×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Zoey 101

"Zoey 101," or more aptly "How to Try to Grow an American Idol," is an elaborately devised proving ground for diva-in-training Jamie Lynn Spears. Nickelodeon sees stars in Spears' future, and a predictable "Zoey" is her springboard.

With:
Zoey - Jamie Lynn Spears Chase - Sean Flynn Nicole - Alexa Nikolas Logan - Mathew Underwood Dustin - Paul Butcher Dana - Kristin Herrera Michael - Christopher Massey Quinn - Erin Sanders

“Zoey 101,” or more aptly “How to Try to Grow an American Idol,” is an elaborately devised proving ground for diva-in-training Jamie Lynn Spears. Nickelodeon sees stars in Spears’ future, and a predictable “Zoey” is her springboard.

Spears stars as the eponymous spunky 13-year-old, taking on life at an upscale, co-ed beachside boarding school, where X-boxes and mini-fridges grace every fabulously decorated dorm room. Forget about Hogwarts. This is what American teen fantasies are made of. The show Spears-heads a new night of live action for Nick, and already has a 13-episode commitment

It’s the first year Pacific Coast Academy has gone co-ed, and Zoey takes it upon herself to confront any lingering stereotypes by challenging the boys to a basketball game. And while crusading for empowerment may not be a new teen theme, transforming a boy’s urinal into a flowery water fountain definitely seems like a TV first.

Writer and creator Dan Schneider, who directed the young Spears in the sketch comedy “All That,” has the teen lingo and look down pat. Along with some clever dialogue and requisite physical pratfalls, Zoey follows a standard formula.

Nickelodeon, known to provide a little more edge to its shows, instead goes for an over-the-top take on reality. Sure, Schneider tries to imbue the show with deeper messages like learning to cope with messy roommates and how to survive on a scant weekly allowance. But it’s hard to focus on any subtext in a world virtually devoid of parents (and adults for that matter) amid a ridiculously affluent lifestyle. Instead of using Zoey’s character as a reality check in world straight out of Pottery BarnTeen, Schneider portrays all of this opulent materialism as the norm.

Still, Spears has the appeal to pull it off, and despite more than a few stilted performances, the show should be a hit. Sean Flynn, grandson of Errol, as Chase, the new best friend with a crush, is one of the few standouts.

Big sis Britney along with several others, penned the main title song “Follow Me,” while little sis, along with Emma Holmberg, provide the catchy vocals.

Zoey 101

Nickelodeon; Sun. Jan., 9; 8 p.m.

Production: Filmed on location in Malibu, Calif., by Nickelodeon in association with Schneider's Bakery and ApolloProScreen. Executive producers, Dan Schneider, Jan Korbelin, Bill O'Dowd; director, Savage Steve Holland; writer, Dan Schneider.

Crew: Camera, Wayne Kennan; editors, Steve Rasch, Joe Bergen; casting Sharon Leiblein, Leah Buono. Running time: 30 MIN.

Cast: Zoey - Jamie Lynn Spears Chase - Sean Flynn Nicole - Alexa Nikolas Logan - Mathew Underwood Dustin - Paul Butcher Dana - Kristin Herrera Michael - Christopher Massey Quinn - Erin Sanders

More TV

  • BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary with

    BBC Orders Oscar Wilde Documentary With Stephen Fry, Freddie Fox

    A new documentary about Oscar Wilde will tell the celebrated writer’s story with a star cast recreating excerpts from his greatest works, including “The Importance of Being Earnest” and “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” Freddie Fox, Claire Skinner, Anna Chancellor and James Fleet will all perform in the 80-minute show, “The Importance of Being Oscar,” which [...]

  • FOSSE VERDON -- Pictured: (l-r) Michelle

    TV News Roundup: 'Fosse/Verdon' Premiere Date Set at FX

    In today’s TV news roundup, FX announced the premiere date for “Fosse/Verdon,” and Comedy Central released a new trailer for the final season of “Broad City.”  DATES “Workin’ Moms” is set to premiere Feb. 22 on Netflix. The series, which is currently in its third season, first aired in Canada on CBC Television and is [...]

  • Ilana Glazer Abbi Jacobson

    'Broad City' Stars on Discovering New Aspects of Their Characters

    Throughout the run of “Broad City,” creators Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been conflicted about how much of their on-screen characters (also named Abbi and Ilana) should come directly from their personalities and lives. But when it came to the final season, Jacobson in particular experienced a life-changing shift that she wanted to impart [...]

  • The Goldbergs spinoff

    NBC Orders Comedy Pilot 'Uninsured' From 'Goldbergs' Producers

    NBC has ordered a pilot for the multi-camera comedy “Uninsured.” In the series, young parents Dave and Rebecca end up having to take care of Dave’s parents who have mishandled their finances and need help to pay down a sizable debt. Dan Levy will serve as writer and executive producer, with Doug Robinson and Alison Greenspan [...]

  • Emily Kapnek

    'Splitting Up Together' Creator Emily Kapnek Inks Overall Deal at ABC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    Writer and producer Emily Kapnek has signed a three-year overall deal at ABC Studios, Variety has learned exclusively. Kapnek most recently developed the ABC single-cam comedy series “Splitting Up Together,” which is based on the Danish series “Bedre skilt end aldrig.” She was previously under an overall deal at Warner Bros. Television, which produces “Splitting Up [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content