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Say Hello to Victoria Justice, America’s Next Tween Superstar

The Times today profiles Dan Schneider, the tween TV king responsible for the hit Nickelodeon shows iCarly, Drake & Josh, and Zoey 101. In the process they introduced Schneider’s next big thing: Victorious, a sitcom set in a performing-arts high school, and engineered as a platform to superstardom for its lead actress, Victoria Justice. Since Schneider’s got the Midas touch, and since Victorious is debuting this Saturday in the plum spot after the Kids' Choice Awards (the “Oscars for children”), it’s safe to assume Justice will soon be inescapable. So what exactly are we dealing with here? The relevant stats: Justice is 17, originally from Florida, a former Zoey 101 supporting castmember, and an acting-dancing-singing triple threat. In fact, Victorious will partially be a showcase for regular, Glee-style song-and-dance numbers, only these ones will be all original. Also, seeing as the show is co-produced by the Columbia/Epic Label Group, we can’t imagine Justice’s debut album, assumably equipped with a “Party in the USA”–type smash, is far behind. Okay, you’ve been alerted.

First the Tween Heart, Now the Soul [NYT]

Photo: Patrick McMullan