A trip down memory lane. Many of fan-favorite leading men have made a name for themselves after appearing on Nickelodeon in the 2000s.
Nathan Kress, who originally played Freddie Benson on iCarly from 2007 until 2012, reprised his memorable role nine years after the series ended. The Star Wars Rebels voice actor admitted that he had his worries about joining the revival.
“When it’s something that’s so beloved, you don’t want to risk messing with it, and you don’t want to risk messing up people’s perceptions and memories and nostalgia of that,” Kress detailed to TheWrap in June 2021, ahead of the show’s return. “It just seems like the line is always, ‘Don’t ruin my childhood.’ So, we had that in the back of our minds.”
Although iCarly was looking to tell stories that viewers could connect with, Kress shared how their priority was all about appealing to their original audience members.
“We were looking at this saying ‘OK, no. This is gonna be completely different. This is for the fans who loved the show as kids, and were growing along with them. And so it’s gonna be for them, it’s not gonna be this next generation thing — it’s for the same generation,’” he noted at the time. “And for that reason, we’re just aging everything up.”
Fans not only got to see Freddie behind the camera again, they also fell in love with the character’s new role as a stepfather. The LA to Vegas alum opened up about getting to deliver content to those still supporting the stories they enjoyed from the original Nickelodeon show.
“It feels like we have done them proud, because so much of this was for the original fans. This was sort of our love letter to them,” Kress added. “So getting to see their reaction to it, the OG hardcore fans, has been very cool.”
While some Nickelodeon leading men were up for revamping the shows that represent an important era of their career, Josh Peck revealed that there was one major reason why that wouldn’t work for 2004’s Drake & Josh.
“I think there’s certain shows that have done it really well, like Fuller House, which I was lucky enough to do a few episodes of. And I think what really worked for them was that it wasn’t really about the uncles so much anymore,” Peck, who portrayed Josh Nichols for three years on Nickelodeon, shared with ComicBook in August 2021. “It was about DJ [Candace Cameron Bure] and Stephanie [Jodie Sweetin] and Kimmy [Andrea Barber]. They were really lucky because they were important characters from the original who then were able to make it their own in the reboot.”
The Turner & Hooch actor supported having “a really strong idea” in order to revive a series, instead of relying on the reasoning that “it was once great.” At the time, Peck also reflected on how his career progressed because of his vast involvement with the network.
“Before [The Amanda Show], I did a movie for Nickelodeon called Snow Day with Chevy Chase and Chris Elliot. Snow Day was really the thing … I would audition for All That all the time, which was the original sketch comedy show for kids on Nickelodeon,” he said. “And it was Amanda [Bynes] and Kenan [Thompson] and Kel [Mitchell] and all these including Nick Cannon. And it was my dream and I never could get on it. I auditioned maybe nine times and they just wanted nothing to do with me. And I booked Snow Day and I’ll never forget, I was talking to some guy, random guy, but I was 12-years-old talking crap, making him laugh, doing bits from my stand-up act.”
That man turned out to be the president of Nickelodeon, who helped the Grandfathered alum book future roles.
“I’ll never forget, nine months later, I got a call from Albie [Hecht] telling me, ‘Josh, I’m going to fly you and your mom out to California to be on The Amanda Show.’ So laying down the framework in Alberta, Canada, where we were shooting Snow Day, nine months later made for The Amanda Show,” he continued. “And one year later made for Drake & Josh. So shout out Albie, I’d be nowhere without him.”
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