‘Quiet on Set’ Returns With New Episode and Cameras Are Still Rolling

‘Quiet on Set’ Returns With New Episode and Cameras Are Still Rolling


With ID’s Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV becoming an overnight ratings hit for Investigation Discovery and Max, attention has now turned to a forthcoming fifth episode of the docuseries that promises to dig deeper into the toxic allegations swirling around Dan Schneider’s years at Nickelodeon.

On Thursday, Turner Networks, ID & HLN, linear and streaming president Jason Sarlanis told The Hollywood Reporter the original four-part series, which released March 17 and 18, far exceeded expectations and prompted the network to mobilize and green light the bonus episode to air only weeks later. 

“We first started talking to [co-directors] Mary [Robertson] and Emma [Schwartz] about [extending the series] right after the trailer dropped,” Sarlanis recalled of the Feb. 8 first look, which featured clips of child stars coming forward with claims of abuse and sexism surrounding iconic kids TV shows of the late 1990s and early 2000s on Nickelodeon.

The bonus episode, titled Breaking the Silence, which will launch on ID and stream on Max on April 7, will feature more former Nickelodeon stars including Drake Bell, who publicly described the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of Brian Peck, his former dialogue coach, for the first time in Quiet on Set. Some of the stars will be reuniting for the first time when Soledad O’Brien leads a conversation in the new episode to discuss where the industry can go from here.

The original Quiet on Set docuseries has been watched by around 20 million viewers and became the largest audience for an unscripted series on Max. The ratings are a triumph for directors and executive producers Mary Robertson and Emma Schwartz, whose series about childhood stardom has proved to be hugely consequential in the pop culture conversation, as dialogue and more firsthand accounts and accusations have since circulated in the media and on social media.

When speaking on Thursday, Robertson recounted to THR her experience of viewing the first two episodes live — in a room full of colleagues, including crewmembers, editors and producers who had worked on Quiet on Set — while simultaneously witnessing social media platforms explode with passionate audience reaction.

“Certainly, chills went down my spine. I couldn’t believe the number of people who were engaging with the premiere in real time,” she said, “and who were mimicking reactions we had in the editing rooms. There was this sense people are watching and, holy cow, they really get it.”

For Schwartz, the blanket pre-premiere media coverage of Quiet on Set signaled to her that the #MeToo reckoning of 2017, sparked by the Harvey Weinstein scandal that exposed a toxic culture of abuse that had long gone unchecked in Hollywood, was about to engulf the questions around safeguarding vulnerable child actors in kids television.

“There were people talking like, ‘This is a #MeToo movement for kids.’ And I thought, ‘The series isn’t even out yet and you’re already going much broader than the story we even told,’” she tells THR. “This was a moment where they got that there’s a whole system that’s even bigger than our story, and we really are seeing a movement form about what should happen next in our industry.”

ID’s original four-part docuseries spotlighted allegations of abuse, sexism, racism and inappropriate behavior involving underage stars and crewmembers on Nickelodeon TV shows created by Schneider, which include hit programs like The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, iCarly, Victorious and Sam & Cat. His critics have claimed online and in the Quiet on Set series that Schneider was inappropriate toward young females who worked for him, and that he wrote inappropriate scripts for uncomfortable child actors to perform.

The prolific Nickelodeon producer responded to the ID and Max docuseries and its claims with a March 19 video exclusively reported by THR. “Watching over the past two nights was very difficult — me facing my past behaviors, some of which are embarrassing and that I regret. I definitely owe some people a pretty strong apology,” Schneider said during the 19-minute video.

The fifth and bonus Quiet on Set episode will feature interviews with returning All That stars Giovonnie Samuels and Bryan Christopher Hearne, while All That castmember Shane Lyons will be interviewed for the first time.

Following on Bell publicly identifying himself as the person who was sexually assaulted on a set at age 15 for years by Peck, a network dialogue coach who was put on trial and convicted for sexually molesting a previously unnamed minor, the Drake & Josh alum will return to talk more about the dark side of the time period at Nickelodeon as his own personal journey of triumph over adversity continues.

Schwartz told THR that Bell hearing from fellow survivors of sexual abuse after Quiet on Set fed his strength to continue sharing his story. “That’s given him a certain sort of strength and feeling that there is a power in telling your truth, and shedding light and helping other people not feel so alone in that experience. Because for many years that was how he felt: very, very alone,” she explained.

And it seems safe to assume more episodes of Quiet on Set are on the way, as Robertson and Schwartz are keeping their cameras rolling.

“We’re devoted to telling this story. We’re passionate about telling the story. We don’t think we’re done telling this story,” said Robertson.

Quiet on Set: Breaking the Silence premieres Sunday, April 7, at 8/7c on ID. Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV is now streaming on Max.


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