Behind the wholesome plot lines, overlit sound stages and bright colors of children’s TV shows can lie dark secrets that executives would do anything to avoid getting out.
That’s the premise behind the new four-part Investigation Discovery docuseries, Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV, which the network said “reveals an insidious environment rife with allegations of abuse, sexism, racism, and inappropriate dynamics with its underage stars and crew.”
Quiet on Set’s Trailer Revealed Alleged Abuse
“[It] wasn’t there to educate you, we were there to have fun, to get slimed, to be entertained,” one person described the network’s early days.
Another chimed in, “And, this is when Dan Schneider arrives.”
The trailer continues with various participants describing Dan as “Nickelodeon’s golden boy” who created hugely successful shows for the children’s network and “launched the careers of child actors who became major stars.”
“For 20 years, he shaped children’s entertainment and culture. But, that marked one of the darkest chapters,” one participant said.
Former employees of Dan opened up about the culture the publicly beloved producer created behind the scenes, with one saying, “Working for Dan was like being in an abusive relationship.”
“Dan’s treatment of people on his shows was an open secret,” another alleged.
One unnamed employee described their lawyer filing complaints against the executive for gender discrimination, harassment and for creating a hostile work environment — a lawsuit the employee described as “so devastating.”
However, the culture at Nickelodeon would only get worse from there.
“There would be even bigger problems down the line with actual pedophiles on set,” one person alleged. “These are three predators that worked at Nickelodeon, all in a short amount of time,” another said over a split photo of three separate men.
One former employee went on to claim his experience working for the company made him “trust people less.” Another mom describes “saving” her son from a “house of horrors.”
Toward the conclusion of the trailer, one person describes an “enormous trove of child pornography” being found in the possession of a former Nickelodeon employee.
“The officer said we found Ziploc bags, each one with a girl’s name on it,” the unnamed participant explained.
Eleven charges of child sexual abuse related to a child actor were filed, although the trailer doesn’t name the victim or the offender.
“It made me wonder who was being hurt,” one man said toward the end of the video.
Then, the trailer cuts to a former Nickelodeon employee claiming they had been “waiting 17 years for today.”
The trailer ends by teasing that a child actor from one of Nickelodeon’s shows will be sharing their story publicly for the first time, though it didn’t reveal who the actor is.
When Is the Premiere Date for ’Quiet on Set’?
The docuseries, which Investigation Discovery described as a “true crime event,” will premiere across two nights beginning on March 17, 2024, at 9 p.m. ET.
Who Is Dan Schneider?
Dan is a television producer, screenwriter and former actor. As the founder and copresident of the production company Schneider’s Bakery, he created some of the most popular shows in the history of children’s TV, including iCarly, Drake & Josh, Kenan & Kel, Sam & Cat, The Amanda Show, Victorious, Zoey 101, and many others.
Where Is Dan Schneider Now?
Dan’s longstanding relationship with Nickelodeon, for which he created and produced many shows for nearly two decades, ended in 2018 when he separated from the company following allegations of misconduct.
His last post on X was a photo of him with his longtime collaborators Liz Gillies, Ariana Grande and Matt Bennett on November 20, 2019.
“Fun night with fun friends 😉,” his caption read.
However, Dan has remained somewhat active on Instagram in recent years. At the time of Quiet on Set‘s trailer release, Dan’s last Instagram post was an October 29, 2023, tribute to Matthew Perry in the wake of his death.
What Has Dan Schneider Said in Response to ’Quiet on Set’?
Shortly after the trailer was released, a representative for Dan released a statement to Deadline.
The February 8, 2024, message read, in part, that Dan “cared about the kids on his shows even when sometimes their own families unfortunately did not” and that he was their “biggest champion.”
Dan understood the “pressure that comes along” with a child “becoming the breadwinner for their family,” the statement continued.
“That is why 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,” the statement concluded.
What Did Jennette McCurdy Say in Her Memoir About Dan Schneider?
Former Nickelodeon star Jennette McCurdy, who achieved worldwide fame for her portrayal of Sam Puckett on iCarly, and later on the spinoff series Sam & Cat, seemingly addressed Dan’s behavior in her 2022 memoir, I’m Glad My Mom Died.
Though Jennette didn’t use Dan’s name, instead referring to him as “The Creator” throughout the book, she seemed to corroborate others’ claims of his misconduct on set.
At one point, Jennette revealed she was offered $300,000 by Nickelodeon to avoid speaking about her experiences with “The Creator.”
“What the f–k?” she wrote. “Nickelodeon is offering me three hundred thousand dollars in hush money to not talk publicly about my experience on the show? My personal experience of The Creator’s abuse?”
The passage continued, “This is a network with shows made for children. Shouldn’t they have some sort of moral compass? Shouldn’t they at least try to report to some sort of ethical standard?”
In the wake of Jennette’s book release, Russell Hicks, former President of Content and Production at Nickelodeon, released a statement on Dan’s behalf.
“Dan was like the great high school counsellor you could always turn to for help and guidance,” the statement shared by E! News at the time read, in part. It ended with the claim that “Every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved by executives at Nickelodeon.”
Have a tip? Send it to us! Email In Touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.