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New Docuseries Spotlights ‘The Dark Side’ of Kids’ TV Show Sets

Photo from Alexander Dummer via Unsplash

New Docuseries Spotlights ‘The Dark Side’ of Kids’ TV Show Sets

By Movieguide® Contributor

Investigation Discovery just announced QUIET ON SET: THE DARK SIDE OF KIDS TV, a docuseries that exposes the work conditions on children’s shows from the ’90s and ’00s — specifically, those helmed by Nickelodeon’s Dan Schneider. 

Variety reported that the series will spotlight an “insidious environment rife with allegations of abuse, sexism, racism and inappropriate dynamics with its underage stars and crew.”

QUIET ON SET will also uncover “a pattern of gross, abusive and manipulative behavior that unfolded across decades, as well as exclusive stories about child predators on set.” 

The series will feature interviews with cast and crew from popular Nickelodeon shows, including ALL THAT cast members Giovonnie Samuels, Kyle Sullivan, Bryan Hearne and Katrina Johnson and director Virgil Fabian, THE AMANDA SHOW writers Jenny Kilgen and Christy Stratton, and ZOEY 101 star Alexa Nikolas. 

Schneider was the creative force behind many of Nickelodeon’s most popular shows and is considered responsible for launching the careers of stars like Ariana Grande, Amanda Bynes, Miranda Cosgrove, Jamie Lynn Spears, Josh Peck and many others. 

“Working for Dan was like being in an abusive relationship,” Stratton said in a trailer for QUIET ON SET. 

Schneider and Nickelodeon parted ways in 2018, a move both parties said was amicable. However, a report from Deadline said the showrunner had “been under a cloud of suspicion over the treatment of some younger stars of his shows” and had had “well documented temper issues for years.”

Movieguide® previously reported on Christy Carlson Romano, another child star who spoke out about her time as a young actor:

Although it is important to have young actors in Hollywood, Romano believes that the fast-paced life of a child star is too much and believes that the industry needs to do more to protect children from being exploited. 

“It’s not going to happen overnight. And it may not be something that’s handleable amongst the union. It may be something that needs to be a little bit more in the federal space. I’m not quite sure what we need to do for change, but there’s definitely options,” she said. 

“Look, at the end of the day, these kids are union-paying members. And they’re not getting protected by the union. They’re not getting schooled enough directly from the union. They may have little workshops here and there, but they do not have enforcers. They don’t have people that are enforcing protections, and that’s the biggest problem,” Romano continued. 

“We have this industry that benefits off of convenience. We want it loud, fast, funny, and cheap, and we need it right now, and that’s how productions work… It’s not one particular network’s issue. It’s an entire industry issue. Which is why it comes back down to either SAG or even child labor on a federal level. That’s what I have experienced. I think that that’s valuable. So, if I’m talking about it, I’m not trying to whistle blow, it’s more or less me just advocating for change,” she added. 

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.


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