Asthma played a role in the creation of Disney
Junior's Doc McStuffins series; Chris Nee
created the show as a result of her
son's treatment for the respiratory disease that affects 26 million Americans.
I spoke to Nee
career and her
series, which debuted in March of this year.
Prior to creating Doc McStuffins, Nee had two simultaneous careers in television: she was a writer for children's programming such as Little Bill, Wonder Pets, The Backyardigans and Olivia, while at the same time serving as producer of the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch.
"It's stranger to other people than it is to me," she
told me, explaining that "telling a story is the same for kids or adults."
After spending three years working as an associate producer for Sesame Street's international division, spending time in Mexico, Finland, Israel and Jordan working on the local productions, Nee moved into writing for Sesame Street Workshop.
From there she
began writing for other children's entertainment, eventually collecting an Emmy award for her
work on Little Bill
, the series based on children's books by Bill Cosby.
later branched out into reality programming and documentary work, which resulted in her
getting a call from the Discovery Channel
assures me that although the show is aimed at preschoolers, parents will not be driven from the room by irritating music; instead, each episode features an original song written by Kay Hanley of the '90s group Letters to Cleo.
describes it as "girl pop, great music.
One recent episode featured Lisa Loeb in a guest-starring role as a toy microphone, for which she
also sang a song.
In addition to the primary goal of demystifying the doctor's office, another part of the show focuses on, as Nee
says, "how important it is for girls to see themselves as doctors and achievers.
(real name "Dottie") is one of those kids who knows from a very early age exactly what it is she
wants to do; she
wants to be a doctor like her
mother, a pediatrician.
own white lab coat, and everyone including her
parents calls her Doc
I asked her
had gotten any interference or "notes" from Disney
, if there were any battles she
had to fight in order to keep the show true to her
vision, since it seems to be a common story that "the suits" often try to alter or remove certain elements for various reasons.
tells me, "I found the right studio at the right time with the right people.