Clarissa Explains it All was an American teen television series created by Mitchell Kriegman in 1991 that aired on Nickelodeon. The series ran for 5 seasons with a total of 65 episodes beginning in March 1991 and ending in December 1994.
The concept of the show revolves around teenager Clarissa Darling (Melissa Joan Hart), her father Marshall (Joe O’Connor), her mother Janet (Elizabeth Hess), her little brother Ferguson (Jason Zimbler), and her best friend Sam (Sean O’Neil) living in suburban Ohio. The show became on of the first Nickelodeon series that featured a female lead. The show attracted high interest because of the relationship between main characters Clarissa and Sam. It was the first time a girl and a boy had a strictly platonic friendship on television without any romance blossoming.
In the show Clarissa deals with regular teenage issues such as: first crushes, receiving a driver’s license, sibling rivalry, getting bad grades in school, drinking, and insecurities. In 1994 the series was nominated for an Emmy Award for outstanding Children’s Program. The cast as an ensemble was nominated for a Young Artist Award with Melissa Joan Hart receiving the Former Child Star Award in 2013 for her role.
The series began syndication in 1994 till 2003 as part of the Teen Nick block. In 2011 the series returned to Teen Nick as part of the 90’s Are All That block.
In 1995 a follow up to the series titled “Clarissa Now” was shot for CBS. The new premise of the show followed Clarissa during her internship at a big time New York City newspaper. The new show was not picked up despite the fame of the original the series.
Melissa Joan Hart
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