Most people in their 30s and 40s recall watching Nickelodeon growing up and loving it deeply — finally, a channel for kids that’s not all about education and feelings, but one all about stuff that kids really liked. Shows like All That, iCarly, Zoey 101, and Victorious ruled the ratings for years and helped define a generation of kids.
But now that the child stars from those shows have grown up, more and more disturbing information is surfacing about the “golden boy” behind many of the most popular shows, director, writer, and producer Dan Schneider.
The entire story, plus new allegations, is the subject of a new documentary on Investigation Discovery (ID), Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV — and the new trailer just dropped on Friday.
While Schneider was involved with some of the most successful shows of the 1990s and early 2000s, and while he launched the successful careers of a large number of stars, including Josh Peck, Drake Bell, and Ariana Grande, he’s also associated with what the documentary calls “one of the darkest chapters” in the television studio’s history.
The documentary will include interviews with former All That cast members Giovonnie Samuels, Kyle Sullivan, Bryan Hearne and Katrina Johnson as well as director Virgil Fabian. Also included are The Amanda Show writers Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton, Alexa Nikolas from Zoey 101, and Marc Summers from Double Dare.
“Working with Dan was like being in an abusive relationship,” one interviewee says in the trailer.
“How safe could kids be in that environment?” another person asks.
The trailer touches on a number of issues, including verbal abuse, long work hours, toxic work environment, unfair pay, harassment, sexual predators on set, sexual abuse,
“It was a house of horrors,” one mom of a child actor says.
At the end of the trailer, it seems that another former child actor will come forward with allegations of abuse, not yet heard publicly before.
“I’ve been waiting 17 years to tell my story,” she says in the trailer.
For the rest of the story, I guess we have to tune in.
Some stars from that era, like Ariana Grande and Miranda Cosgrove, have never spoken about their time with Schneider — whether to stay positive or negative things about their experiences. It’s unclear if it is for legal reasons, because they don’t have grievances, or just because they don’t want to dwell on the past.
This is not the first time Dan Schneider has been the center of controversy. He left Nickelodeon in 2018 after allegations of his temper issues on set and quieter rumbles about his conduct with child stars.
Then, in 2022, more allegations came to light when child actress Jennette McCurdy published her best-selling memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died, which talked extensively about her time with Nickelodeon and working with “The Creator” (ostensibly Schneider) with Ariana Grande on the set of Sam & Cat. Among other things, McCurdy spoke about his temper, his inappropriateness with the child actors, and times when he pressured her to drink alcohol even though she was under age.
Quiet On Set premieres across two nights on ID, at 9 p.m. ET/11 p.m. PT on Sunday, March 17 and Monday, March 18.