I wanted to create a character that would be Nickelodeon, so to speak. I had decided that a girl could really do that. No one wanted to do that at the time because the belief was that it was all Barbie and GI Joe. The belief was that boys wouldn’t want to watch Barbie. A few girls would watch GI Joe, but no one would buy advertising on a show that boys wouldn’t watch. Nickelodeon wasn’t sure if it would work either, but they were willing to take a fly on it. I believed that boys and girls had a lot more in common. I think part of that was growing up with older sisters who could beat me up sometimes. I didn’t grow up with the same sort of stereotypes. So the distinction was never really an issue for me, and I thought that if we could create a “cool” girl who boys liked and girls wanted to watch, then we could prove it to America that you could make a show with a girl protagonist.

Splitsider | Inside Clarissa Explains It All with Creator Mitchell Kriegman