More than 3 million viewers tuned in Jan. 16 to see Fred Figglehorn, the frenetic 6-year-old character created by teenager Lucas Cruikshank, begin his first foray into series TV with 24 11-minute episodes of “Fred: The Show” on Nickelodeon.
Cruikshank made history when he brought his obnoxious video creation to YouTube back in 2006. Two years later, Cruikshank started the Fred Channel, the first YouTube channel to reach 1 million subscribers. It has since doubled that number.
This year, Cruikshank cranked out a third Fred movie, the Fred TV series and embarked on a new non-Fred series titled “Marvin, Marvin.” Nickelodeon ordered 26 episodes of the “Mork & Mindy”-like series in which Cruikshank plays a naive intergalactic visitor trying to fit in at his human high school.
“It’s been a busy year for me,” Cruikshank says. “I’m starting this new character and showing the audience that I can do something other than Fred. It’s a big step for me, because I’ve been doing Fred since I was 13, and I’m 19 now. And this is the first time I’ve worked in multi-cam. I’m really enjoying it.”
Cruikshank admits to being worried he might never be able to break away from his trademark character, joking, “I’ll be Urkel forever.” The plan was always to extend his career beyond Fred.
“I loved doing Fred, but want to stop before it gets old,” Cruikshank says. “I don’t want to be just a performer. It would be cool to start writing and producing. My ultimate career goal is to own a production company.”
Impact: YouTube star moved into series TV with “Fred: The Show” on Nickelodeon, where “Fred 3: Camp Fred” aired.
Next: He plays a new character in “Marvin, Marvin” and is co-writing a movie project.
Causes: Supports childhood cancer causes in memory of a young cousin.