Thursday, June 03, 2021

Miranda Cosgrove Reveals How 'iCarly' Revival Will Address Jennette McCurdy's Absence

Somehow we got an iCarly revival and it felt so wonderful to see Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) and other familiar faces in the show's trailer. Plus, we were introduced to newbies like Harper (Laci Mosley) and Millicent (Jaidyn Triplett), who will be joining the characters' shenanigans in the 13-episode series.

Credit: Amy Sussman/KCA2021/Getty; Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

The trailer for the upcoming iCarly revival gives fans an idea of what to expect from the upcoming Paramount+ series, and they loved seeing some of their favorite characters back together. Unfortunately, not all of the characters are coming back for the revival, as Jennette McCurdy's Sam Puckett will not be part of the crew this time around.

Entertainment Weekly recently spoke to the main cast about what fans can expect from their characters in the revival. Of course, Cosgrove addressed the question on everyone's minds: will iCarly address the absence of Carly's best friend Sam, who recently revealed she quit acting?

"Definitely, we touch a lot on the whole relationship with Sam and where Sam's at in the pilot episode," she told EW. "And then we mention her a little bit throughout the season, so we'll definitely explain that on the show."

"And in real life we all really wanted Jennette to be part of the show, but she's just doing other things right now, so you'll get to see on Paramount+ on June 17th," Cosgrove said in a seperate interview with

Here's what the rest of the characters are up to in the series:

Carly and Harper
Carly's best friend and roommate, Harper, is adjusting to her new life as the child of a formerly wealthy family. An aspiring stylist, Harper gets to dress Carly in some out-there pieces (like the Björk swan dress we saw in the trailer). The show finds the two having already lived together for a few years; they initially became friends after they ran into each other, Mosley said.

"We have a very fun relationship where I kind of goad her into things and she slowly manipulates me into her schemes," the actress added.

Carly and Harper are in their 20s, and we'll get to watch how their love lives play out. Carly is suddenly single following a breakup with her longtime boyfriend and creative collaborator, which leads to her putting her energy into restarting her web series "iCarly" and going back out on the dating scene.

Confirming what we saw in the trailer with Carly's awkward date, Cosgrove said our protagonist is stuck in a "not so great dating life." For "messy queen" Harper, who is bisexual, Mosley also teased an "interesting and all over the place" dating life.

Carly's friend Freddie Benson (Nathan Kress) is in a "similar boat," as he's fresh off his second divorce when we catch up with him in the series. Cosgrove said the revival is "definitely exploring" Freddie and Carly's romantic tension, which was famously sealed with a kiss in the original show's finale, though the future of their relationship was left up in the air.

Kress said Freddie lost everything in the divorce and plus, he was "an utter failure in business" after his sojourn in tech, and the Silicon Valley start-up world was a bust. He's back living with his mom (Mary Scheer) in the same building as Spencer (Jerry Trainor), Carly, and Harper.

Surprisingly, Freddie's experiences have actually "made him more positive," and Kress said we'll see his character's growth throughout the series. We'll even see Freddie revisit his entrepreneurial "reflexes."

"That drive has never gone away," though when "he gets a taste of doing that again, he goes a little bit too far with it," Kress explained.

Also living with Freddie and his mom is his spunky and social media savvy stepdaughter Millicent, whom his ex-wife lets him adopt. Cosgrove said there will be an episode explaining the situation more in-depth.

Triplett said her character and Freddie have "a love-hate relationship," and she will warm up to her new stepfather throughout the show. The actress also described Millicent as "up to something; she's a bit suspicious," as the youngster feels a sense of competition between her and Carly.

"She secretly wants to have her own web show and she secretly wants Carly's fandom and she wants to take her down," Triplett said. "It's like, 'I'll be sweet to you sometimes. But I might manipulate you, Carly.'"

Out of everyone, Carly's older brother Spencer ended up the wealthiest. The wacky artist was always a kid at heart, and Trainor revealed that Spencer's success didn't come from his own artistic genius, at least not intentionally.

"He's a moron, okay? An idiot and he lucked into his wealth," he said. "One of his sculptures caught on fire, spontaneously, and people thought it was this powerful statement and they thought he was a genius. And so now he's just like, 'Don't tell anybody.' But yeah, now he has a falcon named Jericho ... When you get money, you get a falcon."

With everybody else dating in the series, don't think Spencer is missing out on the fun. In fact, Trainor said his character goes on "next-level dates," which he hinted at with only one ominous-sounding word: "Titanic." Take from that what you will.

"Leave It All to Me," the track heard in the trailer, is the same version used for the Nick series' theme song. Cosgrove said she thought about rerecording it but decided on sticking with the original.

Trainor also gave fans a little production update, saying that they have three more episodes to shoot out of the 13 ordered. One thing the actor really wants to get to is finally debuting Spencer's friend Socko, who was only mentioned in the original. And Trainor has his dream casting choice — Charlie Day from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.

Similarly, Cosgrove said she "definitely" wants to find a part for her pal Olivia Munn, whom she recently featured on her Instagram, along with Amanda Cerny and Esther Povitsky, who are both involved in the series. Cerny (The Babysitter: Killer Queen) appears in an episode, while Povitsky (Dollface) serves as a producer.

If you didn't know that iCarly will now show a more grown-up side of the characters, Spencer drinking beer and saying "damn it" in the trailer probably clued you in. Trainor is excited for the now 20-somethings who grew up watching iCarly to see how the characters have evolved, and teased a mature yet fun, "familiar but new" revival.

"The last couple years have been rough, and we just want to give people some laughs for 30 minutes," he continued.

It's good to know that Sam is still a part of the iCarly world, and we'll be interested to hear what she's been up to all these years later.

McCurdy recently revealed on her Empty Inside podcast that she retired from acting a few years ago, and said it was always something that was difficult for her.

"I quit a few years ago to try my hand and writing and directing—it's going great," McCurdy joked. "I quit a few years ago because I initially didn't want to do it. My mom put me in it when I was 6 and by sort of age, I guess, 10 or 11, I was the main financial support for my family. My family didn't have a lot of money, and this was the way out, which I actually think was helpful in driving me to some degree of success."

McCurdy said that "always, always, always, acting was difficult for me," and that "Once I started to get the nerves under control was when I started to actually get some traction, but I ultimately quit after my mom passed away because with her death kind of died a lot of her ideas for my life, and that was its own journey, and a difficult one for sure."

McCurdy would address a lot of this in a one-woman show she did after her mother passed, but that pretty much closed the book on acting for her.

The first three episodes of iCarly will debut Thursday, June 17, on Paramount+ in the U.S. and Canada, and the following 10 episodes will drop weekly on the platform. The series will premiere in Latin America, the Nordics, and Australia later this summer.

Originally published: June 03, 2021.

Original source: People.

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‘Danger Force’ Casts First Openly Trans Teen

Eighteen months after revealing publicly that he transitioned about two decades before, Nickelodeon star Michael D. Cohen launched the Trans Youth Acting Challenge in December to help trans and nonbinary youth break into the business. He received 200 applications for 15 spots in a virtual master class he teaches.

And now, for the first time, Cohen reveals that one participant, 13-year-old trans actor Sasha Cohen (no relation) has been cast on his series Danger Force along with his twin sister Natalie, Variety reports. The teens will appear on the June 19 episode, "Manlee Men," which Cohen also directed.

“I want Sasha to see his own power as an actor and as a human,” Cohen tells Variety. “I want him to feel proud of his work and feel real confident in himself in every aspect and to know that he will help change kids’ lives by being the first kid of trans experience on Nickelodeon in live action.”

Sasha tells Variety: “I had never felt comfortable about who I am, and I always thought that I would never play a transgender role. But there are so many kids out there who need to see someone like them — a role model who has the ability to put themselves out there.”

Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President (EVP) of programming and content strategy Paul DeBenedittis praised Sasha’s casting. “It has long been Nickelodeon’s mission to be a home for all kids, and to authentically represent them in their full diversity,” he says. “This episode of Danger Force ultimately tells a relatable story of friendship, openness and trust, through the lens of sitcom.  We’re incredibly proud of it and of everyone involved.”

Cohen’s initiative has blossomed into a private Facebook page for parents and kids. Casting directors are also turning to him for leads. “I was talking to a casting director the other day who is looking for a trans kid for a commercial for a major director,” Cohen says. “We always ask the parents first, but we were able to give him a list of 75 young actors.”

Next up is a similar program for trans television writers. “We’re focusing on university students and grads to find stellar writing talent of trans experience so that we can have a database for producers and networks to draw from,” he says. “I have been in conversations with a number of places, including The Writers Guild Foundation, and they are excited to be involved in the initiative.”

More Nick: Nickelodeon Renews 'Danger Force' and 'Young Dylan'; Orders More Episodes of 'Side Hustle'!

Originally published: June 02, 2021 at 18:39 BST.

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Paramount Plus to Launch New Low-Cost Essential Tier on Monday, June 7

Paramount+, the recently relaunched streaming service from ViacomCBS, has announced that it'll be introducing a new low-cost plan on Monday, June 7!

Beginning June 7th, there will be two plans: $4.99 a month Essential plan, with commercials but without access live access to your local CBS station, and $9.99 a month Commercial Free premium without commercials, and with live access to your local CBS station.

The introduction will mean the current "Limited Commercials" plan ($5.99/month or $59.99/year) will be discontinued on June 7.

Subscribers will still be able to save a little money by paying for a year up front: $50 and $100 for the basic and premium plans, respectively.

Although the basic plan doesn't give subscribers access to NFL games on the live CBS affiliate channels, NFL on CBS and UEFA Champions League games will be available on the cheaper plans via dedicated feeds. The CBSN national news channel is also included in the basic tier.

If you prefer the current commercial option with the live channel included, which is currently $5.99/month or $59.99/year), then you can stay signed up and continue to pay that rate. (Or if you want to get in on it, sign up before June 7th.) As long as you don't cancel, you'll continue to keep access to your local CBS affiliate over the streaming service.

Paramount+ brings you a mountain of entertainment, including many of your favorite Nickelodeon shows and movies, as well as brand new exclusives, such as Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run, and the freshly launched new Rugrats series, as well as the upcoming iCarly revival, premiering June 17, and Star Trek: Prodigy. New customers can try the service for free at

Original source: Android Police.

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Vans and Skateboarder Mike Gigliotti Reinterpret SpongeBob SquarePants

Vans and Skateboarder Mike Gigliotti Reinterpret SpongeBob SquarePants

The Vans x SpongeBob x Mike Gigliotti collection will be available June 4.

Vans, the original action sports footwear and apparel brand, has teamed up with Los Angeles-based artist/illustrator and skateboarder Mike Gigliotti to deliver a new footwear and apparel collection launching June 4, 2021. The collection applies a gritty, skate-inspired aesthetic to a beloved classic: Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob SquarePants.

The world’s No.1 skateboarding brand has teamed up with the world’s No. 1 sponge for a simplified, black and yellow palette, led by Vans Skate Slip-On, Skate Old Skool and Skate Sk8-Hi. Fans will immediately recognize Gigliotti’s legendary drawing style across all three silhouettes. Rather than re-drawing SpongeBob, Gigliotti maintained the original character while adding his own art and doodles to a newly created underwater world of skateboarding.

“Growing up drawing all the time and watching cartoons, I loved the cartoons with weirdos,” said Gigliotti. “SpongeBob is exactly that, in a good way! He’s hilarious and so are all the characters on the show. Being able to work together with Vans and SpongeBob is special to me— it’s a combination of my favorite things: skateboarding and drawing.”

The collection features Gigliotti’s drawings across the quarter panels of the Skate Sk8-Hi and Skate Old Skool, as well as the toe vamp and heel counter of the Skate Slip-On. A barbed wire and chain stretch across the Old Skool’s Sidestripe and the Sk8-Hi’s sidewall. Built extra tough, Vans Skate Classics feature Duracap for added flexibility and reduced hot spots, resulting in an essential fit for maximum durability where skaters need it most. Vans’ best-in-class PopCush energy-return footbeds snap back and won’t pack out, keeping legs feeling fresh to skate longer. Two-part foxing features a heavier knurl texture on toe bumpers, increasing durability and grip and nodding to a heritage look.

The collection also features Gigliotti’s signature doodles, including flames, flowers, barbed wire and chains overlaid across the original, untouched SpongeBob character, on several apparel pieces, including Vans Jump SS tee in black. A Skull LS tee in white and pullover in slate gray carry over Gigliotti’s skull drawing from the footwear collection, and barbed wire and chain along the sleeves.

Pulling artistic inspiration from skateboarding, classic movies and typography, Mike Gigliotti’s favorite medium is a scrap piece of paper and felt tip marker. Mike can typically be found drawing on anything in sight, and if you ask nicely, he may even draw on your shirt, pants, shoes or hat. Gigliotti has worked with Vans and other notable skate brands in the past, collaborating on a wide range of products with his original drawings.

The Vans x SpongeBob x Mike Gigliotti collection will be available June 4, 2021, online and at select Vans retail locations. For more information, visit

The collection will make up one of three new SpongeBob ranges Vans will release that day, including one designed by New York designer Sandy Liang.

About Vans

Vans®, a VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, is the original action sports footwear, apparel and accessories brand. Vans® authentic collections are sold in 97 countries through a network of subsidiaries, distributors and international offices. Vans® has over 2,000 retail locations globally including owned, concession and partnership doors. The Vans® brand promotes creative self-expression in youth culture across action sports, art, music and street culture and delivers progressive platforms such as Vans Checkerboard Day, Vans Park Series, Vans Triple Crown of Surfing®, Vans Custom Culture, and Vans’ cultural hub and international music venue, House of Vans.

Vans, “Off The Wall” Since ’66

Follow Vans on Spotify Here!

Watch SpongeBob SquarePants on Nickelodeon and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge On The Run & Kamp Koral: SpongeBob's Under Years on Paramount+!

Listen to The SpongeBob Musical here!:

SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom - Rehydrated is now available on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices!

CALLING ALL GOOFY GOOBERS! (ROCK!) Are ya ready for a deep dive into the world of SpongeBob SquarePants? The SpongeBob YouTube channel is THE PLACE for all fan-favorite SpongeBob moments! We’re serving up everything from legendary scenes to remixes of classic songs to deep dives into Bikini Bottom lore. Be sure to check back every week for Music Mondays, Wumbo Wednesdays, and Flashback Fridays! Subscribe now at!

Shop SpongeBob!: - SpongeBob face masks now available, with ALL proceeds going to charity!

Press release via Shop-Eat-Surf.

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What It Was Really Like to Be a Contestant on ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’

If you were a kid in 1993, you most likely spent a tremendous amount of time watching Nickelodeon shows like GUTS and Double Dare.

That year, Nickelodeon premiered a new game show that it hoped would be a mouthguard-wearing mashup of Jeopardy! and the Indiana Jones movies. Legends of the Hidden Temple was the kids network’s fourth game show, and each episode was based around historic legends and an associated artefact (The Electrified Key of Benjamin Franklin, the Enormous Nose Ring of Babe the Ox) that had to be recovered from one of the title temple’s 12 rooms. The show also involved a talking stone head named Olmec, chambray-and-khaki-clad host Kirk Fogg (both of whom returned for Nickelodeon's TV movie in 2016) and the kind of obstacle course that required both elbow pads and mesh water shoes. For NickHeads in the UK, think of it as a mashup of CITV's Fun House and Finders Keepers.

Nickelodeon produced 120 episodes of Legends of the Hidden Temple during its original run, each being filmed at Nickelodeon Studios at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida,  and it feels like the reruns have never not been on the air, with the series airing in repeats on Nick GAS (Games and Sports for Kids), and now available in its entirety on Paramount+.

A not-for-kids version of the show was supposed to happen on Quibi, the the short-form streaming platform shuttered not long after launch. That idea has recently been resurrected by The CW though, and it’s currently casting for an all-adult Hidden Temple reboot.

“The audience asked for it,” Scott Stone, who co-created and executive produced the OG show, told VICE. “Of all the shows I have done, Legends is THE show I get asked about the most, particularly with millennials.” 

Stone, whose company is also behind the reboot, was politely evasive when asked whether Fogg or Dee Bradley Baker, the voice behind Olmec’s oversized head, would be coming back for the new version. He also didn’t give too much away about the show’s new format or what kind of challenges the next-gen Silver Snakes and Blue Barracudas—yes, the teams will still be the same—would have to face.

To celebrate the new series, VICE reporter Jelisa Castrodale recently reached out to Fogg and three former contestants, to find out what happened during their auditions, what playing (and hosting) the game was like, and what kind of prizes they shoved in their suitcases before they left Orlando. 

“I sometimes think I blacked out the entire audition. I was really excited to be in a studio and I was just hyped up the whole time with excitement,” writer and comedian Ely Kreimendahl told Castrodale. “There was a bunch of academic testing, because there’s that weird reading-comprehension segment, where you hear the Legend for like one second and then you have to answer questions about it. There were some language comprehension tests that felt very much like school, and then there was physical testing like obstacle courses similar to what they do on the show.”

Kreimendahl said that she left the audition feeling...not-great about her chances of being cast in the show. “I was kind of an awkward kid, and if you saw my episode, my braces—it was at the height of before I got cuter,” she said. “I was very hormonal and weird looking, and I do remember seeing those blessed adorable 12-year-old girls running around and thinking ‘Oh, they probably want those girls with the shiny ponytails.’”

When the contestants were called back to Nickelodeon Studios to actually film the show, they spent most of their time waiting in a room filled with other nervous tweens, because multiple episodes were filmed in a single day. “We all got there in the morning, and they just called people’s names off and paired us up with our partners,” Derrick Kujak, a Season Two contestant said. “They sat everyone in a huge room and said ‘Some of you will be here for an hour or two, and some of you will be here all day long.’”

The contestants met their partners on the day of filming, and that was just as uncomfortable as you’d imagine for a bunch of pre-teens. “It wasn’t like ‘Hey I’m coming with my friend, and we want to be on the show together,’” Matt Resnick explained. “You were just given your shirt, told ‘This is your teammate,’ and then you went on the show. I was 12 or 13 and she was a girl I didn’t know, so I was super shy about it. There was no lasting friendship [after the show].” 

The filming of the show went slowly. “They were long and challenging days,” Fogg said. “The first season was particularly challenging, as we were a new show, and we were scrambling to get it up on its feet. We typically did four shows a day and shot it out of order, so all of the moat crossings were first, then the Steps of Knowledge, the Temple Games, and finally the Temple Run. By the end of the day, I was completely exhausted. I’d never hosted a show, and this being a very complicated production, I was completely overwhelmed.” 

Sometimes the contestants got overwhelmed too, in the worst possible way. Fogg confirmed that the well-circulated internet rumor about a female contestant puking all over the Pit of Despair wasn’t just a rumor. “She had gotten to the Pit—which comes early in the run—and I believe she got caught on the bottom with all of the pit balls,” he said. “She wasn’t tall so she was just kind of swimming in them...I could see she was distraught, then she suddenly threw up. We were all kind of stunned, and the show was stopped. She broke down in tears, and we ran over to help. Give her credit though, she composed herself while the crew cleaned the pit.” 

When it came to actually playing the game, Kreimendahl and Kujak both had better days than Resnick. “We were eliminated in the first round,” he sighed. “If you got eliminated in the first round, they let you go on again, or something like that. This sounds terrible, but my partner wasn’t the best, so I was like ‘Alright, if we’re going back on, I need to try to elevate us a little bit.’ On the next show, the first round was something like jumping on a raft and going across a pool, and I remember really getting a running start, jumping on the raft...and just completely sliding off. Two shows, first round, both times. My extra bravado just ruined us.” 

Kujak and his partner made it to the Temple Run, where they had to try to find The Lost Love Letter of Captain John Smith. Before filming, they were given time to look over a map of the temple complex, which means they didn’t have to rely on Olmec’s completely unhelpful directions, which were always like “You could run into the Room of the Three Gargoyles, press the last silenced tongue, and then choose your next path up the hidden staircase into the Tomb of the Ancient Kings, or down the fire escape into the Sweltering Parking Lot of Despair.” 

Kujak was taken out by a Temple Guard, so the Red Jaguars’ chances rested on his partner’s slim shoulders. “She made it past where I did, but she struggled [to put the snakes in] Medusa’s head,” he said. “She just could not get it to work, and it was super frustrating because it just wasted all of the time that we had left.” She was ultimately caught by another Temple Guard—you can hear her scream when she sees him—and instead of a grand prize trip to the Krystal Cancun resort, they each got a remote control car. 

“I wanted [all of the contestants] to win,” Fogg said. “I found myself really rooting for someone a little extra if I’d learned a heartfelt backstory, challenge in their lives, or if they’d really gone through the wringer during their day of competing.” (He added that the freaking Silver Monkey puzzle was “sneaky hard” for the contestants to put together.) 

Kreimendahl was eventually knocked out of the game by two Temple Guards, which she said were “so much more terrifying” in real life than they looked on screen. And when she recently re-watched a clip of her episode, she was surprised by how culturally insensitive they looked. 

“They’re dressed in weirdly indigenous or native costuming,” she said. “It seems so inappropriate and harmful looking at it now, but there was obviously no conversation about that in the 1990s.” (Scott Stone suggested that the production team was already aware of that. “We are dedicated to equity, diversity and inclusion both on- and off-screen and are sensitive and attuned to the cultural changes that have taken place since the 90s,” he said.)

Despite his disappointing run on Hidden Temple 1.0, Resnick said he’d probably be willing to give the new show a try. “I really regret not winning,” he said, sighing deeply. “I’m totally kidding. But it was a great experience, and I’d 100 percent audition to go back on as an adult.” 

Casting is currently underway for The CW's new Legends of the Hidden Temple series. For more information and to apply to be a contestant, visit

There is currently no word if Space Camp will be a grand prize on the new iteration.

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