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iCarly aired from September 2007 until November 2012 on Nickelodeon.
Carly(Miranda Cosgrove )hosts her own home-grown web show, iCarly. She lives with her twenty-something brother/guardian Spencer (Jerry Trainor) and produces her Web casts from a makeshift third-floor loft studio. Grappling with adolescence, she never aimed to gain fame as a rising star/underground celebrity to kids. As events unfold in the pilot, it all happens by accident when a teacher puts her in charge of the school talent show. She and her sassy best bud Sam (Jennette McCurdy) turn the audition process into a show, which Carly's tech savvy smitten friend Freddie (Nathan Kress) tapes - including their hilarious banter and great chemistry - and posts on the Web without telling the girls. The on-line audience clamors for more, and a pop phenomenon blooms, with Carly and sidekick Sam's regular Web casts ultimately featuring everything from comedy sketches and talent contests to interviews, recipes, and problem-solving.
An Article from The New York Times
I, Little Sister, Becomes iCarly
By JACQUES STEINBERG
Published: September 7, 2007
NOT long after they were cast in Drake & Josh, the Nickelodeon series that would forever fuse their names, Drake Bell and Josh Peck had their first encounter with the 8-year-old girl who would play Megan, their mischievous little sister.
We were walking to the writers room, and I remember hearing the pitter-patter of these little feet behind me, said Mr. Bell, now 21. She was just standing there saying: So where are we going? What are we doing? I thought, Well, this is going to be fun.
Her name was Miranda Cosgrove. And Mr. Peck, now 20, recalled that on that same day she showed her new co-stars a trick she could do with her eyes. She can make them vibrate back and forth, he said, flanked by Ms. Cosgrove and Mr. Bell during a recent interview at Nickelodeon headquarters in Manhattan. She was like, Check it out.
It is the sort of stupid human trick that would fit right in on Ms. Cosgrove's new show, iCarly, which makes its debut on Nickelodeon on Saturday at 8 p.m. In an attempt to freshen the concept of the show-within-a-show for the digital age, iCarly is a scripted, live-action series about a teenage girl with her own Webcast. The series will eventually feature user-generated videos submitted by (and starring) Nickelodeon viewers, who may well find themselves as guests on iCarly if their stunts, gags and, yes, facial tics are deemed cool enough.
And though Ms. Cosgrove can still do that thing with her eyes, no one should expect to see it on iCarly anytime soon. It's still creepy, six years later, Mr. Peck said.
With Drake & Josh ceasing production this summer after nearly five years (it will live on in repeats on Nickelodeon, and in some original episodes yet to be shown), the show's creator, Dan Schneider, fashioned iCarly as a star vehicle for Ms. Cosgrove. She will be playing a new character, Carly Shay, who owes more than a little to Ed Sullivan if Ed Sullivan were reincarnated as a sitcom character born from (and for) Generation Z.
By the end of the first episode, Carly's fictional Webcast is said to be drawing 37,000 viewers. In real life, visitors to icarly.com, a Web site created for the show, can upload videos that will then be screened by the show's producers.
In the increasingly lucrative and even cutthroat world of cable television aimed at viewers of elementary- and middle-school age, there is no small amount of pressure resting on iCarly, and on Ms. Cosgrove's 14-year-old shoulders. She and Mr. Schneider have been charged with building on the legacy of Drake & Josh one of the most popular live-action shows in Nickelodeon's 28-year history and a more recent breakout hit, The Naked Brothers Band, a mock documentary about two young brothers who are musicians in real life.
But iCarly is also intended to generate the kind of buzz that surrounds Hannah Montana (about a teenage pop star who wants to remain an ordinary kid in school) and the blockbuster cable movie High School Musical 2. Both are productions of the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon's main rival, and both spun off musical releases that climbed to the top of the pop charts. Like Miley Cyrus, the star of Hannah Montana, Ms. Cosgrove sings her show's theme, which also features her former co-star Mr. Bell, a budding recording artist
Hannah Montana, I don't know that much about it, Cyma Zarghami, the president of Nickelodeon, said (not all that convincingly) in a telephone interview. I know it's incredibly popular. I know she's a singer in disguise. But kids probably look at it meaning the show's premise and say, That can't happen. I think iCarly is a little more realistic to what could happen, though still with fantastical appeal.
iCarly is being introduced into a marketplace with several other new series trying to captivate young viewers. They include Tak and the Power of Juju, an animated Nickelodeon series; Wizards of Waverly Place, a live-action Disney Channel series; and, later this season, Phineas and Ferb, a Disney animated series featuring the voice of Ashley Tisdale of High School Musical.
iCarly may benefit from the seemingly golden touch of Mr. Schneider, who has become the Norman Lear of children's television, at least in the way he uses one series as a platform to spawn another. A former teenage actor himself (at 41, he retains the huskiness of Dennis, the character he played on Head of the Class in the 1980s), Mr. Schneider has shown a keen eye for spotting talent.
Mr. Bell and Mr. Peck first appeared on The Amanda Show, which was created by Mr. Schneider and featured the actress Amanda Bynes. Ms. Bynes got her start on a series Mr. Schneider produced, a sketch comedy show called All That. That show also starred Kenan Thompson, who went on to Saturday Night Live.
With flashy graphics and plenty of talk about uplinks, iCarly has a high-tech feel. But for all his affection for his iPod and iPhone, Mr. Schneider said he was careful to make sure that the show was not swallowed up by its obvious geekiness.
We embrace technology, but the show also makes fun of getting too into it, he said. As his inspiration, Mr. Schneider counts Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek.
His writers would say, Don't we need to explain how the phaser works? Mr. Schneider said. And he'd say, No, you shoot them and people fall down.
The structure and story lines of iCarly also owe much to adult sitcoms, from I Love Lucy to Laverne and Shirley. The young ensemble includes Jennette McCurdy (Carly's Webcast sidekick), Nathan Kress (a neighbor with the technical wherewithal of Bill Gates) and Jerry Trainor, another Drake & Josh alumnus, here cast as Carly's older brother.
In person, Ms. Cosgrove has an ever-present smile and an obvious shyness that might make her seem an unlikely choice to preside over a series. But Mr. Schneider and her former co-stars say her bearing masks a talent, maturity and exuberance that make her well suited to the task.
Having first appeared in a Mello Yello commercial at 3, Ms. Cosgrove went on to land a major role at 9 in School of Rock, starring Jack Black. She played the smart girl in the front row who served as manager to the elementary-school band at the center of the film.
Mr. Bell and Mr. Peck have been unable to resist providing a little unsolicited advice to Ms. Cosgrove, whom they really regard as the little sister they're leaving behind as Drake & Josh ends and they go on to other things. (Mr. Bell recently completed an extensive tour to support his new album; Mr. Peck is co-starring in an independent film, The Wackness, with Ben Kingsley.)
Be a diva, Mr. Bell told her during the joint interview.
Remember: Showing up three hours late, Mr. Peck added, means you're three hours cooler than everybody else.
Then both actors turned serious. Continue being you, Mr. Peck said, to which Mr. Bell added: Don't let it go to your head.
A Review from USA TODAY
'iCarly' hopes to get kids tuning in and logging on
Updated 9/4/2007 2:41 PM
By Bill Keveney, USA TODAY
The Internet could help Nickelodeon's iCarly give new meaning to that old Hollywood chestnut: "Featuring a cast of thousands."
The new TEENick comedy (premiering Saturday, 8 p.m. ET/PT, then moving to Sundays at 7:30) offers children the chance to submit homemade videos that could be included in the show, a first for a scripted series, Nickelodeon says.
That interaction will come via Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove), an eighth-grader who stars in a webcast that will be featured on the show and, in a longer version, on iCarly.com. Viewer submissions uploaded to the site may make it into the webcast or the show.
"When I first heard about the idea, I thought it was so cool. If I were at home and watching TV, I'd want to send in a video," says Cosgrove, 14, who played little sister Megan on Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh.
Creator Dan Schneider, a veteran producer of shows aimed at children, says Cosgrove reflects widespread youth sentiment. When he produced All That in the 1990s, the top message-board comment was from children asking how to get on TV.
Now, technology can make that a reality, and iCarly has a format that invites user participation, he says. "Ever since the Internet hit, every pitch for a TV show says it has a Web element, but they really didn't offer anything other than the very obvious stuff, like behind-the-scenes photos and interviews," he says. In iCarly, "we have the convergence angle between TV and the Internet, and we have user-generated content."
The website is designed as if it were operated by the fictional teen, with no mention of Nickelodeon or Schneider's production company. Although that website will not be fully operational until Saturday, Schneider says, nearly 40,000 children already have registered on the site and 2,400 videos have been uploaded.
iCarly should be a good fit for the tech-savvy younger audience, which is quick to adapt to new technology, Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami says. "There's been sort of an explosion of a multiplatform, multitasking, really wired audience (in) the past 18 months," she says. "I think we've hit the tipping point of kids and how wired they are."
On the show, Carly, who lives with her twentysomething older brother and guardian, Spencer (Jerry Trainor), starts making a webcast that co-stars her friend, Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and is produced by Freddie (Nathan Kress), the boy next door who has an unrequited crush on Carly.
Each episode will come with a corresponding webcast, with varying amounts featured on the program. In the premiere episode, the girls use their webcast to ask viewers to submit videos. Schneider and his staff will pick the most entertaining submissions for the TV show and the webcast. For the pilot, the producers found a young man who could inhale milk and then squirt it from his eye sockets. In another episode, a man who combined beat-boxing and flute playing in a popular Internet video was brought on as a guest star.
The videos could also tie into the week's plot. "Let's say an episode that airs on TV is about dancing. The website could ask viewers to record themselves dancing," Schneider says.
Besides providing material for iCarly, the viewer submissions could give Schneider his next star.
"Don't think I haven't thought of that," he says. "It's this open (casting) call to all of America."
YOUTH IS SERVED IN SERIES AFTER SERIES
Dan Schneider learned something about making youth-oriented comedies by acting in one: the 1980s sitcom Head of the Class.
"Dan has a really magical touch with the older-kid, tween audience. He's got a knack for identifying great talent" Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami says. "I think he learned a lot through his own experiences."
iCarly is the sixth Nick series produced by Schneider, whose resume includes Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show and All That. He also was executive producer of WB's What I Like About You.
Schneider, 41, who played Dennis Blunden on the ABC classroom sitcom, says he has had success by casting young actors who have star power and talent but are not "overly polished." Many of them, including Amanda Bynes, Drake Bell, Josh Peck and iCarly's Miranda Cosgrove, have started as supporting characters on one show before moving into starring roles on another.
"All That begat The Amanda Show begat Drake & Josh begat iCarly," Schneider says of the casting. "It's become my method." Schneider says Cosgrove, who played the little sister on Drake & Josh, was a natural for the iCarly upgrade: "Miranda was so popular on Drake & Josh. She's very classy."
An article from the Washington Post
For the Web-Swinging Generation, 'iCarly' Is Just a Click Away
By Jennifer Frey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, September 8, 2007
In the cross-promotional, self-referential, multimedia universe that has become pop culture, "iCarly" -- a new television show/Web site/webcast from Nickelodeon -- seems almost inevitable. It's so meta, it'll make your head spin.
So let's start with the basics. Superficially, "iCarly" is simply another entry into the tween sitcom market, this one featuring an eighth-grader named Carly (played by Miranda Cosgrove) and her best friend, Sam (Jennette McCurdy), and their trials and tribulations navigating pre-adulthood.
In the series premiere tonight (at 8), video footage of Carly and Sam joking with each other (and making pointed fun of a teacher) accidentally winds up posted on a YouTube-ish Web site and becomes instantly popular, drawing 27,000 hits the first night it's up. Initially mortified (and fearing teacher retribution), Carly later decides to seize on the video's popularity and starts her own weekly webcast -- called iCarly, with a corresponding Web site, iCarly.com.
The impetus behind this decision is simple: Adults won't let kids be their own goofy selves, so Carly wants to create an outlet for video clips of other kids letting loose with their own weird/funny forms of self-expression. (Example: the kid whose talent is snorting milk until it comes out his eyeballs.)
The fictional webcast represents a significant portion of the television program, creating an Internet show-within-a-show. And, to make matters even muddier, Nickelodeon has created a real iCarly.com site that not only showcases segments from the TV show but also accepts videos from Nickelodeon viewers for potential use on future episodes.
In other words, kids can watch the television show, watch a webcast embedded in the television show, visit a Web site that overlaps with the webcast on the television show, and then, if ambitious, create a video to be sent to the Web site, in hopes of being featured on a future webcast embedded in the television show.
Want to lie down until you feel better?
As a television show alone, "iCarly" is another solid entry from tween guru Dan Schneider. The creator of "The Amanda Show," starring Amanda Bynes (who has moved into films), Schneider has a knack for spinning off his own characters into new vehicles. Drake Bell and Josh Peck (who play stepbrothers on the very popular Nick sitcom "Drake & Josh") started on the Bynes show; Cosgrove played Drake and Josh's little sister until that show recently wrapped up its run.
Cosgrove -- at least in the initial episode -- doesn't have the charisma of a Bynes or a Miley Cyrus ("Hannah Montana"), but she does have the best foil in the tween universe. As sassy, uninhibited Sam, McCurdy is already adept at slapstick and physical comedy. In behind-the-scenes footage provided with a preview copy of the show, McCurdy compares the Carly-Sam dynamic to that of Lucy and Ethel. A big stretch, of course, but the mere fact that a 15-year-old cites Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance as inspiration is, well, inspiring.
Nathan Kress plays Freddie Benson, the significantly shorter and seriously smitten boy across the hall, who has the tech knowledge (and equipment) to make the webcast happen. Jerry Trainor is Spencer, Carly's eccentric 26-year-old big brother, the show's goodhearted but basically idiotic grown-up (a staple in tween fare). The two live in an unrealistically upscale loft -- with an elevator! -- while their parents are on military assignment overseas.
Nobody breaks into spontaneous song or starts a band or is a secret pop star -- at least not yet -- but, otherwise, iCarly touches all the tween bases. And adds a few new ones: After all, this is a show whose preview copy came with its own kid-friendly webcam.
iCarly (30 minutes) premieres tonight at 8 on Nickelodeon with back-to-back episodes.
A Review from The Boston Globe
'iCarly' captures tweens as video stars
By Joanna Weiss, Globe Staff
September 8, 2007
Ever since the emergence of YouTube, the grown-up networks have done backflips trying to capture the buzz and spirit of Web video. Bravo has aired a weekly digest of fuzzy homegrown footage. CNN solicits user videos, as does VH1's "Acceptable TV." ABC News is currently airing "i-CAUGHT," a newsmagazine about Internet video. It all feels useful but a little desperate, as if TV executives are scrambling for a magic potion that will deliver TV to the future.
The impressive thing about "iCarly," the Nickelodeon tween sitcom that premieres tonight at 8, is how relatively natural it feels. On this show, requests for user video are woven into the plot; it's a sitcom that happens to require a stream of uploads. And it proves that a kids' network might be in the best position to make use of modern technology.
Tonight's pilot lays out the "iCarly" premise, which is probably a common teenage fantasy: Someone takes video of eighth-grade buddies Carly and Sam goofing around, then uploads it by mistake onto a site that sounds a lot like MySpace. Before long, tens of thousands of people have watched, and the girls have become a hit.
This is fortuitous, since Carly has a beef about the lineup of her high school talent show. After giving an earnest speech about how awful it is that adults control entertainment, Carly suggests that she and Sam produce a weekly webcast of their own. Before long, "iCarly" becomes a show within a show, as Carly and Sam joke, jump, shriek, show off their classmates' "freaky talents." Then they turn pointedly to the camera, encouraging viewers to send in clips. The implication: This means you.
The show's website, icarly .com, has details, as well as a list of guidelines (don't wear T-shirts with logos or bad words) and suggestions ("Show us a super-cool dance!"). It also refers quite a bit to release forms, a stark reminder that this is Viacom we're dealing with, and not some cheery 13-year-old who hasn't yet had her first kiss.
Make no mistake, kids, your from-the-ground-up efforts are serving the needs of a media giant. On the other hand, entertainment juggernauts usually get that way for a reason. And if "iCarly" succeeds - which would hardly be surprising - it will have a lot to do with its sitcom DNA.
The show follows the formula of most of the successful teenage fare on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. (The creator is Dan Schneider, who also created the Nickelodeon hits "Drake & Josh" and "Zoey 101.") The laugh track is relentless, the clothes and home decor ceaselessly adorable. The actors are appealing, even as they overact just so.
Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, has a sunny persona and ambiguous ethnicity. As Sam, Jennette McCurdy has moments of comic bliss. Freddie (Nathan Kress), a manic neighbor with a crush on Carly, is far less intriguing, but he's probably here to stay.
I'm hoping that when real kids start goofing for the camera, they'll also make for pleasant viewing. For "iCarly's" adult producers, the trick will be to choose videos that are earnest and true, and not the precocious work of wannabe auteurs. The actors in the pilot, who perform on Carly's show, do a decent job of channeling the right spirit. Take the guy who can snort milk up his nose and squirt it out of his eyes. Whatever medium he happens to appear in, it's the sort of thing you really have to watch.
An Article from the Baltimore Sun
Cosgrove Flourishes As 'iCarly' Star
By Jacqueline Cutler, Zap2itZap2It.com
February 7, 2008
On the rare occasion a child stars in a show, rolling eyes and shoulder shrugs usually pass for acting.
On those even rarer occasions when a child performs with aplomb, people ought to take notice. In the case of Miranda Cosgrove, Nickelodeon, tweens and teens have. They have watched her for four years since she showed up as Megan, the impishly demonic younger sister on "Drake & Josh."
Cosgrove stars in Nick's Saturday night hit "iCarly." The sitcom relies on the formula of a show within a show but gives it a modern twist: "iCarly" cleverly weaves in the Internet.
In the pilot, Carly (Cosgrove) and best friend Sam (Jennette McCurdy) record middle-school classmates auditioning for the talent show. Freddie (Nathan Kress), a neighbor who has an unrequited crush on Carly and serves as their technical adviser, records their reactions to classmates, then posts their comments online.
A Web show (inside a TV show) is born. And so is a star.
What's made "iCarly" such a big deal among tweens and teens is that they can submit video of themselves showing their talents, and these can wind up on the show. To give an idea of how wildly popular iCarly.com is, in December, the site's videos were watched 21.7 million times, says Jana Petrosini, senior web producer. Since the show and site launched in September, 56,352 kids have uploaded videos to the site. Since the site went live, it has received 65 million page views.
"We are not competing with the Internet; we are using the Internet," says Dan Schneider, creator and executive producer. "Many shows in television have tried to do a Web element, and usually it's dumb. 'iCarly' has set the bar in television and Internet. I don't think there is better example. That may be the most significant thing about it."
It may not be the most modest statement, but it is true. Of course the vehicle needed the right actress.
Cosgrove manages to be sassy without being obnoxious, poised while retaining a certain amount of uncertainty, which is pretty standard for someone of 14. A Californian, she comes across as shy and sweet but not a pushover. She giggles easily and defers questions about the show's direction to her elders.
"It's cool how the show throws in and incorporates the Internet," she says. "I have been on the Web site a few times."
Yet she doesn't pretend that any of her ideas are behind it. "It's mainly run by a few professional people," she says. "The characters have blogs, and I'm reading what my character says."
Carly is a self-contained teen who lives in Seattle with her wacky older brother, Spencer (Jerry Trainor, "Drake & Josh"). As with so many Nick shows, authoritative adults are nonexistent. Carly's parents are in the military and deployed. Spencer is old enough to be her guardian, even if he is nutty.
"That's Nickelodeon, because it's where kids rule," Trainor says. "Adult responsibility comes in smaller doses. In real life on the set, I try to be the fun-loving older brother."
With that comes privileges such as scaring the girls, which Trainor did while shooting the Halloween episode.
"There's a scene where they are frightened and run into the closet, which had three walls and no back," Trainor says. "I told Dan [Schneider] 'I am going to hide in there.' I was carving a pumpkin with a chain saw. It had no blade. And I went in and put on the wig and had the chain saw. They run screaming toward the closet, and I just fired up the chain saw, and they shot across the room, and Dan actually had his mini hand-held camcorder and was there filming it. It was epic! They went from fake scared to legitimate terror."
In true big brother fashion, Trainor cracks himself up over this memory.
Though he and Cosgrove both worked on "Drake & Josh," they didn't have scenes together because he played Crazy Steve, the psycho usher in the movie complex where Josh worked. Like others who work with Cosgrove, Trainor is impressed by her maturity.
"When you talk with her, she has such an understanding of the natural follies of life, and she doesn't take herself too seriously, and she sees the inherent ridiculousness of things," Trainor says. "I will make a buffoon of myself, and she will just chuckle. And that kind of maturity many people never learn that or they take things seriously to a fault, but she finds that balance."
Schneider recalls why he cast Cosgrove in "Drake & Josh."
"I knew I wanted a little sister who was somewhat torturous of Josh, but I didn't want the typical bratty nyah-nyah that we have seen a million times," he says. "I wanted someone cool and smart in the way she would torment them. Before I cast, I will talk with them. She seemed very together and very mature and cool. The word 'cool' comes to mind. I just felt I could write for her -- that she could be a terror to Drake and Josh."
Schneider says he deliberately steers away from overly polished young actors. Though Cosgrove started acting very young, she wasn't the typical kid actor. As can happen in Los Angeles, she was discovered. At 3, she was playing, singing and dancing around tables at a fair, when she was scouted. She modeled and worked in commercials, then landed a part in "The School of Rock."
It was around that time that she switched from public school to being home-schooled and tutored on set. The only activity she misses are dances, but pals invited her to one.
"It was a little corny because I am not the best dancer," she says. "When I first walked in, the other kids were whispering, and my friends couldn't care less. It wasn't too bad after a little while; everyone just forgot about it. I am going to crash all of their proms and stuff."
For now, Cosgrove wants the writers strike resolved so she can return to work. Like the show's audience, she loves the videos teens submit. The two that resonate with her are the boy who squirts milk out of his eyes and the girl who hangs 20 spoons from her face.
Incidentally, Cosgrove has a hidden talent: "I can shake my eyes," she says, giggling. "It's really weird. I think I have an extra eye muscle, it looks like everything's moving."
An article from The Chicago Tribune
'iCarly': Ruler of the tweens
Miley Cyrus' 'Hannah Montana' may get more attention, but the Nickelodeon show starring Miranda Cosgrove gets more young viewers.
April 29, 2009|By Denise Martin, TRIBUNE NEWSPAPERS
LOS ANGELES Everyone knows who Hannah Montana is. But perhaps only kids know she has been unseated as TV's reigning tween queen by one Carly Shay.
When no one was looking, Carly, the plucky 15-year-old star of the Nickelodeon comedy "iCarly," overtook Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana" -- and this year, "American Idol" -- in the ratings race for young audiences.
Miranda Cosgrove, who plays Carly, is still a name that draws quizzical looks while Miley Cyrus sells out multiplexes and concert stadiums. Nor is Cosgrove the whirlwind of controversy that Cyrus has been. On Sunday, Cosgrove posted to her Twitter page: "Just finished 5 more hours of math. At least this afternoon was fun! My first real driving lesson!" -- a far cry from Cyrus' recent bio (dating a 20-year-old, a Jonas brother and posing provocatively for Vanity Fair magazine).
And yet, in its second season, "iCarly," which follows the misadventures of three friends who produce a Web show about, well, nothing in particular, has grown into TV's No. 1 series among kids (ages 2 to 11) and tweens (ages 9 to 14), drawing an average 5.6 total million viewers to new episodes.
So how did Carly do it? For one thing, she has the Web working with her instead of against her.
By design, "iCarly" is the only kids' show plugged seamlessly into the online world, a playing field populated by blurbs of random, often outrageous comedy. Series creator Dan Schneider has been savvy enough to plot the "iCarly" Web segments as randomly as teens would their YouTube channels.
During the show-within-a-show Web casts, which the characters film in Carly's attic, Carly and her friend Sam (Jennette McCurdy) demonstrate making chicken soup in a toilet. They create trailers spoofing teen movies (you can actually find "Kelly Cooper, Terrible Movie" making the rounds on YouTube).
"When I pitched the show, [Nickelodeon executives] asked, 'What's the Web show?' I said, 'Whatever we want,'" Schneider said. "iCarly" is his fourth live-action show for the network; he previously created the hits "Zoey 101," "Drake & Josh" and "The Amanda Show." He got his start as an actor and was perhaps most memorable as Dennis Blunden in ABC's "Head of the Class" from 1986 to 1990.
"iCarly' is frantic, silly and never predictable. "I don't know who else besides us could say they've run over a microwave filled with toothpaste in a monster truck," said McCurdy.
Schneider has also been savvy about what the kids are watching and sharing online.
In February, "iCarly" devoted an entire episode to viral video star Lucas Cruikshank, who plays Fred, a hyper 6-year-old with temper problems, on his YouTube video channel, the site's most subscribed-to feed.
"I go online a lot, and I read stuff all the time from fans saying they love the weird stuff, the stuff that doesn't belong anywhere or make any sense," Schneider said.
To that end, he keeps the iCarly.com Web site stocked with online-exclusive videos to keep fans buzzing between new episodes. And, along with his actors, he is big on Twitter.
Which is not to say "iCarly" is simply a string of Web-inspired sketches and gags. Outside of her Web hosting duties, Carly is an overachiever in school, kind of neurotic and usually more mature than her older brother, Spencer (Jerry Trainor), who raises her while their dad is (permanently) stationed on a submarine in Europe. Sam is her brash, school-hating best friend, and Freddie (Nathan Kress) is their nerdy-cool Web show producer.
Further separating it from your average kids' sitcom, the series talks up to its audience, often appearing to forgo lessons learned in favor of laughs. In the Season 2 premiere, Carly and Sam decide to date the same boy, and as they fight over him toward the end of the half-hour, he stumbles backward, falling eight floors down an elevator shaft and winds up in a full body cast. It ends the squabbling -- and the episode.
Cosgrove might not incite frenzies yet, but her own star is rising: Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Films are developing "How Could You Do This to Me?" a comedy about a teen trying to keep her divorced parents from reuniting -- ironically (or not), a plot antithetical to Disney's 1998 remake of "The Parent Trap," starring Lindsay Lohan -- as a possible vehicle for the actress. A debut solo album for Sony is also in the works; she previously contributed four songs to the "iCarly" soundtrack.
As ambitious as it all sounds, Cosgrove is taking her time. Music is something "I did just for fun," she said. "I've been singing since I was little, but now I'm making a CD and writing songs. I never imagined I'd get to do any of it."
Does she aspire to the arenas Cyrus plays? She's open to it. "I mean, Miley's so successful. I'd love to be able to go on tour and perform like her. It just looks like so much fun."
An Article from The New York Daily News
Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove gets kicks from 'iCarly' fight sequence
By Cristina Kinon
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Updated Monday, August 3rd 2009, 10:51 AM
Miranda Cosgrove is happy to fly under the paparazzi radar, unlike some of her contemporaries.
The star of Nickelodeon's "iCarly" says that while she might attract the attention of a snapper or two at the mall, she's not interested in whipping up the kind of "Hannah Montana"/Miley Cyrus frenzy that lands that teen idol in the glossies.
"I don't think I'd want to be constantly followed by paparazzi," 16-year-old Cosgrove told the Daily News. "All of my friends are from elementary school - they're not in the business at all - so I'm usually just hanging out with them. I don't do anything too crazy."
Despite its stars' low-key personas, "iCarly" enjoys widespread critical acclaim and the ratings to back it up (almost 26 million total viewers tune in each week).
"Everything in its time," said executive vice president of Nickelodeon's original programming and development Marjorie Cohn of "iCarly's" success. "We pace our hits, and we just love this show so much. We're going to continue to make it and hopefully it will continue to be incredibly well-received."
Nickelodeon will unveil a new special one-hour episode of "iCarly" called "iFight Shelby Marx" set to air Aug. 8 at 8 p.m.
"iFight" features another Nickelodeon star, Victoria Justice, as a champion female fighter who challenges Cosgrove's Carly to a mixed martial arts fight.
The episode also stars "iCarly" regulars Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress and Jerry Trainor.
To prep for the ring action, Cosgrove says she and Justice worked with a stunt coordinator who taught them both boxing and wrestling maneuvers.
"We'd practice on mats, and we did this one thing where she took me down and I tried to scurry away but she grabbed my leg and pulled me back," Cosgrove said. "It was totally crazy and really fun. One of the takes, I just ran in circles with [Victoria] chasing me around."
Since "iCarly" debuted in 2007, its stars have grown up in front of the camera. The series' story lines have reflected that.
"I remember the first season, I was 13 and I never thought I'd have to kiss anyone on the show," said Cosgrove. "This season was the first time I got to do that and I remember reading the script and thinking, 'Oh my God.' I was freaking out. But I did it, and I think it's one of those things that once you've done it, it's not as nerve-racking."
Cohn says that "iCarly" will continue to explore the trials and tribulations of growing up, but it's always a delicate balance when it comes to teenagers.
"We always want to serve our core audience and make sure that the stories are emotionally appropriate without making the kids look ridiculous - like being 16 but acting like 12-year-olds," said Cohn. "You don't want to push a kid to where they're uncomfortable, but there's a lot of fodder for kids this age and I don't think we'll ever run out."
An Article from Rueters
'iCarly's' Miranda Cosgrove, anything but Despicable
By Zorianna Kit
LOS ANGELES | Thu Jul 8, 2010 4:03am IST
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "iCarly" star Miranda Cosgrove may be one of the most popular -- and powerful -- teenagers on TV, but like many kids her age, she still gets star struck in Hollywood.
Take for example, the 17-year-old's recent work voicing one of the roles in new, 3D animated movie "Despicable Me," which debuts in U.S. theaters on Friday.
Cosgrove ran into the film's co-star Julie Andrews in the parking lot of a studio and gushed over the A-list actress.
"My mom and I have watched all her movies, like 'Sound of Music' and 'Victor/Victoria,'" Cosgrove told Reuters. "I was really nervous because she's kind of like, the queen. But she turned out to be the sweetest person."
"Despicable Me" has Cosgrove voicing the role of one of three orphaned sisters who get adopted by the villain Gru (Steve Carrell) as part of a master plan to steal the moon with his army of minions.
What Gru doesn't count on is how much he'd fall in love with the girls and what they would do to his plans.
Jason Segal, Russell Brand, Will Arnett, Kristen Wiig and Andrews are among the all-star cast. For Cosgrove to be among them signals the power her name can lend to a project -- specifically in bringing in the young girl audience.
Cosgrove's show on Nickelodeon, now in its third season, is the network's top-rated program for kids. It revolves around Cosgrove's character Carly, a teen who has her own web show with best friends Sam and Freddie.
ONLY JUST BEGINNING
While 17-year old Disney Channel star Miley Cyrus is retiring her "Hannah Montana" character after the current fourth season ends, Cosgrove has no such plans.
Industry reports have put her salary as high as $180,000 per episode, which is as much as, or more, than many actresses on prime-time TV. Cosgrove recently signed a new deal said to be in the seven-figure range, and under that deal she will continue to shoot the show for an additional 26 episodes.
"I love making 'iCarly' and I love it when kids come up to me and say they love watching the show," she says. "So as long as people are enjoying it, I'd be willing to do it."
A native of Los Angeles, Cosgrove began working in commercials at age 3. Her earliest acting memory is starring opposite Jack Black in "School of Rock."
She first came to Nickelodeon in a role on the sitcom "Drake & Josh," playing Drake's little sister. When the series wrapped after four seasons, Cosgrove was tapped for the starring role in "iCarly," even singing the theme song, "Leave It All to Me."
This year, she released her first solo pop rock album, titled "Sparks Fly," from Columbia Records.
She said the album's first and current single, "Kissin' U," was written about a boy she liked. She confessed it was "awkward" telling him, but ultimately he was flattered.
Still, she said he's not her boyfriend, although she did go out on a few dates with him and liked him. She blushed. "It's very complicated in these teen relationships!"
Outside of her "complicated" love life and high-profile job, Cosgrove seems very much a regular teen. She wants to get her driver's license, but fell behind in math this past year. Now in lieu of driver's education, she's spending the summer being tutored in pre-calculus.
Even with her high-paying salary, she has yet to splurge on any big-ticket items. She'd like to buy a car when she learns to drive but is engaged in the age-old debate with her parents about what type of car that should be.
"My mom wants me to get a Prius, but I want a Range Rover Sport," said the actress.
Then she adds with a laugh: "My mom will probably win."
An article from National Public Radio
'iCarly': How Playing To Girls And Boys (But Not Adults) Helped Build A Hit
February 3, 2011 4:02 PM ET
Call it "disintermediation" or "cultural fragmentation" — but American culture is sliced up in so many ways that what's popular with one group can go virtually unnoticed by another. NPR explores how we came to live in "a culture of many cultures."
Today on All Things Considered, we continue NPR's series on what we're calling "Fractured Culture," which has touched on the finer points of everything from Final Fantasy to BET's 106 and Park. Today, Elizabeth Blair reports on a cable show whose niche appeal is based largely on a strictly temporary characteristic: its audience's age.
As Blair explains in the piece, Nickelodeon's iCarly is about a teenage girl with a couple of friends and an older brother who acts as her guardian. She has her own popular webcast, too — that's where the name "iCarly" comes from. And iCarly is popular enough that one special episode was the highest-rated cable telecast of 2010 that wasn't a football game on ESPN.
The show's producer, Dan Schneider, has been a big success at Nickelodeon, having also created a handful of other shows including the popular Drake & Josh, and he says that part of his secret is to avoid injecting many adults into the story, even in the traditional uptight-school-principal kind of way: "I don't bring adults onto the show and have them be a drag. Because I want kids to love the shows and the shows are about kids, and kids winning, and kids taking power over their lives and doing cool fun things."
Interestingly, while we're talking about how age may divide a generation of kids from their parents, note that Schneider played a totally different role in the pop culture of the moms and dads of his current target audience: he used to be an actor. While he was no movie star, he's a reasonably familiar face, having played (among other roles) a high school student in the sitcom Head Of The Class in the late '80s (he played Dennis, who sat in the back corner with the computer).
One of the things Elizabeth Blair mentions in the story is that as fractured as the show is by age — in that it holds little appeal for anybody who isn't either a kid or watching it one — its audience isn't as lopsided by gender as you might expect. Despite the fact that it's a show centering on a pair of girls, the audience is about 45 percent boys.
You may remember that this backs up something we talked about in this space all the way back when the people marketing Tangled seemingly took the position that they needed to play up the guy and downplay the princess, or boys wouldn't go see the movie. As I mentioned then, the age-appropriate boys I know have been perfectly happy to watch iCarly all day, alongside Drake & Josh and The Suite Life Of Zack & Cody and other traditionally boy-centered television.
Since the Fractured Culture series is all about what divides (and perhaps doesn't divide) audiences into smaller and smaller segments, we wanted to throw out an open question for you to consider: Is there other kids' entertainment that would seem to be aimed at girls that you find boys will watch, or vice-versa? Do you find that with kids, the tastes of boys and girls vary with any consistency, or are those variations swamped by the variations from one individual boy or girl to another? Obviously, some things are undoubtedly universal, but we were curious about what experiences you've had with what the kids in your lives choose for entertainment.
A Review from Newsday
'iCarly' review: series finale
By VERNE GAY
Updated November 21, 2012 2:14 PM
THE SHOW "iCarly"
WHEN|WHERE Friday at 8 p.m. on Nickelodeon
WHAT IT'S ABOUT The series finale! And it's called (what else, really) "iGoodbye." Carly (Miranda Cosgrove) hopes to be able to go to the very last father-daughter dance with Dad, but the never-before-seen Col. Steven Shay remains characteristically elusive.
The Air Force officer needs to be in Italy, but older bro Spencer (Jerry Trainor) can take his place -- until doorman Lewbert (Jeremy Rowley) sneezes on him. Spence gets very sick. Questions to be answered: Will fans ever meet Col. Shay? Will Gibby (Noah Munck) get his head back (long story)? Will Sam (Jennette McCurdy) get her prized bike? And why did Freddy's (Nathan Kress) mom buy him a phone the size of a book?
MY SAY As always, this isn't so much goodbye -- OK, igoodbye -- as "see you next season." Trainor's got a forthcoming Nick at Nite sitcom, while McCurdy and Ariana Grande (Cat from "Victorious") will star in a new show, and even Munck's Gibby has landed one.
Same old TV story: "iCarly" isn't merely a hit, but a factory. There is one name, however, conspicuously absent from the spinoff roll call, and the very name most responsible for this Nick triumph. Miranda Cosgrove, 19, isn't leaving for a movie career, or a music tour, or a fab new sitcom. She's left for college (USC). I know, right? A teen superstar with something as immodest, as unassuming as intellectual curiosity? Cosgrove has been in front of a camera pretty much continuously for nine years (since "School of Rock"), yet somehow, at this precarious juncture, avoided the self-immolation that consumed other fallen role models, like Miley Cyrus.
The show's success has been laid to many factors -- creator Dan Schneider's childlike exuberance, or the show's ties with the Internet, which were considered groundbreaking at launch in 2007. But I know the real secret: the sweet, gentle, shy, intelligent, unassuming style of its lead, which apparently was not an act after all.
BOTTOM LINE Fans (you know who you are) will laughandcry. Mostly the latter.
GRADE For fans: A. For everyone else: Never mind. (You just wouldn't get it.)
To watch some clips from iCarly go to http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=icarly+episodes&aq=0
For the Official Facebook page of iCarly go to https://www.facebook.com/iCarly/
For The Nathan Kress Fan Club go to http://www.fanpop.com/spots/nathan-kress
For a Review of iCarly go to http://www.commonsensemedia.org/tv-reviews/iCarly.html
To watch the opening credits go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfsQoHD3kw and for the full theme song go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dxv0BTWxEq4
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Keywords: The Cast of iCarly