top of page

“Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV”

Lauren Sellman, Arts & Entertainment Editor

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV promotional poster. Photo//Good Morning America

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV first aired on March 17th, 2024, since then the first four episodes have been released with the fifth scheduled to air on April 7, 2024. 

The documentary focuses on Nickelodeon in the early 2000s, specifically shows produced by director Dan Schneider, who has been unveiled as acting inappropriately and sexualizing child actors, unequally paying employees, and creating a toxic and intimidating work environment. The documentary provides a long list of allegations, displaying undeniable evidence of Schneider’s behavior. 

Shows such as All That, Drake and Josh, iCarly, and Victorious, were incredibly successful and kickstarted many famous child celebrities' careers. These shows shaped children's entertainment and comedy for years. Schneider was Nickelodeon's "golden boy" until 2017 when photo and video evidence arose that he had been acting inappropriately toward the child stars.


These shows are filled with scenes that reference sexual innuendos, implied double meanings, and overall weird situations for children to watch. 

The first episode establishes the early stages of Schneider’s career and his personality shift as he rises in power and popularity. Schneider directed the show “All That” in 1994, where actress Amanda Bynes began her career, eventually leading to her own spin-off, “The Amanda Bynes Show”. 

Child costars Katrina Johnson and Leon Frierson recall Bynes having a more involved relationship with Schneider, as the two were often said to be seen working on scripts or writing alone together.

There is evidence of Schneider displaying misogynistic and stereotypical behaviors towards female staff writers Christy Stratton and Jenny Kilgen, requiring them to split salaries or offering contracts that require them to work for free. Male writers and staff were consistently offered full salaries, despite claims that salary cuts were due to low funding.  

The series also discussed a shocking revelation that actor Drake Bell who starred on “Drake and Josh” was sexually abused by his dialogue coach Brian Peck. Peck (who is not related to Josh Peck), was arrested in 2003 and is currently a registered sex offender. Investigation Discovery has announced that Drake Bell will discuss his experience in the upcoming fifth episode of the series. 

Schneider has responded to the backlash generated by the documentary in a YouTube interview where he admits to and apologizes for the mistreatment of female employees, but does not take full responsibility for what was aired on Nickelodeon. 

Quiet on Set has taken over social media discussions as more evidence continues to surface. The documentary is successfully raising conversations about protecting child actors in the industry. It is hard to see the realities of some of the most popular childhood stars and see the shows you grew up with in a different light.

It is disheartening that misogyny, abuse, and child exploitation are such a large part of Hollywood and the entertainment industry to this day. But, it is important to learn from past mistakes and take higher precautions to protect child actors in the future. 

The show is available on Hulu+, Amazon Prime, and Direct TV Streaming.

23 views0 comments


bottom of page