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Michael Tollin

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Michael Tollin

Michael Tollin
Born (1955-10-06) October 6, 1955
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US
Occupation Director, producer
Years active 1982–present
Spouse(s) Robbie Tollin
Children 2

Michael "Mike" Tollin (born October 6, 1955) is an American film director and film/television producer. His career highlights included Radio, Coach Carter, and Varsity Blues. He frequently collaborates with Brian Robbins in which they own a production company together called Tollin/Robbins Productions. They created and produced such shows like All That, The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel, One Tree Hill, Smallville, What I Like About You, The Bronx is Burning, and Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream.

Early life and education

Michael Tollin grew up in Havertown, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[1] His father, Sol Tollin (1929–2006), played basketball for Haverford College from 1947-1951. He died in a drowing accident on August 18, 2006.[2][3] Tollin's parents divorced when he was 8; he and his older brother, Larry, and younger sister, Cindy, lived with their mother, Ruthellen.[1] He was raised Jewish and had his bar mitzvah when he turned 13.[1]

He graduated from Haverford High School and Stanford University in 1977,[4] where he was a sports columnist and the play-by-play radio announcer for Stanford basketball.[5]


After graduating from Stanford, Tollin worked for Berl Rotfeld, the father of Steve Rotfeld. Rotfeld launched a series of sports documentaries on syndicated television. With one year, Tollin began directing the series. He later worked with MLB Productions in New York and created a documentary series called The Baseball Bunch.[6]

Tollin started a company making sports documentaries, kids' shows and entertainment specials for three years. He moved to California and with Brian Robbins, they started the Tollin/Robbins Productions.[6]

Tollin was the producer of the weekly highlights show for the United States Football League, the springtime football league which played from 1983 through 1985. In 2009, he served as executive producer for the hour-long documentary Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL? for ESPN's 30 for 30 series. He was also part of a number of the series films, as one of the production members.



  • 1982: The Baseball Bunch (TV Series documentary, 1 episode)
  • 1986: Centennial: Over 100 Years of Philadelphia Phillies Baseball (video)
  • 1987: Kids on Kids on Kids (TV Movie)
  • 1988: The Final Season (Documentary)
  • 1989: Buy Me That! A Kids' Survival Guide to TV Advertising (TV Movie)
  • 1993: Hardwood Dreams (Documentary) (credited as Michael Jay Tollin)
  • 1995: Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (Documentary)
  • 1996: Arli$$ (TV Series, 1 episode "The Client's Best Interest")
  • 1998: Cousin Skeeter (TV Series)
  • 2001: Summer Catch (credited as Mike Tollin)
  • 2003: Radio
  • 2007: Unstrung (Documentary)
  • 2009: 30 for 30 (TV Series) (1 episode, "Small Potatoes: Who Killed the USFL?")

Producer / Co-producer

Long-running TV series
  • 1994–2005: All That (TV Series) (executive producer, 76 episodes)
  • 1996–2002: Arli$$ (TV Series) (executive producer, 80 episodes)
  • 1997–2005: All That (TV Series) (33 episodes)
  • 2000–2001: The Amanda Show (TV Series) (executive producer, 9 episodes)
  • 2001–2011: Smallville (TV Series) (executive producer, 216 episodes)
  • 2001–2002: The Nightmare Room (TV Series) (executive producer, 8 episodes)
  • 2002–2003: Slamball (TV Series) (executive producer, 5 episodes)
  • 2002–2006: What I Like About You (TV Series) (executive producer, 78 episodes)
  • 2003-2003: Black Sash (TV Series) (executive producer, 5 episodes)
  • 2003–2004: I'm with Her (TV Series) (executive producer, 21 episodes)
  • 2003–2012: One Tree Hill (TV Series) (executive producer, 176 episodes)
  • 2009–2011: 30 for 30 (TV Series) (consulting producer, 24 episodes, executive producer, 3 episodes)
  • 2011-2011: The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants (TV Series) (executive producer, 9 episodes)
  • 2012-2012: The Franchise: A Season with the Miami Marlins (TV Series) (executive producer, 8 episodes)
  • 2012–2013: Wedding Band (TV Series) (executive producer, 10 episodes)
  • 1982: The Baseball Bunch (TV Series documentary)
  • 1986: Centennial: Over 100 Years of Philadelphia Phillies Baseball (Video)
  • 1988: Greatest Sports Legends (TV Series, 1 episode, "Jim Brown")
  • 1988: The Final Season (Documentary) (producer)
  • 1993: Hardwood Dreams (Documentary) (executive producer, writer)
  • 1995: Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (Documentary) (executive producer)
  • 1995: The Show (Documentary) (producer)
  • 1997: Good Burger (producer)
  • 1997: Kenan & Kel (TV Series) (executive producer, 1 episode, "Get the Kel Outta Here", executive producer)
  • 1998: Sports Theater with Shaquille O'Neal (TV Series) (executive producer, 1 episode, "First Time")
  • 1998: Cousin Skeeter (TV Series) (executive producer)
  • 1999: Varsity Blues (producer) (credited as Mike Tollin)
  • 1999: Kenan & Kel (TV Series) (executive producer, 1 episode, "Present Tense", executive producer)
  • 2000: Ready to Rumble (executive producer)
  • 2001: Summer Catch (producer)
  • 2001: Hard Ball (producer)
  • 2002: Big Fat Liar (producer)
  • 2002: The Nick Cannon Show (TV Series) (executive producer, 2 episodes, "Nick Takes Over Hollywood" and "Nick Takes Over the Rodeo", executive producer)
  • 2002: Birds of Prey (TV Series) (executive producer, 1 episode, "Premiere", executive producer)
  • 2002: St. Sass (TV Movie) (executive producer)
  • 2003: Twins (TV Movie) (executive producer)
  • 2003: The Flannerys (TV Movie) (executive producer)
  • 2003: Radio (producer)
  • 2004: The Perfect Score (producer)
  • 2004: Earthquake (TV Movie) (executive producer)
  • 2004: The Days (TV Series) (executive producer)
  • 2004: Hardwood Dreams: Ten Years Later (TV Movie documentary) (producer)
  • 2005: Coach Carter (producer)
  • 2005: Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (producer)
  • 2005: Inconceivable (TV Series) (executive producer)
  • 2006: Bonds on Bonds (TV Series) (executive producer)
  • 2006: Crumbs (TV Series) (executive producer, 2 episodes, "Whatever Happened to Baby Bodashka?" and "Pilot", executive producer)
  • 2007: Norbit (executive producer)
  • 2007: Wild Hogs (producer)
  • 2007: Unstrung (Documentary) (producer)
  • 2007: The Bronx Is Burning (TV Series) (executive producer)
  • 2011: Thumbs (TV Movie documentary) (executive producer)
  • 2011: The Real Rocky (TV Movie) (producer)
  • 2013: Bluegrass Kingdom: The Gospel of Kentucky Basketball (executive producer)


  1. ^ a b c Tollin, Mike (September 25, 2009). "Sports: Me ’n’ Richie". Philadelphia Magazine. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Sol Tollin". Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  3. ^ Kazarian, Chris (July 25, 2007). "Baseball is a passion for Summer Catch Director/Producer Michael Tollin". Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  4. ^ Marsh, Ann (November–December 2003). "A Good Sport Makes the Big Leagues". Stanford Alumni. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Michael Tollin". Philadelphia Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Layman Low, Amanda (January 27, 2014). "SO WHAT DO YOU DO, MIKE TOLLIN, ACCLAIMED TV/FILM DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER?". Mediabistro. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 

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