Miranda Cosgrove

Virtually famous

After four seasons as Megan, the cute but conniving little sister on Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh,” Miranda Cosgrove was offered the opportunity of her young career: to headline her own Nick comedy, “iCarly.”

“Dan Schneider created both shows, and at first when he told my mom and me he had an idea for a show for me, I was so excited I was kind of freaking out,” says Cosgrove, who has known the executive producer since she debuted on “Drake & Josh” at age 9.

“But it helped a lot to have been around Drake (Bell) and Josh (Peck), because I got to see how well they handled being the stars of their show.”

On “iCarly,” Cosgrove, 15, plays Carly Shay, a Seattle middle schooler who’s popular for starring in a Web show she creates with her two best friends. After its premiere a year ago in September, “iCarly” became an immediate success for Nickelodeon, consistently ranking as one of the top two live-action shows among tweens.

“I knew Dan had a really good track record for making good shows, but I was surprised it started doing as well as it’s doing,” Cosgrove admits. “I remember the first time I went out and somebody recognized me for ‘iCarly.’ I couldn’t believe it was all happening so fast.”

A Los Angeles native, Cosgrove wants to eventually add to her five feature film credits, which include the Jack Black comedy “School of Rock” and the family laffer “Yours, Mine and Ours.”

“I’d love to do a fun comedy like ‘Mean Girls,'” Cosgrove says, “or cross over into more serious films — a good independent film, like Josh did,” she adds, referring to Peck’s recent coming-of-age indie “The Wackness.”

And if there’s any doubt Cosgrove is Nickelodeon’s newest It Girl, she’s also got a pop-rock solo album coming out on Sony Records next year.

“I have been helping to co-write,” she says. “It makes the songs a lot more fun to sing.”

Recent breakthrough: Her series “iCarly” is a big hit for Nickelodeon.

Role model: Reese Witherspoon and Jodie Foster. “They were both actresses when they were young, still have strong careers and are very smart.”

What’s next: Two back-to-back TV movies: “iCarly” spinoff “iGo to Japan” in November and “Merry Christmas, Drake & Josh” in December. “I’m also really busy working on my CD.”