Paramount+ announced on Jan. 12 that the popular Nickelodeon show Zoey 101 will get a sequel in the form of a movie. The movie, starring Jamie Lynn Spears, is tentatively called Zoey 102 and is set to be released later in 2023.
The original show starred Spears as Zoey Brooks, who navigated life at a fictional boarding school alongside a group of friends. The show aired from 2005-08. Most of the original cast will return, but Victoria Justice (who played Lola Martinez) and Alexa Nikolas (who played Nicole Bristow) will not. Austin Butler, who only appeared in 10 episodes, is not expected to reprise his role.
Nikolas has previously spoken out against Nickelodeon and her alleged treatment on the show, calling out Zoey 101 creator Dan Schneider, who is not involved in the reboot, for his allegedly “exploitative” behavior.
According to The New York Times, Nickelodeon investigated Schneider before the two ended their production deal in 2018 and found that some co-workers viewed him as “verbally abusive.” Schneider spoke with The New York Times in 2021 but didn’t comment on the investigation.
While Schneider isn’t involved in Zoey 102, Nikolas protested Nickelodeon Studios in 2022, saying the network allegedly “didn’t protect” her and other child actors.
“I did not feel protected at Nickelodeon as a child,” Nikolas said at the protest.
Given what Nikolas has said in the past, fans of the show are concerned about its return.
The skepticism isn’t just from fans but also from former cast members.
Paul Butcher, who played Zoey’s younger brother Dustin, posted this video to TikTok in which he illustrates Earth asking the question, “What if we don’t want a Zoey 101 reboot movie anymore?” The video then cuts to a characterized version of Spears with a crying eyes filter responding, “Don’t be ridiculous, dear. Everybody wants this.”
Several people have contentious feelings toward the sequel, given all that’s happened since the show went off the air. However, some fans still want to be, and are, excited for the movie’s premiere.
Former Nickelodeon show iCarly — also revived on Paramount+ — went through similar issues during its new incarnation, with co-star Jennette McCurdy (who played Sam Puckett) detailing the alleged trauma she suffered on set.
The third season of iCarly premieres sometime in 2023 on the streaming platform. Furthermore, Schneider is not involved in the iCarly sequel.
While fans still have time to process their emotions about Zoey 102, it’s clear there is a faction of viewers who will not be supporting the movie.
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