Are you ready? In 2005, Nickelodeon viewers were in for a treat when Zoey 101 introduced them to the students of Pacific Coast Academy.
The series, which aired from 2005 until 2008, focused on the lives of Zoey Brooks (Jamie Lynn Spears) and her brother, Dustin (Paul Butcher), as they attended the fictional boarding school and made friends along the way. Shortly after its debut, the teen drama found success and went on to win several awards, even earning an Emmy nod for Outstanding Children’s Program in 2005.
However things took a turn when Spears announced in December 2007 that she was expecting her first child at the age of 16. Although Spears’ pregnancy wasn’t the reason Zoey 101 came to an end, the show aired its final episode in May 2008.
Since its conclusion, many of the cast members have voiced their desire for a potential revival — and even Spears confirmed that she would be willing to return.
“Zoey was the problem solver and the good-at-everything girl. But we need to add some depth to her,” the Mississippi native told The Hollywood Reporter in May 2020, predicting where fans could expect to see her character now. “She and Chase would definitely have some type of tangled love story. I don’t think they would have just left PCA and gotten married. Maybe Zoey would be working in fashion in some capacity.”
Later that year, Spears revealed that she had contacted her former coworkers about bringing the series back in some capacity, telling E! News in July 2020, “I’ve had conversations, and we want to be able to tell everyone’s story the best way we can, and finding the right home for it, I think that’s the most important part right now. These conversations were being had before [the coronavirus] quarantine. … We’re still having them, but everything’s just at a slower pace.”
Several of the cast members later teamed up for a reimagined version of the Zoey 101 theme song “Follow Me,” but not everyone was thrilled about the idea. In January 2022, Alexa Nikolas, who played Nicole Bristow, confessed that her continued feud with Spears was why she didn’t get involved.
“I recently thought we were fine after she tried to use me in her Zoey 101 music video to make herself look better after I finally came out about what happened to me while on set/being left out once again during the reunion reboot ploy,” Nikolas wrote via Instagram at the time, noting that she wasn’t the first one Spears spoke to about the mini reunion. “I’m guessing the pressure from others made her address the issue. I declined her offer. Why now? But I was happy to get an apology finally. So I forgave her.”
When excerpts from Spears’ memoir were allegedly leaked that same month, Nikolas explained that their issues never went away.
“I have no idea what is going on over there with her but I want absolutely nothing to do with it,” she added at the time. “She never addressed anything that she mentioned in the book to me personally because she knows everything she is saying is a total lie and I would have called her out on that. One on one. It’s sad to see someone not change after all these years. Nothing that she said in her book about me actually happened.”
Nikolas concluded: “I wish I could go back in time and tell my 12-year-old self that you are actually extremely lucky to not have a friend like her. You are way better off without her. You don’t need toxic people in your life like that and you deserve better. And that’s the truth on that. I don’t mind saying all the things I should say for free.”
In January 2023, Spears confirmed a follow-up movie titled Zoey 102. The Paramount+ project will reunite Spears, Erin Sanders, Sean Flynn, Matthew Underwood, Christopher Massey, Abby Wilde and Jack Salvatore.
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