The New Docuseries That Explores the Allegedly ‘Toxic’ Sets of Dan Schneider

By: Alec Donaldson | Published: Feb 25, 2024

Popular children’s network Nickelodeon announced in 2018 that it was parting ways with longtime producer and creator Dan Schneider after allegations of abusive behavior were brought against him. 

Now, a four-part documentary has been announced by Investigation Discovery that will dive into the experience of employees and children who said they suffered under the reign of Schneider.

Dan Schneider's Career with Nickelodeon

Throughout the 2000s, many of Nickelodeon’s hit shows were created by the producer Dan Schneider.

Miranda Cosgrove, Jennette McCurdy, Nathan Kress, Jerry Trainor, and Dan Schneider photographed together at the MTV Summer 2007 TCA Press Tour

Source: Jason Merritt/Film Magic

He was behind shows including “Drake & Josh,” “The Amanda Show,” and “iCarly,” all of which garnered millions of viewers from across the states and beyond. Yet, seven years ago, things went horribly wrong for the producer. 

Official Investigation into Schneider's Behavior

In 2018, Nickelodeon announced it would be parting ways with the creator after allegations of sexism, abuse, racism, and even sexual misconduct against the producer began circulating online (via People). 

A man and woman pictured sitting on the floor of their office during an investigation

Source: Freepik

ViacomCBS carried out an investigation on Schneider between 2017 and 2018, yet found no concrete evidence of sexual misconduct. However, they did conclude the producer was verbally abusive on numerous occasions, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Zoey 101 Star Makes Shocking Claims

According to Alexa Nikolas, star of Nickelodeon’s “Zoey 101,” Schneider sat in during many of her costume fittings. 

Alexa Nikolas pictured as she attends the Giffoni Hollywood Film Festival Awards Show

Source: Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

In a 2022 protest, Nickolas called Schneider “the creator of childhood trauma.” She added, “Every time he came on set, my body got extremely tense. Later on in season two, him and a bunch of executives made me cry in a room alone” (via PopSugar).

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV

Recently, Investigation Discovery announced it has been working on a four-part docuseries investigating the allegations against Schneider during his time at Nickelodeon. 

A camera crew pictured as they look over recent footage

Source: Freepik

Titled “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” various employees, former writers, crew members, and even some of the shows’ casts all share their experience of working with Schneider.

Being in an Abusive Relationship

A trailer for the series was released last week, which featured several interview clips that revealed some shocking allegations.

A man is pictured as he tightly grips the wrist of a small child

Source: Freepik

“Working for Dan was like being in an abusive relationship,” said a former employee during the trailer. Meanwhile, another says that Schneider’s “treatment of people on his shows was an open secret.”


Predators at the Network

During the trailer, one employee went as far as to said “predators” are working at Nickelodeon.

A man in a blue shirt points and scares a child while they stand inside a room

Source: Freepik

Whereas another employee claims there have been numerous instances of sexual abuse with minors. Yet, the trailer does not specify just exactly who the victims were.


iCarly Star Details Allegations in Her Book

In a portion of her memoir, “I’m Glad My Mom Died,” “iCarly” actor Jennette McCurdy also made allegations against a creator from Nickelodeon.

Actress Jennette McCurdy pictured as she attends Magnolia Pictures' 'Damsel' Premiere at ArcLight Hollywood

Source: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

According to her book, a creator had urged her to drink alcohol when she was still underage and mentioned inappropriate behavior, such as massages. Yet, McCurdy did not reveal who she was speaking of specifically.


Schneider Releases Statement in Wake of Docuseries News

When the news of the docuseries reached Schneider, he quickly responded with a statement.

A reporter dressed in a white coat is pictured as she writes down notes on her small padA reporter dressed in a white coat is pictured as she writes down notes on her small pad

Source: Freepik

“Dan cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families, unfortunately, did not. He understood what they were going through, and he was their biggest champion,” said his spokesperson, per Entertainment Weekly.


'Standards' Were Upheld on Set

In the lengthy statement, Schneider’s representatives continued by stating everything he did on set was by the books.

A film crew is pictured as they shoot a scene in a studio

Source: Freepik

“There are many levels of standards, executives, lawyers, teachers, and parents everywhere, all the time, on every set, every day. However, it is still a hard place to be a kid, and nobody knew that better than Dan,” they wrote


Schneider Continues to Deny Allegations

To this day, Schneider argues that if the claims were valid, he wouldn’t still have his loyal group of friends and supporters. 

Dan Schneider pictured as he speaks at the premiere of a show in 2011

Source: Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Speaking with The New York Times in 2021, he said, “I couldn’t, and I wouldn’t have the long-term friendships and continued loyalty from so many reputable people if I’d mistreated my actors of any age, especially minors.”


Pubic Remains Convinced of Former Allegations

It’s uncertain whether the four-part docuseries, set to air in mid-March, will bring any new evidence against Schneider.

Dan Schneider pictured alongside popular actor Drake Bell at an after party

Source: Charley Gallay/WireImage/Getty Images

Yet much of the public who have watched several videos on YouTube remains convinced that the former producer carried out abusive acts against minors whilst working on some of Nickelodeon’s best-rated shows.