Confident, inventive and well-known for shepherding properties such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Avatar: the Last Airbender into the spotlight for Nickelodeon, Eric Coleman brings a world of experience to an animation unit eager to catch up. As the new svp of development, he will be responsible for the creative hand-holding necessary to push properties with potential through to production. At present, Walt Disney Television Animation has high hopes for their up and coming series Phineas and Ferb.
from Phineas and Ferb
"I am thrilled to be joining the Disney team that is revolutionizing the business of television for kids and families," Coleman commented.
"What impresses me the most is the enormous commitment and support they are willing to give me to build a world-class slate of animated content for the kids' global TV platforms."
Pulling in Coleman is an impressive move for Disney animation, and should prove to help diversify the current landscape of television cartoons available on cable, perhaps even opening the doors for more creator-driven properties.
Supplying strong guidance for the unit in addition to overseeing the casting and musical departments of the unit, Coleman's role will encapsulate both short-form and long-form television animation for Disney Channel, Toon Disney and related Jetix programming platforms.
"There is no executive in the entire television animation space who has the creative vision, the credibility and the track record that Eric does," Gary Marsh, President, Disney Channels Worldwide Entertainment, commented. "As one of the driving forces in animation, his reputation with, and connection to, the creative community is unparalleled."
Eric Coleman has a long history with Nickelodeon. He worked on many of the network's original slate of Nicktoon television animation, such as Rugrats and Doug, while later moving on to additional projects such as Joe Murray's Rocko's Modern Life and Craig Bartlett's Hey Arnold!. In recent years, Coleman has served on the supervising and/or production staff of the hit series' Avatar, as previously mentioned, Catscratch and the wildly creative but recently cancelled El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera.
With the ascension of Coleman to Walt Disney Television Animation comes the perfunctory bumping out of the incumbent, who in this case was Meredith Roberts, formerly Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs, Walt Disney TV Animation. Ms. Roberts will now be redirected towards DisneyToon Animation Studios as their new Senior Vice President and General Manager. She will oversee the animation unit's daily operations, which has seen a noted shift in strategic direction in the past year [past A.I. news: "DisneyToon Animation Studios Makeover"]. Also; on the Nickelodeon front; the moving out of Eric Coleman has resultantly prompted the accession of one of Nick/MTVN's most talented and experienced development and production executives to the position of President, Nickelodeon Animation [related A.I. news: "Nick Delegates Brown Johnson, President of Animation"].
(Sources: AnimationMagazine.net, Hollywood Reporter, AWN.com, Cynopsis Media)