The series was created by Pamela Eells O'Connell, who had 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 Channel President 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. " Jessie was the first main character to be engaged on the Disney Channel. There was a four-part episode about the engagement.