Pop quiz, asshole: What is the most-watched show on television for both children (ages 2 to 11) and tweens (ages 9 to 14)? If you would’ve posed this question to us this morning, before we had read today’s Los Angeles Times, we likely would’ve blurted out something like Hannah Montana, American Idol, or SpongeBob SquarePants. However, thanks to Denise Martin’s piece, we learned that Nickelodeon’s iCarly, created and produced by noted zeitgeist-pulse-taker Dan Schneider (whom you may remember as Dennis Blunden from Head of the Class), trumps all of these shows in the ratings for those specific demographic groups. Which pretty much puts 15-year-old Miranda Cosgrove in the driver’s seat to become the next gazillionaire tween star. So let’s see what we’re dealing with here, shall we?
Well, for starters, it’s important to note that Miranda Cosgrove is a double threat (read: someone who can act AND sing), just like Miley and Hilary Duff before her. However, unlike Cyrus and Duff, she does not have the vaunted Disney marketing machine backing her every step of the way; unfortunately for her, she’s stuck living inside the Viacom universe for the foreseeable future. But she does have one significant ally on her side, that being the aforementioned Dan Schneider.
You see, Cosgrove caught her first break when she was 10 years old and was picked to star alongside Jack Black in School of Rock (she was the precocious band manager). She caught her second break when she met with Dan Schneider, a prominent development executive who helped launch the careers of future stars like Amanda Bynes (The Amanda Show), Kenan Thompson (Kenan & Kel), and Josh Peck (Drake & Josh). He subsequently cast her as the star of iCarly, his latest in a long line of incredibly successful projects for Nickelodeon.
And in the two years the show has been on the air, Schneider and Cosgrove have turned the product into a ratings behemoth for Nickelodeon, a network that was under significant pressure to replicate the kinds of successes that Disney had with the High School Musical franchise. Thanks to those successes, Cosgrove is being rewarded with a starring role in a Paramount film that’s being developed specifically for her, a comedy called How Could You Do This to Me?, which is about a teen who tries to keep her divorced parents from reuniting. So get used to her face, because if Sumner Redstone has anything to do with it, we’ll be seeing it for a number of years to come.