Jace Norman spent several years battling Nickelodeon-style villians like The Toddler and Frankini as a young super-hero in the series “Henry Danger.” Now he’s taking on a role in a bigger fight: TV’s streaming wars.
Norman has signed a broader pact with Nickelodeon and AwesomenessTV that will have both ViacomCBS units work with him and his Starlight production company to develop, executive produce and star in new and original content for various properties, including Nickelodeon Studios, Awesomeness Studios, and Paramount Plus. As part of the deal, Norman is set to reprise his role as “Henry Hart,” the young alter ego of the hero “Kid Danger,” in a new original live-action movie for Paramount Plus based on the “Henry Danger” series. Start of production and cast are expected to be announced shortly.
“This is really my first step to getting to fulfill my dream of getting behind the camera and actually creating shows, as opposed to just acting,” Norman tells Variety in an interview. “I love acting and I’ve been with Nickelodeon for a while, but I’ve always wanted to kind of be able to create my own shows.” Norman says he approached Brian Robbins, the ViacomCBS executive who oversees Nickelodeon and Awesomeness, as well as the Paramount movie operations, and asked for help getting into writing and producing. “I’m really in the learning phase right now,” Norman acknowledges, noting that “it’s a whole new adventure.”
Keeping Norman affiliated with Nickelodeon is likely of new importance as ViacomCBS continues to place emphasis on streaming. While big-budget dramas often grab the headlines when it comes to streaming video, most executives will tell you that programming that appeals to young audiences is of great significance to operators of new broadband hubs. If kids gravitate toward particular streaming shows, their choices can play a factor in what subscriptions are purchased and the length of time they are maintained. As Wall Street puts new pressure on media companies to continue to show growth in streaming subscriptions, all the companies are looking for ways to tamp down so-called customer “churn.”
Norman is certainly a familiar face to Nickelodeon audiences. In addition to “Henry Danger,” the actor starred in several other projects for the kids-media empire, including a popular hour-long “Henry Danger” musical and TV movies including “Splitting Adam, “Rufus” and “Bixler High Private Eye,” the last of which he also executive produced.
With that in mind, Paramount Plus has hosted a number of extensions of some of Nickelodeon’s most popular properties, including movies based on “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Paw Patrol.” Under Robbins, Nickelodeon has put new focus on broadening its best-known programs into audiences for various venues. There is reason to do something similar with “Henry Danger.” The program, which aired in five seasons between 2014 and 2020 and is the basis for the spin-off series “Danger Force,” was the most popular show among kids between 6 and 11 in its final cycle.
Norman hasn’t strayed far from Nickelodeon since the series ended. He is a producer on “Danger Force,” and has occasionally appeared as “Kid Danger” during the series. He says he has been working with the writers of the series and “it’s like my family. Going back there feels nice, just to do one episode and go in and out.” Norman is represented by WME and Linden Entertainment.
He’d like to try his hand at a range of genres. He’s a big fan of the various “Indiana Jones” movies as well as the Netflix teen-mystery series “Outer Banks.” “I also hope to break into some young adult stuff, some romantic comedies, along with creating original stuff I’m really passionate about,” he says.