‘Zoey 101’ Moves Past Its Controversies: A Sequel Film Will Debut on Paramount+
A movie sequel to “Zoey 101,” the 2005 Nickelodeon series starring Jamie Lynn Spears, is coming to Paramount+.
The streamer announced the film, tentatively titled “Zoey 102,” on Thursday. The movie, which will premiere on Paramount+ later this year, stars Spears and several former cast members of the series, including Erin Sanders, Sean Flynn, Matthew Underwood, Christopher Massey, Abby Wilde, and Jack Salvatore.
More from IndieWire
Nickelodeon Nightmare: Dan Schneider Accused of 'Sexualizing' Child Stars, Assaulting Staff Writers
Gina Carano's New Ben Shapiro-Produced Movie Is Somehow Still Too Woke for Some Right-Wingers
The original series, created and executive produced by Dan Schneider, aired for four seasons from 2005 to 2008 and focused on Zoey, a middle schooler who attends boarding school at the fictional Pacific Coast Academy in Southern California. The film will focus on a reunion between Zoey and her friends at a wedding.
Although “Zoey 101” was popular during its original run, receiving an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Children’s Programming for its first season, accusations about on-set drama during the series’ production have made the show’s revival a dicier proposition.
“Zoey 101” cast member Alexa Nikolas accused Spears of bullying her on set when she was 14, saying she was bullied and excluded by multiple members of the cast. Nikolas also said that Jamie Lynn’s sister, singer Britney Spears, yelled at her on set after Jamie Lynn lied that Nikolas was bullying her (Britney has since apologized).
Nikolas left the series after Season 2 and is one of several main cast members who won’t be returning for the movie. Nor will Paul Butcher, Kristin Herrera, Victoria Justice, and newly minted Golden Globe winner Austin Butler, who starred in the final season.
Although Schneider is not attached to the series, the producer was the apparent subject of allegations in former “iCarly” star Jennette McCurdy’s memoir last year, “I’m Glad My Mom Is Dead.” Although McCurdy only referred to the figure in the book as “the creator,” she described how a high-up figure on the “iCarly” set gave her alcohol as a child and a massage without her consent, and claimed Nickelodeon attempted to pay her $300,000 in hush money not to come forward.
Since the book’s release, Nikolas has made statements alleging inappropriate behavior from Schneider on the “Zoey 101” set, such as attending her wardrobe fittings and asking to take pictures of the child actor’s feet. Last August, Nikolas staged a protest outside of Nickelodeon headquarters in support of child sexual abuse survivors, claiming the studio didn’t protect her.
Nancy Howe directs the “Zoey 101” film from a script by Monica Sherer and Madeline Whitby. The three executive produce with Spears and Alexis Fishers. The series is a production of Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Live-Action.
“I’m beyond thrilled to be back alongside my PCA family and continue the story of Zoey and all the characters fans know and love,” Spears said in a statement. “As an executive producer, it’s been an exciting opportunity to work with such incredible talent as well as Paramount+ and Nickelodeon.”
Best of IndieWire
17 HBO and HBO Max Original Series to Get Excited About in 2023
The Best True Crime Streaming Now, from 'Unsolved Mysteries' to 'McMillions' to 'The Staircase'
Sign up for Indiewire's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.