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Nickelodeon parts ways with biggest hitmaker

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Dan Schneider, center, accepts the lifetime achievement award at the 27th annual Kids’ Choice Awards at the Galen Center in Los Angeles in 2014. Nickelodeon is breaking ties with Schneider, the creator of some of its top shows, including “Henry Danger” and “iCarly.” In a joint statement, Nickelodeon, Schneider and his production company, Schneider’s Bakery, agreed it “is a natural time” to pursue other opportunities and projects since several Schneider’s Bakery projects are wrapping up.

Dan Schneider, the prolific producer who has been Nickelodeon’s most reliable hitmaker for the last two decades, is parting ways with the cable channel.

Schneider, a former child actor who appeared in the TV series “Head of the Class” and the comedy film “Better Off Dead,” produced hit shows like “iCarly,” “Drake & Josh,” and “Kenan & Kel” for Nickelodeon.

Once described as the “Norman Lear of children’s television” by the New York Times, Schneider and his production company Schneider’s Bakery are also responsible for the network’s current biggest hit, “Henry Danger.” However, one of Schneider’s shows, “Game Shakers,” was recently canceled.

“Following many conversations together about next directions and future opportunities, Nickelodeon and our longtime creative partner Dan Schneider/Schneider’s Bakery have agreed to not extend the current deal,” Nickelodeon and Schneider said in a joint statement Monday night. “Since several Schneider’s Bakery projects are wrapping up, both sides agreed that this is a natural time for Nickelodeon and Schneider’s Bakery to pursue other opportunities and projects.”

Schneider’s shows have helped make stars out of actors like Ariana Grande, Amanda Bynes, Miranda Cosgrove and Kenan Thompson.

The move comes as Nickelodeon’s parent company, Viacom, is trying to turn itself around after years of tumult in its management ranks.

Schneider’s departure is all the more notable because Nickelodeon, along with MTV, remains critical to Viacom as it tries to reverse years of declining ratings. And Nickelodeon is in a downward spiral: The channel has lost roughly 22 percent of its audience among its core demographic of 2- to 11-year-olds over the last four months, according to the research firm MoffettNathanson.

“We thank Dan and his Schneider’s Bakery producers, executives and social media team for their immeasurable contributions to Nickelodeon, and we wish them the best in their future endeavors,” the network and Schneider said in their shared statement. “And Dan and Schneider’s Bakery are proud of the work they did together with Nickelodeon and will always remain big fans of the network.”

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