Allison McClain Merrill

Photo of Allison McClain Merrill
Detroit, Michigan
Jacksonville University
Yale University
'90s Sitcoms, Television History, Disney Channel
  • In 2022, Allison wrote a personal essay for TODAY about the lessons she learned from watching over 100 Disney Channel Original Movies in a year.
  • Allison sees as many film and TV locations or exteriors as she can. On a favorite trip to California, she saw "The Brady Bunch" house, the "Boy Meets World" school, the "Mrs. Doubtfire" house, the "Full House" house, the "That's So Raven" house, "The Princess Diaries" school and Mia's house, and several others.
  • Throughout the past decade, Allison has presented her work at conferences and symposiums in Florida, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Germany. Topics have included literature, music, religion, and, of course, television.


Allison's background in music, English, and religion led to her passion for writing about television and movies. She began working as a freelance entertainment writer in 2020 and has since written for outlets including People, /Film, Nicki Swift, and her own website, Past Foot Forward. Allison is a Disney Channel historian who regularly interviews the creators, writers, directors, composers, and actors of her favorite childhood programs. She is a member of the global Disney, Culture & Society Research Network.


Allison earned two bachelor's degrees from Jacksonville University: a Bachelor of Science in English and a Bachelor of Music Education. She graduated from Yale Divinity School and Yale Institute of Sacred Music with a Master of Arts in Religion and Music. Her curriculum at Yale included an independent study course titled "Streaming Jesus: Religion and Music in Contemporary Television."
Stories By Allison McClain Merrill