Who Is Dan Schneider? Inside the ‘Quiet on Set’ Subject’s Career and Allegations

Investigation Discovery’s four-part documentary series “Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” took a look behind-the-scenes of Nickelodeon’s most prolific and controversial writer and producer Dan Schneider. The docuseries chronicles how, during his years-long reign of alleged workplace abuse and sexual harassment, Schneider birthed what is known today as the network’s most successful eras, as well as the most horrific times for child actors and production crew members.

With a knack for knowing what makes kids laugh and an insatiable desire to produce kids TV, becoming “Nickelodeon’s golden boy,” as Business Insider Kate Taylor put it, came easy for Schneider.

But who was Schneider before the fame? In the series, journalists, former child stars, parents and Nickelodeon staffers all provide their memories, recollection and experiences of what it was like to work for the “abusive” boss. Here are some quick facts about Schneider and his time at the network.

Who is Dan Schneider?

Daniel “Dan” James Schneider is a longtime television producer, screenwriter and actor was born on Jan. 14, 1966 in Memphis, Tennessee. Per Investigation Discovery’s “Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” Schneider grew up an awkward teen and his parents didn’t have high hopes for him. The docuseries also stated that despite reports claiming he went to his father’s alma mater Harvard University, he never actually attended.

He is the founder and co-president of the production company Schneider’s Bakery, which he launchd in 2003 following his short stint as a TV and film actor during the ’80s and ’90s. He went on to become of Nickelodeon’s most prolific producers, TV creators and showrunners, jumpstarting two of the network’s most successful eras of TV in the ’90s and early 2000s.

Where did Dan Schneider get his start in children’s television?

During Schneider’s teen years, he auditioned and landed a role in “Head of Class” at age 19. He wanted to prove himself as a writer. His first step in the Nickelodeon doors was when he was invited to co-host the 1988 Kids’s Choice Awards. This is where he met Nickelodeon development executive Albie Hecht, and in 1993, Hecht hired him to develop a series for the network, which would become the teen sketch-comedy show “All That.”

What shows did Dan Schneider create?

Schneider was known as a “golden boy” at the network because every show Schneider had a hand in creating, writing or producing ended up being majorly successful. After “All That,” he went on launch series “Drake & Josh,” “Game Shakers,” “Sam & Cat,” “Victorious,” “What I Like About You,” “Zoey 101” “iCarly” and more. He also wrote and starred in the 1997 film “Good Burger.”

He’s also credited as for jumpstarting the careers of several child stars, like Kenan Thompson, Drake Bell, Amanda Bynes, Ariana Grande and more.

What’s the controversy surrounding Dan Schneider?

While Schneider was applauded for his sharp ability to grab children’s attentions through hilarious sketches that children and teens loved, behind the scenes he was known as an “abusive” boss who would take advantage of his cast and crew, according to “Quiet on Set.”

In the series, several former child stars and production staffers accused Schneider of pressuring wardrobe costumers to give him massages on set, underpaying and coercing female writers to perform sexual acts in the writers’ room and continually writing in coded sexual adult jokes into scenes for child actors.

When did Dan Schneider leave Nickelodeon?

After two investigations into workplace toxicity and misconduct on set and following the child-abuse-related arrests of two employees Jason Handy and Brian Peck, Nickelodeon cut ties with Schneider as the #MeToo movement started to gain momentum in 2017. He was dropped from the network in March 2018. Schneider still denies many of the claims made against him in the “Quiet On Set” series.

In a statement, Schneider said: “Everything that happened on the shows I ran was carefully scrutinized by dozens of involved adults. All the stories, costumes, and makeup were fully approved by network executives on two coasts. A standards and practices group read and ultimately approved every script, and programming executives reviewed and approved all episodes. In addition, every day on every set, there were always parents and caregivers and their friends watching us rehearse and film.”

For more of a breakdown of “Quiet On Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV,” click here. Watch the trailer for the four-part series below.

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