Nickelodeon and Columbia/Epic Label Group Commence Production on Victorious, New Comedy Series From Hitmaker Dan Schneider Headlined by Teen Star Victoria Justice
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ — Nickelodeon partners with Columbia/Epic Label Group (a label group of Sony Music Entertainment) to co-produce Victorious, an original new live-action comedy series from prolific creator and executive producer Dan Schneider (iCarly, Zoey 101, Drake & Josh) and featuring teen star Victoria Justice (Zoey 101, Spectacular!). Twenty episodes have been ordered of the half-hour comedy series, which is set in a modern day Hollywood school for the performing arts and features an ensemble cast of teens who act, sing, dance and perform original music. The series, set to premiere in 2010, is currently being produced in Los Angeles, CA.
“Dan Schneider continues to have his finger on the pulse of what is funny and relatable to our tween audience,” said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon’s Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming. “Add original music and an extraordinarily talented young cast to his comedic sensibility and you have a winning combination.”
“We are so happy to be partners on Dan Schneider and Nickelodeon’s great new show Victorious, and to work on the exciting musical career of its star Victoria Justice!,” said Rob Stringer, Chairman, Columbia/Epic Label Group.
Victorious follows Tori Vega (Victoria Justice) a teen who unexpectedly finds herself navigating life at an elite performing arts high school. After her sister Trina (Daniella Monet, Nancy Drew) has a medical mishap on the night of the school’s annual talent showcase, Tori steps in to perform Trina’s song. Accompanied on the piano by her musically-gifted friend Andre (Leon Thomas, August Rush, The Lion King, iCarly), Tori’s singing and dancing impress the school’s principal so much that she offers her the opportunity of a lifetime – an invitation to become a student at Hollywood Arts High School. From her first day at the school, Tori feels out of place among the amazingly talented students, especially mean diva Jade (Elizabeth Gillies, Broadway’s acclaimed 13). With the help of Trina, Andre and her new friends – brooding bad boy Beck (Avan Jogia, Spectacular!), eccentric Cat (Ariana Grande, Broadway’s 13) and lovable but psychologically scrambled ventriloquist Robbie (Matthew Bennett) – Tori realizes that she was born to perform and that entertaining people not only makes her happy but may change her life. The series will feature original music performed by Victoria Justice and the ensemble cast.
Victoria Justice joined Nickelodeon in 2005 when she was cast as a series regular in the network’s Emmy-nominated hit Zoey 101. For three seasons, she played Lola Martinez, Zoey’s artsy and dramatic roommate at Pacific Coast Academy. A triple threat, Justice acted, sang and danced in the Nickelodeon movie-musical Spectacular! Most recently, she guest starred as championship fighter Shelby Marx in the iCarly one-hour movie “iFight Shelby Marx” which set a new ratings record for the hit series.
Her other television credits include guest-starring on Gilmore Girls and a role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas special Silver Bells opposite Anne Heche and Tate Donovan. Justice’s feature film credits include supporting roles in Fallacy with Gary Busey and When Do We Eat with Michael Lerner, Leslie Ann Warren and Jack Klugman, as well as a leading role in the 2005 Sundance Film Festival hit, Mary. She also starred in The Kings of Appletown, a modern adaptation of the Mark Twain classic Tom Sawyer. Justice has appeared in numerous television commercials, as well as fashion campaigns for Gap, Guess and Ralph Lauren. A native of Hollywood, Florida, she began her professional acting career at age 8 when she appeared in an Ovaltine commercial.
After initially making a name for himself as “Dennis” on the hit ABC sitcom Head of the Class, actor-writer-producer Dan Schneider has established himself as a dominant force in the world of family entertainment by creatively drawing on his affinity for youth culture at Nickelodeon. He carves a unique, progressive niche in the world of kid and family entertainment as executive producer/creator of the hit Nickelodeon series iCarly starring Miranda Cosgrove, Zoey 101 starring Jamie Lynn Spears and Drake & Josh starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck, all of which come courtesy of Schneider’s Bakery Productions. Schneider creatively ran Nickelodeon’s groundbreaking sketch comedy series All That from 1994 to 1998 with Zoey 101 marking his fourth Nick series to star breakout talent from that ensemble cast. Kenan & Kel starred Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, and Amanda Bynes headlined The Amanda Show featuring ensemble players Drake Bell and Josh Peck for whom Schneider created an eponymous comedy series about an odd couple of stepbrothers. Drake & Josh premiered in January 2004 and Miranda Cosgrove broke out to star in the groundbreaking, convergent mega-hit iCarly, which received its first Emmy nomination in 2009.
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