Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Nickelodeon To Part Ways With TV Series Producer Dan Schneider

Nickelodeon has ended its long relationship with one of its most prolific series creators, Dan Schneider.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our long-time creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider’s Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal,” Nickelodeon said in a statement to Deadline. “Since several Schneider’s Bakery projects are wrapping up, both sides agreed that this is a natural time for Nickelodeon and Schneider’s Bakery to pursue other opportunities and projects.

“Dan and his Schneider’s Bakery team have created a string of lasting, groundbreaking hits over the years including iCarly, Drake & Josh, Victorious, Kenan & Kel and the current number-one hit show on Nickelodeon, Henry Danger, the network continued. “We thank Dan and his Schneider’s Bakery producers, executives and social media team for their immeasurable contributions to Nickelodeon, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors. And Dan and Schneider’s Bakery are proud of the work they did together with Nickelodeon and will always remain big fans of the network.”

The decision comes as Nickelodeon has opted to cancel Schneider’s latest series, Game Shakers after three seasons. It is thought that the network still intends to move forward with a fifth season of Schneider’s remaining live-action Nick series, Henry Danger. (He also has the animated The Adventures of Kid Danger, whose future is unclear.)

Schneider has been one of the most prolific and successful children’s television producers of the last three decades. He began his career as an actor, playing Dennis on the 1980s ABC sitcom Head of the Class. There he began writing with another actor on the show, Brian Robbins, who went on to found AwesomenessTV and is now a top executive at Paramount.

Schneider's career at Nickelodeon has been continuous since 1993. He started as an executive producer on All That, which he created with Robbins, and later Kenan & Kel, before creating a string of hit series for the network, starting in 1999 with The Amanda Show, and continuing with Drake & Josh in 2004, Zoey 101 in 2005, iCarly in 2007, VICTORiOUS in 2010, Sam & Cat in 2013, Henry Danger in 2014, Game Shakers in 2015, and most recently, his first animated series The Adventures of Kid Danger, which debuted in January 2018. Schneider also continued working with Amanda Bynes on the WB sitcom What I Like About You - which aired on Nickelodeon UK - in 2002.

Schneider also wrote, co-produced and featured in Nickelodeon Movies' iconic '90s theatrical film Good Burger in 1997. Kel Mitchell, who starred in All That, Kenan & Kel, Good Burger and, more recently, Game Shakers, recently revealed that meetings for a Good Burger sequel had taken place.

Game Shakers features two female lead characters who run their own business. The series Game Shakers tells the story of Babe (Cree Cicchino) and Kenzie (Madisyn Shipman), and their friends Triple G (Benjamin Lil P-Nut" Flores, Jr.) and Hudson (Thomas Kuc), who create a successful gaming company in Brooklyn, New York, with help from a superstar rapper named Double G (played by Nick alum Kel Mitchell). Together, this crew makes games that lead them on outrageous adventures. The games, Sky Whale, OctoPie and Nasty Goats, all reached number one among free apps in the App Store Kids category.

“After three seasons and 63 episodes, Nickelodeon has wrapped production on its live-action series Game Shakers,” Nickelodeon said in a statement to Deadline. “We are proud of the show’s success, and our dedicated and talented cast and crew. Premieres will continue to air throughout 2018.”

Schneider has been Nick’s top creator/showrunner of live-action comedy hits for the past two decades. He is credited in part with discovering young actors such as Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Josh Peck, Jamie Lynn Spears, Victoria Justice, and Ariana Grande, who were cast as leads of his series. Schneider first-ever Kids’ Choice Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nickelodeon 2014 Kids' Choice Awards. Peck, Justice, and Grande were among the stars on hand to pay tribute to Schneider at the show.

It is speculated that Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert’s (Austin & Ally) new Nick series, Cousins for Life, will be moving into its production space in the Nickelodeon-owned Burbank studios where Schneider’s series had been based exclusively for the past few years. Schneider worked with Kopelow and Seifert during the '90s on Nickelodeon's All That and Good Burger. The team hasn't worked together since, likely due to a falling out. Sources have told Deadline that Schneider objected to the prospect of having to share the office and production space with the non-Bakery show.

Deadline links the exit to “multiple complaints” about Schneider’s behavior, including surrounding an incident a meeting last week, when Nickelodeon executives indicated to him that Game Shakers was not getting renewed for a fourth season. Sources say that Schneider’s reaction was, at least in part, due to the fact that Game Shakers was about to wrap production on its third season the following day with a cliffhanger season finale, which would leave fans without closure. Game Shakers held its season three wrap party on Thursday 22nd March 2018.

Schneider has also been plagued with rumors of inappropriate behavior, from an apparent ‘foot fetish’ that is displayed in his series and social media posts to a “well documented temper issue”, according to Deadline. Both of these allegations are unsubstantiated at this time.

Update (3/28): Industry sources have told Page Six that Schneider took a $7 million payout to leave. Meanwhile, a source close to Schneider strongly denied he had been inappropriate with his younger stars, but did admit of his temper, “He could be an a - - hole.” A spokesperson for Schneider didn’t comment. Reps for Nickelodeon declined to respond when asked if there had been any complaints against Schneider.

A source has also claimed that Schneider has been the victim of false online smears, and that his exit comes amid a change of management at the network, a disagreement over the ending for Game Shakers and a fight over studio space, as mentioned above.

Update (5/6): Dan Schneider has listed his longtime former home above Encino, Calif., at a hair less than $2.2 million. The prolific producer, who parted ways with Nickelodeon earlier this year amid rumors of abusive behavior, purchased the unassuming 1970s ranch-style residence in 1999 for $915,000. There are five bedrooms and 4.5 bathrooms in close to 4,600 square feet. The former teen actor and his food-blogger wife Lisa “Hungry Girl” Lillien now resides in a more than 13,000-square-foot vaguely French Country behemoth in the guard-gated Hidden Hills, Calif., enclave they scooped up in early 2016 for $9 million. More on Variety.

Thank you. I love you all.

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Updated: Tuesday 27th March 2018 at 19:38 BST.

H/T: ToonZone Forums members @jaylop97, DynamicVirgo95; Additional source: TheWrap, Nickandmore!, IMDb, Variety, Anime, Mangá e TV, PEOPLE, Bustle, Hot New Hip Hop, Daily Mail Online.

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