Roger!" Roger also often made sexual innuendos, often directed at Tia and Tamera. Roger did, however, date Tia and/or Tamera on occasion (only twice by their choice); in the season four episode "When a Man Loves Two Women" in particular, after going through a growth spurt, he asks out both Tia and Tamera, along with several other girls at Roosevelt High. Roger eventually matures into the twins' confidante, and at some points even becomes a love interest for a short amount of time. Around the time the series began, Houston was also a member of the R&B group Immature (later known as IMx); Houston's real life persona was written in as his character's cousin in the season five episode "A Friend Indeed". For a number of episodes in Season 5, Roger appears infrequently with little to no explanation (Marques Houston's mother was suffering from cancer at the time). At the end of Season 5, after Tia and Tamera graduate from high school, Roger is not seen or mentioned again (it is presumed that he is still in high school while Tia and Tamera are in college, as it is made clear in earlier episodes that Roger is a year younger than them). After a long absence, he was written back into the series as he appears in the final episode as a guest at Lisa's wedding and sings a song for her. At the twins' high school graduation, Roger sings "Never Say Goodbye." It is explained that he left the show to tend to his ill mother and the fact that he was about to be written off of the show anyway due to his character being a year younger than the twins.[disambiguation needed]
Tyreke Scott (RonReaco Lee) – is Tia's boyfriend during the final two seasons of the series, though he and Tia briefly break up in the sixth season. A high school drop-out, after receiving his GED, he is permitted to graduate with the girls and Jordan, and later attends and gets a job as a security guard at the University of Michigan, where they attend college in the sixth season. He appears in Season 5 as a recurring cast member and is a series regular in Season 6.
Jordan Bennett (Deon Richmond) – Jordan is Tamera's boyfriend during the final two seasons of the series. He goes to college with the girls. He is goofy at times, and is just as impulsive as Tamera. He can be sexist at times, as well as Tamera can be toward men. Like Tyreke, he appears in Season 5 as a recurring cast member and is a series regular in Season 6.
Tia and Tamera's real life little brother, Tahj Mowry, has appeared in three episodes of the series. He played Tia's cousin, Tahj, in "Get a Job", a kid visiting a "Mall Santa" in "Christmas", and appeared in a cross-over role in "Child's Play", in which he played T.J. Henderson, his character from fellow WB sitcom Smart Guy.
Sarah (Brittany Murphy) – Sarah is Tia and Tamera's best friend, one of a revolving door of friends Tia and Tamera would have during the series—who appears in the first season. She seems to have less trouble than other people in knowing which twin was Tia and which was Tamera as seen in the season one episode "Cheater, Cheater", in which she asks Tia why she was in Tamera's class, when Tamera asked her to take the test for her. The teacher was right behind her, and they get caught. In one episode, she is seen smoking with her friends in her car in "Smoking in the Girl's Room". After Season 2, Sarah isn't seen or mentioned again.
Terrence Winningham (Dorien Wilson) - Terrence is the manager of the local Food Boy supermarket who dated Lisa during season two and early season three and was very briefly engaged to her in the season two episode "I Do?"; he is introduced in the episode "Joey's Choice". Like Ray, many women are attracted to him, but unlike Ray, he seems to attract more pretty women. One of the reasons he and Lisa broke up was because of his weakness for gorgeous women. In "Field Trip", she catches him flirting with a sexy clerk at a beauty shop. The character is one of only two recurring characters from the show's ABC run to appear on the show during the show's run on The WB, Anna Slotky's Denise Mondello is the other. After the season three episode "Big Twin on Campus," Terrence is never seen or mentioned again.
"Stinky" Steve Peiser (Victor Togunde) – is the manager of Rocket Burger, the fast food restaurant Tia and Tamera work at during season two and early season three; Steve appears only in the second season, however. Tia and Tamera coin a song that is a play on the song "Whatta Man" by En Vogue and Salt-n-Pepa, that plays on the nickname given to him (behind his back) by Tia and Tamera and other Rocket Burger employees "Stinky Steve". In the episode "Dream Lover" in which that occurred, Tia has a recurring romantic dream about Steve that disturbs her.
Rhonda Coley (Bianca Lawson) – Rhonda is the popular girl in Tia and Tamera's high school who always made fun of Tia and Tamera, especially their fashion choices and on her last time on the show, over summer break she changed her appearance. After the third season, with the exception of the season four premiere episode, "You Are So Beautiful" in which, the girls find out that Rhonda is nice and she evolved over the summer becoming mannish-looking (the character was played by Larry Wrentz in that episode), Rhonda is not seen or mentioned again. Bianca's father, Richard Lawson appears in the final season as Lisa's boyfriend, Victor Sims.
Denise Mondello (Anna Slotky) – Denise is one of Tia and Tamera's friends who appears in the show's second and third seasons. Denise, like Tia and Tamera, was employed at Rocket Burger. In the season two episode "Single White Teenager" (the characters first appearance in production order, though she appeared in an earlier episode in season two), Denise was paired with Tamera as a science partner while Tia was sick, and later started to dress like Tia and Tamera as well, even claiming she was going to start being called by her middle name of Tonya in order to match theirs, causing panic by Tia and Tamera, only to find out that it was a joke. The character is one of only two recurring characters from the show's ABC run to appear on the show during the show's run on The WB, Dorien Wilson's Terrence Winningham is the other.
Steve (Steve Monroe) – Steve is one of the twins' guy friends in the third season, who is depicted as being not very bright and is revealed in the episode "The Tutor" to be a player on Roosevelt High's basketball team.
Ernie (Arvie Lowe, Jr.) – Ernie is one of Tia and Tamera's guy friends in the third season, and is revealed to be a drama club member in the episode "Private School".
Jimmy "Soupy" Campbell (Sherman Hemsley) – "Soupy" is Ray's father, who was introduced in the season three episode "Grandpa Campbell", who was often in shady dealings. He states in that episode that he got the nickname "Soupy" not because his surname is Campbell (which would be a play on the Campbell's soup brand), but because of the tight situations he gets himself into, claiming "[he is] always in hot water". Ray did not have a good relationship with his father initially, and often disapproved of his decisions, but they started to have somewhat of an understanding by the end of his first appearance on the show. "Soupy" appears in two additional season three episodes "Christmas" and "Summer Bummer", and makes his final appearance in the season five episode "Shoeless", with Soupy acting as "the fairy godfather" to Tia's Cinderella as she couldn't go to Jordan's graduation party.
Carl Mitushka (Fred Willard) – Mr. Mitushka is the vice principal of Roosevelt High and the founder of a conservatory for young musicians. In his last two appearances, he tries a bit hard to "be cool" with the students. The character appears in the season three episodes "The Piano Lesson", "The Candidate" and "The Audition".
Dave Barnes (David Strickland)- A Security guard at the mall where Lisa works. He is often shown to be slightly incompetent and loses his job in one episode.
Patrice (Vernee Watson-Johnson) – Patrice is Lisa's best friend from the inner-city neighborhood that Lisa and Tia previously lived and is the mother of Tia's childhood friend Darnell, who is introduced in the season four episode "Boy from the Hood". Patrice, who has known Lisa since childhood, has a personality similar to Lisa, which sometimes irritates Ray as much as Lisa's antics typically do.
Mike (Jamil Walker Smith) – Mike is a student at Roosevelt High, seen only during the fourth season, who is also one of the very few male friends Roger is seen to have, presemably as he is most likely in the same year.
Marlon Baker (Aaron Lohr) – Marlon is a student at Roosevelt High, seen only during the fourth season, who is a jock and plays on Roosevelt High's hockey team as seen in the episode "Some Like It Hockey". He often makes fun of various students, most often Tia and Tamera. The character's portrayer, Aaron Lohr, previously appeared on Sister, Sister as a different character, an older teenager whom Tia goes out on a double date with (joined by Tamera and Roger) in the season one episode "Wedding Bells and Box Boys".
Clark (Christopher "Kid" Reid) – Clark is the manager of the bookstore/coffeeshop Book 'Em, Joe and is Tia's boss at the hangout during the fifth season, who is shown to be sarcastic.
Diavian Johnson (Alexis Fields) – Diavian is the twins' best friend in the seasons five and six.
Dot (Senta Moses) - Dot is a friend of Tia and Tamera's during season five.
Victor Sims (Richard Lawson) – Victor is one of Ray's friends, who later becomes Lisa's love interest and later her husband in the series finale. Due to the series ending, we will never know if Victor adopted Tia. Richard is the father of Bianca Lawson, who played Rhonda in the third season.
Vivica Shaw (Rolanda Watts) – Vivica is Ray's ex-girlfriend, who Ray broke up with because she was cheating on him. Vivica was constantly trying to mess Ray up out of anger. Because he made her lose her other date so she was dateless. She was supposed to have moved to Chicago, but she started a limo business to get him back. It is also obvious that Vivica and Lisa are rivals. In the same episode where she started the limo business she was arrested, because none of her three drivers (Kim, Mo'nique, and Chant'e) had a license.
Steven (Chad Haywood) – Diavian's boyfriend in season five, who is shown not to be very bright.
Vanessa (Gabrielle Union) - Vanessa is Tia and Tamera's friend in the last half of the fourth season and the first half of the fifth season. In one episode, Tamera finds out that Vanessa is a shoplifter.
Matthew "Matt" Sullivan (Tony Carrero) – Matt is Tia and Tamera's birth father. He appeared in one episode as their teacher and they came to his museum. He started talking about Racelle Gavin and they said they knew her, and he showed them a picture of her. Eventually, he figured out that Racelle Gavin was their mother which meant he was their father. But Tamera didn't go for it because he was white and she was mad that he wasn't there for them. But he tried to explain that he was trying to find them. At the end, Tamera was really happy with him. And in the end Matt accidentally took a wacky picture and Lisa said "Matt, you'll fit into this family just fine."
Little Ray – Little Ray is a stray Orange tabby Cat that Lisa adopted during the first season and named him after Ray. Ray hates Little Ray. Little Ray is shown in the second season, riding with Ray, then Ray tells him to get out and jumps out the window, but at the end of the episode he comes back. Little Ray is not seen or mentioned again.
As for a Sister, Sister reunion, the twins are both game for reuniting the cast, as they said in an interview back in June 2012. They were thinking of doing a "Twins in the city" plot, like the twins in New York City.
Theme song and opening sequences
The series' original theme song was written and composed by Tim Heintz, Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn. Season one was the only season using the full version, with the short middle instrumental portion, vocalizations and the line "Living underneath one roof, no it won't be trouble-proof" dropped in season 2, though the short instrumental and vocalizations were restored in season 3. A new theme song was used starting in Season 5, composed by Heintz, Petersen, Quinn and Kurt Farquhar, who composed the music score for most of the series (save for Season 3, when the score was composed by Paul A. Kreiling), and performed by Tia and Tamera Mowry. The season 5 version of the theme began with the end of the original theme prior to the start of the theme song. An instrumental version of the final theme was used as a closing theme for the final two seasons, though with the exception of the episode "Designer Genes", it was generally played over a blooper reel during the closing credits.
The opening sequence used in the first two seasons, designed by Twin Art, opens with the sound of two spanks and crying babies over a black screen as animated crying babies appear with the word "separated" between them, then showing Ray and Lisa each holding babies representing Tamera and Tia with the word "adopted" appearing between both. The main cast are shown in front of a white background with various animations around them, ending with Tia, Tamera, Ray and Lisa at a couch with an animated roof over it (pushed overhead by Ray), which morphs into the title logo. The sequence was shortened with the theme song in season two and modified to include Marques Houston as Roger, who became a contract cast member that season (Houston, as Roger, is shown peeking from an animated door which Tia and Tamera promptly close on him).
Seasons 3 and 4 used a computer-animated sequence by Pittard-Sullivan, with the main cast's video headshots in a stop-motion effect, opening with two babies drifting away from each other into two backgrounds: one, the city (which is actually the pre-September 11, 2001 Manhattan skyline, despite the fact the series was set in Detroit) and the other, a country road with the word "separated" between them, then showing Ray and Lisa each holding babies in a similar manner as the previous sequence with a rotating "adopted", then showing the cast in front of different backdrops (some which include cutouts of objects). It ends with the cast (sans Marques Houston) walking into each other, then getting themselves together over changing cloud backdrops, one which features two roadsigns, before the title logo appears. The cast's surnames are animated and in a variant of the show's logotype. This was the only time the intro remained exactly the same, though by season four, the intro became a bit outdated as Tia and Tamera dropped the wavy hair, tams and plaid outfits for trendier fashions and Roger stopped wearing braids.
The final two seasons used a music video-style sequence, designed by Paramount Digital Design; Marques Houston remained in the sequence despite his appearances on the series decreasing midway through the fifth season, and Houston was replaced in the sequence by RonReaco Lee and Deon Richmond for the sixth season. Because virtually the same sequence was used as the season before, viewers may notice that in the final part of the second version of the sequence before the title logo when the cast dances together that Richmond and Lee do not appear in the black-and-white shots and are digitally inserted in the regular shots with Tia and Tamera Mowry, Tim Reid and Jackée Harry.
U.S. broadcast and cable syndication
After being picked up by The WB in 1995, reruns of the first two seasons of Sister, Sister were broadcast in early primetime as part of the network's then-newly launched Sunday night lineup during the 1995-1996 season, in addition to the first-run episodes of the series that aired on the WB's Wednesday night schedule. The series has been aired on various broadcast television networks in the U.S. after the series finale on The WB Television Network. From September 1998 to September 2002, Paramount Domestic Television (now CBS Television Distribution) distributed the series to Fox, WB and UPN network affiliates around the United States, airing depending on market.
The N aired reruns of Sister, Sister from April 2002 until April 2004. Disney Channel aired edited versions of the series from September 9, 2002 until May 28, 2007. From June 11, 2007 to April 9, 2010, reruns of the show ran on ABC Family, which is a sister channel to Disney Channel via the Walt Disney Company division Disney/ABC Television Group. When the series first debuted on ABC Family, it replaced Step by Step, but was knocked off two weeks later then returned in the early morning.
The series has also aired on BET from July 2009 to January 10, 2010, initially airing on weekdays, before moving to Saturday mornings when the series returned after a brief break; the series was slated to return to BET on Saturday mornings starting in October 2010, but other than a special marathon that aired in September 2010, this did not occur. The show also aired on WGN America from September 11, 2007 until May 2009, first on weekday afternoons and Saturday mornings, then moved to a weeknight graveyard slot. Incidentally, the series aired in first-run form on WGN from the show's move to The WB in 1995 until the series ended in 1999, shortly before WGN ceased to carry WB network programming on its national superstation feed (Sister, Sister, along with 7th Heaven, The Parent 'Hood and The Wayans Bros. are the only WB series to air in both first-run broadcast and off-network syndication on WGN America). As of August 2009, Gospel Music Channel began airing the series. The series also began airing on Centric since early 2011, first airing as a part of the network's weekday lineup, then airing sporadically in marathon stunts; it currently airs weekday middays. In promotion of the series Tia & Tamera in 2012, Style began airing reruns of Sister, Sister.
Disney Channel airings had most episodes edited for content deemed by the channel as unsuitable for its pre-teen audience; the edited Disney Channel versions were also the syndication package of the show that aired on sister network ABC Family, with the exception of the season two episode "Tattoo" that was omitted from Disney Channel airings. GMC also airs episodes with content the channel deems inappropriate usually muted or removed entirely, ranging from mild suggestive dialogue said by Roger to tame phrases such as "shut up", "butt", "dumb" and "pervert"; whereas the airings on other channels were the original syndicated prints.
In Australia, the series was aired on Nickelodeon and the Seven Network; in the United Kingdom, Sister, Sister was aired on Nickelodeon, and on Channel 4 between 1995 and 2000 as the channel had the terrestrial rights to the show. In the U.K, Nickelodeon aired Sister Sister again in 2009 but only showed episodes from the first four seasons. It does not currently air in either countries anymore. It also aired in Ireland, on Nickelodeon and RTE Two. It does not currently air in Ireland any more.
In Brazil, Sister, Sister used to air on Nickelodeon in the late 1990s and early 2000s. On October 21, 2009 it debuted on open television Rede Record, but was taken off on October 30, 2009, the cause for this is unknown.
Cover of "Sister, Sister: The Complete First Season" DVD, that was released on October 28, 2008.
CBS DVD (distributed by Paramount) has released the first and second seasons of Sister, Sister on DVD in Region 1. There is no word on future releases of the four remaining seasons.