The miniseries stars Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs as the Jacksons' patriarch Joseph Jackson, Angela Bassett as the family matriarch Katherine Jackson, Jason Weaver and Wyllie Draper played Michael Jackson in different eras, while Bumper Robinson and Terrence Howard played Jackie Jackson in different eras, Angel Vargas played Tito Jackson, Margaret Avery as Katherine's mother Martha Scruse, Holly Robinson Peete as Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams as Berry Gordy and Vanessa L. Williams as Suzanne de Passe.
The film is mostly based on the autobiography written by Katherine Jackson, who issued the 1990 biography, My Family and the film's main focus was based on how Joseph and Katherine managed to raise their children, first in Gary, Indiana, then later dealing with The Jackson 5's early fame and its consequences. Another main focus on part two of the film is based on the struggles of young Michael Jackson as he deals with his brothers marrying early into The Jackson 5 success, his problems with acne as a teenager and his eventual solo superstardom based on the success of the albums Off the Wall and Thriller as well as his difficult relationship with his father.
Michael Jacksons voice is heard on: Beat It, Human Nature, Billie Jean, I Want You Back, "I Wanna Be Where You Are," I'll Be There, Rockin' Robin, ABC, and Dancing Machine. On all other songs, the Michael Jackson vocal part is performed by Alex Burrall, Jason Weaver or Kipp Lennon.