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Norman Lear Developing Hip-Hop Animated Kids Series for Nickelodeon (Exclusive)

"Man of the House," from writer/illustrator Michael Molina, explores the world of an 11-year-old Colombian-American boy.

Norman LearThe Contenders Emmys presented by Deadline Hollywood, Portrait Studio, Los Angeles, USA - 15 Apr 2018

Norman Lear

Michael Buckner/REX/Shutterstock

Norman Lear is getting into the kids’ animation business. Lear’s Act III Prods. is developing the series “Man of the House,” from writer/illustrator Michael Molina (“Trivia Night”) for Nickelodeon.

Molina, who’s Colombian-American, has created a show about José, an 11-year-old who helps his mother Maria watch over his two younger siblings, Maria Juliana (aka “Maju”) and Diego, while trying to form a hip-hop group with his quirky classmate and downstairs neighbor Wilbur.

Lear and his Act III partner Brent Miller, who helped Lear recently revive “One Day at a Time” for Netflix, will executive produce.

“Norman has been telling stories about families, parents, and kids for many years, and it’s so exciting that he and his producing partners Brent and Michael, want to tell this story to today’s generation of Nick kids,” said Chris Viscardi, Senior Vice President, Nickelodeon Animation.

Besides “One Day at a Time,” Act III is also behind the documentary series “America Divided” and the recent pilot “Guess Who Died,” which didn’t move forward at NBC, but has had a long development gestation and will likely be shopped elsewhere.

Besides producing sketch videos and the feature “Trivia Night,” Molina is also known for writing educational animated TED Talks that have attracted millions of views online, with topics ranging from déjà vu to vampires.

CLAUDIA SPINELLI Photo: Bonnie Osborne/Nickelodeon©2018 Viacom, International, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Claudia Spinelli

Bonnie Osborne/Nickelodeon

At Nickelodeon, development of “Man of the House” (which is a working title) will be handled by Claudia Spinelli, who has been promoted to vice president of animation development. Spinelli will now oversee the development pipeline of all new animated content while identifying potential creators, showrunners, writers, and directors. She’ll also scout for new talent along with Nickelodeon’s talent relations department. Spinelli was previously vice president of current series and has been with the network since 2000.

“Claudia has shepherded some of today’s most popular series including SpongeBob Square Pants and Sanjay and Craig,” Viscardi said. “She is a true creative partner and a trusted voice with a love for storytelling. I look forward to her continued leadership in our animation group.”

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