Dan Schneider says he never set out to make kids shows, but 16 years since showrunning “All That,” he’s (ahem) at the Head of the Class. The former sitcom star turned executive producer is the force behind Nickelodeon hits “iCarly” and “Victorious.”
“I think my shows can draw an audience of 12 million because I ask, ‘What can make a 7-year-old, a 17-year-old, a 30-year-old and a 77-year-old laugh?'” Schneider says, citing the Charles brothers, Larry Gelbart and Larry David as his comedic inspirations. “I try to make a great sitcom that would make my heroes proud of me.”
Indeed, the performing arts high school comedy “Victorious,” is the No. 1 show in its timeslot among teens and tweens, while “iCarly” demonstrates true crossover appeal, with episode “iSaved a Life” ranking as 2010’s top entertainment telecast on cable.
The Miranda Cosgrove starrer is a virtual pop culture incubator, introducing new lingo like “nub,” “jenk” and “cukey” (when something is cute and geeky). It’s even inspired a culinary dish featured by the New York Times, Food Network and “Nightline.” “I’m getting 20 pictures of spaghetti tacos a week that people tweet me,” Schneider says. “Half are from college kids in dorms.”