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Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Nickelodeon

Here’s everything you need to know about the explosive new documentary
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Trigger Warning: This article discusses sexual assault and misconduct.

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Nickelodeon and Disney dominated the children’s media landscape. Disney rose in prominence with its original movies, while Nickelodeon secured its place in Kids TV by captivating young audiences with comedic gems like The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Victorious, and iCarly.

However, the narrative around child stars has evolved in recent years, particularly with concerning allegations surfacing about Dan Schneider, the producer behind some of Nickelodeon’s most iconic hits.

Watch Below: Quiet On Set: The Dark Side Of Kids TV

With the premiere of the new documentary Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, the conversation once again shifts to the uncomfortable truths and sometimes abusive dynamics lurking behind the scenes of children’s television. As we await its arrival on Australian shores, here’s everything you need to know.

Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV Promo
(Credit: ID)

What is Quiet on Set about? 

Quiet on Set is a tell-all docuseries featuring Nickelodeon cast and crew who share their personal stories about on-set experiences working alongside Dan Schneider in the late 90s and early 2000s. 

Directed by Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, the project has been years in the making and reveals alleged cases of sexism, racism and inappropriate behaviour between Schneider and his young cast members.

The series features a number of people who worked alongside Schneider on The Amanda Show, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat – including Drake Bell, who revealed for the first time to be the John Doe victim in Brian Peck’s child abuse case. Peck worked with Schneider as an acting and dialogue coach on All That and The Amanda Show.

“[We are] really proud of and excited by the fact that we’re bringing forward more than a dozen sources who have never shared their stories publicly before.” co-director Roberston said to Variety ahead of the show’s release.

Drake Bell and Dan Schneider
(Credit: Getty)

Where to Watch Quiet on Set? 

In the U.S. Quiet on Set is available to stream the documentary on MAX or rent the season on Amazon Prime. 

Now, the series is available to watch in Australia. Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV premiered on Binge in Australia on April 5 with a double episode and will continue on April 6 with the final two episodes. 

Stream it on BINGE from $10/mth, with a 7-day free trial. Subscribe Now

Dan Shneider and the cast of iCarly
(Credit: Getty)

Who is Dan Schnieder? 

Originally an actor, Dan Schnieder is an American writer and producer, who was the creative force behind some of the biggest Nickelodeon shows of the early 00s including Drake & Josh, iCarly and Victorious. 

It was these shows that launched the careers of a number of then-child actors including Amanda Bynes and Ariana Grande. 

In 2018 Nickelodeon announced it was parting ways with Schneider and his production company following an internal investigation, and rumours of the creator’s “hostile work environment” began emerging online as former stars of his shows publicly shared their experiences and video compilations of inappropriate jokes written by Schneider for his young cast circulated. 

Dan Shneider Youtube Response to Nickelodeon Documentary
(Credit: Youtube)

Has Dan Schnieder Responded to Quiet on Set? 

A statement from a person for Schneider did respond to Variety for comment in early March, reiterating that “Everything that happened on the shows Dan ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults, and approved by the network.” 

“If there was an actual problem with the scenes that some people, now years later are “sexualizing”, they would be taken down, but they are not, they are aired constantly all over the world today still, enjoyed by both kids and parents,” the statement continued, before reiterating the scenes were approved by numerous other adults and that both parents and caregivers were present on set at all time. 

“Unfortunately, some adults project their adult minds onto kids’ shows, drawing false conclusions about them,” the statement concluded. 

On March 19, Schneider himself posted a 19-minute video response to the docuseries on his own YouTube account. 

“Watching over the past few nights was very difficult,” he said. “Me facing my past behaviours, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret … and I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology.” 

In another segment of the video, he mentioned that any scenes from his shows deemed “inappropriate” or causing distress to someone should be removed. However, he reiterated his belief that no one had brought up such concerns to him during production. Schneider also became emotional, shedding tears as he recounted Brian Peck’s trial for sexually abusing Drake Bell when he was a child, emphasizing that he had not hired Peck.

Elsewhere in the video, he said any scenes from his shows that come across as “inappropriate” or are “upsetting somebody” should be cut out — but implied that no one raised concerns to him at the time. Schneider also broke down in tears while recalling Brian Peck’s trial for sexually abusing Drake Bell as a child, noting that he did not hire Peck.

Are they releasing more episodes of Quiet on Set?

The four-part series will release a fifth episode featuring Drake Bell alongside All That’s Giovonnie Samuels and Shane Lyons, Bryan Christopher Hearne and Hearne’s mother Tracey Brown.

It’s unclear when exactly the fifth episode, titled Breaking the Silence, will be released in Australia, however, it will air internationally on April 7.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit their website.

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