A trailer for Investigation Discovery’s docuseries Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV has revealed new allegations against prolific Nickelodeon showrunner Dan Schneider.
The four-part series investigates the career of Schneider, who created Nickelodeon hit programs like The Amanda Show, What I Like About You, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat, and who helped launch the careers of Kenan Thompson, Amanda Bynes, Victoria Justice, Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy and others.
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“Working for Dan was like being in an abusive relationship,” a former employee who is not named claims in the trailer. “There was a toxic environment. It made me trust people less,” another Nickelodeon alum alleged.
The ID series cites Schneider’s upbeat kids TV output for shaping the popular genre for a generation. But Quiet on Set, directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, also alleges that behind the scenes, underage stars and crew were treated inappropriately.
Nickelodeon and Schneider, a former child actor turned producer, parted ways in mid-2018 after a 25-year working relationship. The decision to not extend Schneider’s deal at the studio also followed an investigation by then-parent ViacomCBS that claimed abusive behavior by the prolific TV creator toward people he worked with on set.
“Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our longtime creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider’s Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal,” the Viacom-owned cable network said in a statement at the time.
A representative for Schneider responded to the Quiet on Set trailer with a statement obtained by THR that argued how often-vulnerable child actors — due to being successful and key earners for their families — were protected on set. “Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not. He understood what they were going through and he was their biggest champion. The fact is many of the kids on these shows are put in the untenable position of becoming the breadwinner for their family and the pressure that comes along with that. Add on top of that the difficulties of growing up and having to do so under the spotlight while working a demanding job, all as a child. That is why there are many levels of standards, executives, lawyers, teachers and parents everywhere, all the time, on every set, every day. However, it is still a hard place to be a kid and nobody knew that better than Dan.”
But the end of Schneider’s working relationship with Nickelodeon has not stopped former employees from coming forward with darker allegations in the ID docuseries. The Quiet on Set series, produced by Maxine Productions and Sony Pictures Television — Nonfiction in association with Business Insider, will premiere across two nights on ID, on March 17 and March 18.
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