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Nick Developing Norman Lear’s ‘Man of the House’ Animated Series

Claudia Spinelli to oversee project as newly promoted VP of animation development at the network.

BURBANK, CALIF. -- Nickelodeon is developing Man of the House (working title), an animated project from Norman Lear’s ACT III Productions.

With creative concept by Colombian-American writer and illustrator Michael Molina (Trivia Night), Man of the House follows 11-year-old José as he helps his mother Maria watch over his two younger siblings, Maria Juliana (Maju) and Diego, while trying to form a hip-hop group with his quirky classmate and neighbor, Wilbur, who lives downstairs. Lear (All in the Family, The Jeffersons) and Brent Miller (One Day at a Time) will serve as executive producers.

Development will be overseen by Claudia Spinelli, who has been promoted to the role of VP animation development. Formerly VP of current series, Spinelli will oversee the development pipeline of all new animated content, while identifying potential creators, showrunners, writers and directors. She also will work closely with Nickelodeon’s talent-relations department and the animation community to scout new talent for animation development.

As Nickelodeon’s new VP of animation development, Claudia Spinelli will oversee development of ‘Man of the House’ from Norman Lear’s Act III Productions.

Spinelli began her career at Nickelodeon in 2000 in the development department. In 2002, she joined the current series group as a creative executive overseeing the brand management of SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly OddParents, Jimmy Neutron and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Throughout her career at Nickelodeon, she has also worked on animated shows including Sanjay and Craig, Robot and Monster, Making Fiends and Planet Sheen. As SpongeBob SquarePants grew in popularity, Spinelli was elevated in 2007 to executive in charge of the series. For the past decade, her work on SpongeBob SquarePants has extended beyond the show as she has helped initiate projects throughout other areas of the company including: marketing partnerships with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; SpongeBob SquarePants theme park attractions; video games featuring the iconic character; and the most recent debut of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical, which was recently nominated for 12 Tony Awards.

Spinelli holds a BFA in film from New York University. She also earned an MFA in animation and digital arts from University of Southern California, where later she taught a class on introductory principles of motion for animation for the interactive media department. In between her degrees, Spinelli has held a number of positions in various animation houses in New York City on commercials and short films.

Founded in 1985 by television icon Norman Lear, ACT III Productions is a media company dedicated to creating and or producing content that entertains and creates a conversation. It is best known for producing the popular films Stand by Me, The Princess Bride and Fried Green Tomatoes.

Miller, Lear’s producing partner and head of production and development for the company, also serves as an executive producer with Lear on projects including the critically acclaimed reimagining of One Day at a Time, the documentary series America Divided and the upcoming pilot Guess Who Died.   

After graduating from Columbia University in New York City, Molina produced sketch videos and the feature film Trivia Night with the comedy troupe Local Empire before moving to Los Angeles. Molina also has written educational animated TED talks that have garnered millions of views online, covering topics from déjà vu to vampires.

Source: Nickelodeon

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.