Many Nickelodeon teen shows appear on Nickelodeon and TeenNick, which launched in 2009 as the new brand of Nickelodeon catering to ages 13 to 19. The channel was previously known as The N and ran for 12 hours from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. (Eastern Time Zone) with the other 12 hours airing programs for younger children under the channel name Noggin. Eventually, The N and Noggin gained their own, separate channels, and changed to TeenNick and Nick Jr. respectively. Between TeenNick and the parent channel Nickelodeon, teen shows have dominated the programming. Pre-teens and teenagers can enjoy live-action comedy, animation, and action shows.
Many of the shows teens watch on Nickelodeon are and were the comedies like iCarly and Kenan & Kel. If you weren’t a millennial during the peak of some shows on this list, these crazy facts may be lost on you. But even as a parent of a millennial, when some of these shows were on the air, you may have caught an episode or two. That could help you appreciate the following facts about behind-the-scenes behaviors and information.
An interesting note about many of the teen shows on this list: you’ll find a common name between quite a few shows on Nickelodeon. Dan Schneider. Since 1994, Schneider has been involved in over a dozen TV Shows and Movies for Nickelodeon. Most of his credits are as a creator, but he’s also been an executive producer, writer, and a guest star. Yes, there are several crazy facts about him too!
Here’s 15 Crazy Facts About Nickelodeon Teen Shows Only Millennials Know.
15 Cast Member Mishap
Zoey 101 had a typical overall story. It’s about the lives of teenagers as they progress through a boarding school in Southern California and become closer as the series went on. The show starred Jamie Lynn Spears as Zoey Brooks; Spears also performed the opening theme song. Britney Spears helped in writing the show’s theme song.
At the time Zoey 101 was on the air, the show was the most expensive Nickelodeon had produced since it was filmed entirely on location in Malibu.
But, the show almost didn’t have one character. Quinn Pensky, the quirky best friend of Zoey who worked on insane experiments wasn’t in the original script. Pensky was played by Erin Sanders and eventually became one of the most notable characters in the show. It’s wacky to think about Zoey 101 without remembering the Pensky character. Try to think of the show minus that character.
Rewriting a script is common in television, but rewriting an entire episode because of one actress’s time constraints is a little more rare. In the season 3 episode, “The Curse of PCA,” there wasn’t time with Jamie Lynn Spears to film all of her scenes. The writers decided to rewrite the whole script to have a bucket accidentally getting stuck on Zoey’s head. Spears didn’t have to be there at all: a look-a-liked stood in for Zoey in all those scenes.
14 Gangsta's Paradise
Kenan & Kel are one of the rare Nickelodeon shows that was not created by Dan Schneider, although he was an executive producer. The show was created by Kim Bass and starred Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. You might recognize the name Kenan Thompson form Saturday Night Live, as he’s been on SNL for over 15 years. Kel Mitchell, though his name isn’t as highly remembered, has been in quite a few movies and TV shows and has even rapped over the years.
For the Kenan & Kel show, a few crazy facts make the sketch comedy series even more interesting. First, the theme song sequence is an original song written by rapper Coolio. But while you may know that, the video portion of the theme song was directed by Coolio also, making it the first “video” as a director.
Kenan’s dad, Ken Foree, was sought after for Kenan & Kel. Foree is best known for playing the main character Peter in the original Dawn of the Dead. The writers kept having Foree sign things since the writers were huge fans of the actor. Milton Berle had a memorable role on the Nickelodeon. Milton Berle. The iconic comedian had one last on-screen performance as the character Uncle Leo in the Kenan & Kel TV movie Two Heads are Better Than None.
13 Victorious Props
Victorious is a teen sitcom about an up-and-coming singer named Tori Vega, played by Victoria Justice. She gets into crazy situations every day at the performing arts school, Hollywood Arts High School. The show also starred Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett, and Ariana Grande. Victoria Justice also performed the theme song, “Make it Shine.”
There have been some interesting facts about some of the props used in Victorious. In scenes where the characters are eating and you can see a red plastic ketchup bottle and a yellow plastic mustard bottle, you’ll notice they are regular size in early episodes. But in later seasons, the bottles shrink in size. The condiment bottles kept blocking the actor and actresses faces (they did seem to eat a lot), so the prop department had to make them smaller.
It sucks when you lose your screen time to a condiment.
The Asphalt Cafe has fun behind-the-scene crazy fact about it. You may have noticed a green wall in the cafe made of brick. Many signatures adorn the wall. At first they appear to be random signatures, but if you look closely, you’ll notice they are really autographs of the cast and crew. The wall is shown at different times, so if you’re a detail-freak, you should be able to see the full wall over several episodes.
12 Cry Baby Lane Movie
Even to this day, Nickelodeon rarely produces a film that isn't based on one of their popular shows or properties. Many of their early movies involved the characters from animated series like Rocket Power, The Fairly OddParents, and As Told by Ginger.
In 2000, Nickelodeon aired its only horror movie called Cry Baby Lane. The movie was originally planned to be made for Paramount Pictures under the Nickelodeon Movies name behind it, but it eventually turned into a made-for-TV film. The TV movie was on the air only once before it was pulled from programming. To this day, it not completely known why the movie was removed from its schedule. The most popular rumor was there were so many complaints from parents that felt the content in the movie was inappropriate for a children’s network. So, Nickelodeon buckled under the pressure and shelved the movie. But, that’s just a TV urban legend.
The movie stayed shelved for 10 years. Because of a strong cult following for the movie, and a vocal internet presence urged the channel to put it back on the air. On October 31st in 2011, Nickelodeon cracked and put Cry Baby Lane back on the air. Later, the network “claimed” they had “forgot about it.” The move was one of Jim Gaffigan’s early roles.
11 Nick Studio 10
One of the more embarrassing shows to come out of Nickelodeon wasn’t really a show compared to the network’s sitcoms and dramas. Nick Studio 10 had 4 teens creating silly and often strange videos that many did not find funny. Nickelodeon wanted to get back into live hosted shows, so Nick Studio 10 was the result.
Nick Studio 10 often aired during cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants and The Fairly OddParents Fans of Nickelodeon hated Nick Studio 10 because it interrupted their shows with clips that weren't funny and unnecessary. The clip show aired from February to June in 2013. The planned hiatus was meant to mimic the school year and was planned to return in the fall. But it didn’t.
If you have nothing nice, or funny, to say. Don't say anything at all.
The hatred and criticism flowed immensely over social media. Nick Studio 10’s Twitter account kept getting blasted by fans of the network. However, the show’s official Twitter constantly insulted people who vocally hated Nick Studio 10. The official Twitter account got suspended rather quickly. If you wanted to follow the account after it was reinstated, you had to be a confirmed Twitter user. You can still find fake Twitter accounts that users created to speak obscenely to users who thought they were Tweeting the show’s real account.
10 Emma Roberts' Issues
Emma Roberts’ first television role was playing Addie Singer on the Nickelodeon teen show, Unfabulous. She’s been in a number of movies, but you might know her more from the TV shows such as American Horror Story and Scream Queens. If you already didn’t know, Emma is the daughter of actor Eric Roberts and is the niece of actress Julia Roberts.
Emma Roberts started dating Evan Peters in 2012 when they met on the set of the movie Adult World. It hasn’t been an easy relationship for the two, with multiple break-ups, removing each other from their social media accounts, and a broken engagement. But, their most turbulent situation involved an arrest.
In 2013, Emma was arrested in Canada for domestic violence after someone called the police because of a fight in Emma and Evan’s hotel room. The cops found Evan with a bloody nose and a bite mark. Sources close to Emma and Evan’s relationship stated that Emma denied biting her boyfriend. The arrest occurred on July 7th and 10 days later, Roberts and Peters went to the press - Us Weekly - to say in a statement that “It was an unfortunate incident and misunderstanding. Ms. Roberts was released after questioning and the couple are working to move past it.”
9 iCarly Sound Remote
If you’ve watched any episode of iCarly, then you’ve probably seen one of the most memorable props in the show. It’s Sam’s blue remote she uses often when she and Carly are doing the web show.
The remote is mostly used to bring up sound effects for the web show, iCarly. Typically, you’ll hear applause, booing, and an audience laughing or cheering. But in actuality - in terms of the show - over 90 possible sounds are used, according to Freddie in the episode “iStart a Fanwar.” The “tech guy” behind the web show stated he puts whatever sounds they need for the web episode are programmed in the remote via his computer. It’s not a complicated remote: it contains 6 buttons and 6 LED lights that illuminate when the corresponding button is pressed.
In the series finale, Same gives the remote to Carly as a "goodbye" gift when she moves to Italy.
The creator of iCarly, Dan Schneider, has said before that the remote seen in the show is the only one ever made. When the show is not filming, he kept the remote at home so it wouldn’t get lost or stolen.
8 Hey Dude Actor Missing
Hey Dude was Nickelodeon’s second live-action television series created for the network. The show took place on a ranch and followed the stories of the ranch’s owner, his son, a ranch hand , and teenager summer employees. The show starred David Lascher and Christine Taylor. Joe Torres had a main role in the show, playing Danny Lightfoot, a Native American.
The show lasted from 1989 to 1991, with a total of 65 episodes over a uniquely listed 5 seasons over those 3 years. One actor from Hey Dude hasn’t been seen since the show ended in 1991. The cast of the show reunited at the ATX Television Festival in 2014, but one cast member was absent: Joe Torres. The actors haven’t “heard from him” and stated they “know the same rumors as everybody else.” The cast admits they haven’t kept in touch with each other, including Torres.
Two rumors circulate about Torres. One, the actor passed away from alcoholism. This is unconfirmed and believed to be a story planted by an old agent or manager of Torres. Two, Torres is working at New Jersey Toyota car dealership. A picture made its rounds from the dealership’s website purporting Torres was listed on the Staff page, but that page has long since changed, not listing Torres anymore. Apparently, when Joe was listed on the website, you could email him and receive a headshot and an autograph from him.
7 Payment Problems
Sam & Cat is a Nickelodeon teen show derived as a spin-off and sequel to iCarly and Victorious. The show stars Sam Puckett (portrayed by Jennette McCurdy) from iCarly and Cat Valentine (portrayed by Ariana Grande) from Victorious. The two characters meet randomly and become roommates, then deciding to start a babysitting business to earn some money. The show lasted 1 season of 40 episodes (the network initially ordered 20 episodes).
On screen, the two girls had a natural chemistry. They worked well together, their comedic timing on point whether they were in the same scene or not. But behind-the-scenes, turmoil erupted that helped get the show canceled. In an interview with Vulture, McCurdy hinted that she was getting paid less than Grande, despite sharing the same amount of air time and workload. McCurdy also felt Grande was getting treated better. The rumor felt truer when Jeanette unfollowed Ariana on all her social media accounts. When Ariana wrote a note to her fans about the end of Sam & Cat, Jennette’s name was missing.
A little favoritism never hurts. Well, it hurts when it gets your show cancelled.
Plus, the inappropriate photos of McCurdy that were “leaked” became the final straw for Nickelodeon. The network put the show on hiatus (with 4 episodes left to air), but officially canceled the show 4 months later.
6 Kids' Salaries Obscenely Low
In recent television history, actors and actress salaries are contentious subjects. Especially when it's learned that female actresses are getting paid far less than their male counterpart in movies and TV shows. As adults, actors and actresses can understand their importance to a show and value what they expect to get paid on that. But for child actors, they rely on parents or an advocate to negotiate on their behalf.
When Nickelodeon began airing more live-action teen shows, requiring actual actors, they weren’t paid to scale as the grown-ups or through any acting guild standards. Artist and Puppeteer Tim Lagasse spoke out on this behavior by the network. He said, “Nickelodeon likes young people who don’t have much experience, because they’re cheap.” At the time, Melissa Joan Hart made about $150 per episode of Clarissa Explains It All and that was by season 3. Lagasse said the kids on You Can’t Do That On Television probably made “$260 a week.”
Most likely, somewhere along the line, decisions about the kids’ careers were made by parents, agents, or managers that looked long-term. It would be a travesty if those same adults were at the mercy of Nickelodeon. Almost as if the network said if you want your kid to be a star, you’ll accept the pay we give you.
5 Suzanne Collins Wrote For Nickelodeon
One crazy fact involves a well-known writer of a young adult novel series that eventually turned into four extremely popular movies. Does the name Suzanne Collins ring a bell? She is the author of the young adult fiction series The Hunger Games, which was eventually made into movies starring Jennifer Lawrence.
Before penning novels, Collins started her writing career with credits on children’s television shows. A few of her first shows were on Nickelodeon. These included The Mystery Files of Shelby Wood, Little Bear, Oswald, and Clarissa Explains It All. Little Bear was based on a book, which is sometimes incorrectly attributed to Collins. The author wrote 2 episodes of Little Bear.
Before she was writing about a dystopia future, she wrote about an Octopus who had a dachshund as a pet.
With Clarissa Explains It All, she was a staff writer for two episodes and the main writer for one. She had more of a presence with Shelby Woo (6 episodes) and Oswald (7 episodes). For most of her work on the Nickelodeon shows, she was also the story editor and executive story editor. Most of Collins creative efforts were put towards episodes of Clarissa Explains It All. Collins did get nominated for writing award (though it wasn’t for anything on Nickelodeon) for co-writing the acclaimed Christmas movie, Santa, Baby.
4 Stuntwoman sues iCarly
It’s hard to imagine any teen show on Nickelodeon requiring heavy action sequences where stunt coordinators and stuntmen and women are needed. But through the years, iCarly has had several scenes that appeared dangerous. One of those scenes was very dangerous.
Stuntwoman Katina Waters was hired to perform one specific stunt that involved her to be slowly lowered to the ground by a wire. A pretty straight-forward and safe stunt. But she stated the operator of “the descender machine” suddenly dropped her without warning. She was higher than expected when she fell. Waters slammed into the floor. She sustained severe and gruesome injuries to her legs. She had fractured bones and torn ligaments.
This accident “ruined her career.” So, she sued the producer, Schneider’s Bakery (owned by Dan Schneider). Also, Nickelodeon and MTV Networks were named in the lawsuit, which listed pain, suffering, and loss of earnings the result of the accident. She eventually recovered and worked on other TV shows like Scorpion, About a Boy, and Teachers. In fact, she worked with Nickelodeon again after iCarly, performing stunts in 3 episodes of School of Rock in 2016.
3 The Secret World of Alex Mack Was Almost Different
The Secret World of Alex Mack followed the life of Alex Mack, who was doused with a strange, top-secret chemical that gave her unique powers like telekinesis and the ability to dissolve objects into a liquid. When the TV show was in the development stage, the character of Alex Mack was going to be a boy.
The hats Alex wears? That was a happy accident. The costume designer Laura Slakey threw on a hat, and Co-creator Thomas W. Lynch said “Wow, that’s perfect.” Adding, It's “the most iconic thing in the show I had nothing to do with.” Slakey drew inspiration for the way Alex dressed - including the hats - by how Slakey’s father dressed in the 60s. At first, Nickelodeon fought the addition of the hats, but Lynch and Slakey managed to convince the network to let the hats stay.
Not all superhumans wear capes, sometimes they were fancy hats.
Did you ever think a Nickelodeon show would have a crossover with a horror video game? It was probably more on the creators of Resident Evil, but in one background scene in the first game, you can see framed pictures of Alex Mack. There's the Umbrella Corporation in Resident Evil and the Paradise Valley Chemical Plant in Alex Mack. Most likely, the creators of the video game were fans of Alex Mack.
2 iCarly Had Similar Ideas As Sonny With A Chance
When the concept of the show iCarly was in its early stages, the main storyline of the show was completely different, as was the title. The show was nearly called Starstruck. In this version, she was still called Carly. But when the show became iCarly, the main character was super close to being called Sam or Josie, and the friend Kira. Schneider has said in the original script for the show, the character was Sam.
But it’s possible because Schneider could buy the domain name “iSam.com,” that the names wouldn’t have been changed. So the original concept was this normal girl gets cast on her favorite TV show, but then the idea was changed so that Carly gets her own show on TV. Finally, the idea that won out was the one that you’re used to, where Carly gets to run her own web show.
It’s worth mentioning that one of the ideas for iCarly preceded a very similar show that premiered a few years later on Disney called Sonny with a Chance. Sonny was basically the original idea for iCarly. Sonny with a Chance starred Demi Lovato who is a regular girl that gets cast on her favorite sketch comedy show So Random!.
1 Dan Schneider's Shared Universe
There are many creators and franchises that operate within the same universe. For example, Joss Whedon has the Whedonverse (or the Jossverse as it’s sometime called), and for movies, there’s the Conjur-verse, which includes the movies of The Conjuring franchise.
It may surprise you to learn that many teen shows on Nickelodeon are also in a shared universe. Known as the Schneider-verse (occasionally as the Nickverse), Zoey 101, Drank & Josh, Victorious, and iCarly all part of the same universe according to Dan Schneider, the creator of those shows. The universe mainly consists of Schneider’s later shows, but some have theorized that even his earlier shows are part of the Schneider-verse.
Who needs the MCU or the DCEU, when you can have the Schneider-verse.
Characters and story-lines have crossed over between the four shows, and some of the later characters were actually on shows as far back as The Amanda Show and All That. Although some actors/characters that appeared that far back as themselves had their last names changed for the later shows. There are minor confusions within the universe - like when Zoey 101 is playing on a TV in an episode of iCarly - but otherwise, the Schneider-verse stays consistent with itself pretty well.
Nickelodeon and Dan Schneider parted ways earlier in 2018, so it’s unclear if Schneider will be able to add to his universe any time soon.
What was the craziest fact about a Nickelodeon teen show you found? Let us know in the comments!