iCarly: Nickelodeon luvs UGC
To that end Nickelodeon has picked up iCarly (13×30′), a new live-action comedy series from producer Dan Schneider (All That, Drake & Josh) that stars Miranda Cosgrove (the little sister on Drake & Josh) as a tween who winds up as a celebrity based on her own web show, which she produces and webcasts from the third floor of her house. Viewers will be invited to submit their own content to iCarly, which could wind up appear on the series or the corresponding webcast. The series heads into production later this month and is set to premiere in September 2007.
Oh to be a muffin in Schneider’s Bakery— a gourmet chef of tween entertainment.
It’s funny to me at least– I think I’ve kinda been watching Dan Schneider’s career (since half of it, i was watching as a clueless kid). From Better off Dead to Dennis in Head of the Class (the sweet potato in my young media diet), and then on to make such GREAT kids projects as Good Burger (Kel Mitchell where are you?!), All That, Josh & Drake, Zoey 101, etc (that etc including The Amanda Show, which I wasn’t so fond of despite offering young Josh & Drake & Amanda Bynes).
The man MUST be brilliant.
Because (according to Cynthia Turner’s Cynopsis for today) he’s cleverly found a way to implement KID-BASED USER GENERATED CONTENT in a comedy-sitcom for Nickelodeon, or on an easily downloadable webcast. Zoey101 (great show for tween’s innocent love & friendship), starring little Miss Jamie-Lynn Spears herself (her performance = mixed review from me, but she’s getting better), had a really good podcast on itunes. Mr. Dan was the host (you can actually hear his voice a lot in the programs he directs/produces), with his actors (minus Ms. Spears) sitting around him talking about inside jokes, the latest episode, what they think about their characters, etc. It’s the next best thing to watching a special on a DVD with the actor/creator’s comments.
As for the little star of iCarly, Miranda Cosgroves, will she be able to pull of a different character than her Snotty, Know-it-all performances in Josh & Drake and School of Rock? And what does this mean for Josh & Drake?! There’s a D&J movie currently in production in New York, but in Nickelodeon’s list of returning shows with new episodes, J&D were not listed. Does this the end of our vaudevillian pair? Tragedy. They ARE getting a little older, and Drake seems to be chasing that music dream (he had a video on MTV’s TRL a few months back, I fell out of my seat when I saw it). I just hope they manage to be successful without the negatives of Hollywood. One can hope.
I heartily look forward to watching iCarly. I don’t have ANY doubt that Mr. Dan won’t pull this off successfully. His track record speaks for himself. It’s great to see User Generated Content used in an exciting, substantial way. I must say, Star Farm Productions’ cartoon, Edgar & Ellen, has a similar method of using UGC– kids help ‘inspire’ 10% of the cartoon based on feedback they provide through the web. Yay for helping kids connect with their own entertainment!!!
P.S. Shameless Plea: Anyone have any tickets/”in’s” for the Kids Choice Awards? Eternal gratitude doesn’t even scrape the surface of my appreciation.
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