Nickelodeon Green-Lights Additional Episodes of TEENick's Drake & Josh for Hit Comedy Series' Fourth Season Launching This September Co-Stars Drake Bell and Josh Peck Also Take Turns Behind the Camera to Make

Directorial Debuts



    SANTA MONICA, Calif., May 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Kids across America,
 including those who voted Drake & Josh their Favorite TV Show last month at
 Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, will cheer to hear that the hit series
 starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck has been picked up for an additional
 seven episodes, bringing its upcoming fourth season total to 20. The
 announcement about the buddy comedy that also ranks as TV's number-one
 rated live-action series with kids 2-11 was made today by Marjorie Cohn,
 Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming,
 Nickelodeon. Each of the co-stars is also slated to take a turn behind the
 camera on one episode, both making their television directorial debuts.
     The series resumed production in March after a six-week hiatus during
 which 2006 Kids' Choice Award winner Bell (Favorite TV Star) recovered from
 injuries suffered in a car accident. With the additional episode order,
 filming will extend through July.
     "Kids adore Drake & Josh, because the guys, who are such gifted comedic
 actors, also have great chemistry and are completely relatable," said Cohn.
 "While these stepbrothers are polar opposites, underneath their comic
 conflict, they share a bond, and their coming together is the heart of the
 series. We're very excited to provide kids with more new episodes of this
 terrific show from our hit-maker, executive producer/creator Dan
 Schneider's Schneider's Bakery."
     Drake & Josh scored instantly when it debuted in the network's popular
 TEENick block in January 2004, and it rocketed to the top of the Nielsen's
 with kids and tweens. The show first broke records as Nick's highest rated
 series premiere in almost 10 years. In the first week of 2006, the
 television movie Drake & Josh Go Hollywood ranked as the highest-rated TV
 movie with Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 in Nickelodeon history, and was the
 highest-rated show on all of broadcast and cable television within its key
 demos. Drake & Josh airs regularly with new episodes on Saturdays at 8:30
 p.m. (ET/PT). In 2006 to date, the series is averaging a 5.8/1.2M tween
 9-14 rating, up +14% vs. the same time period last year and a 5.7/1.8M
 rating with kids 2-11 and 6-11 7.1/1.4M. On average, 3.0 million total
 viewers have tuned in this year. (Source: Nielsen Media Research - 12/26/05
 - 4/9/06)
     Beyond the tube the series' popularity extends to Nick.com and
 TurboNick, Nickelodeon's broadband video platform available on Nick.com.
 Drake & Josh has garnered 1.5 million plus streams on TurboNick thus far in
 2006. And the Drake & Josh message boards boast over 1.1 million page views
 in 2006 through 4/28/06.
     Humor, heart and music by title heartthrob Bell pervade Drake & Josh.
 Charming, work-averse schemer Drake Parker (Bell), a singer-musician and
 ladies' man, pulls responsible, sensitive Josh Nichols into shenanigans
 that leave them both hanging off a figurative cliff. Shared antics cement a
 growing brotherly bond, while perennial teen issues and dilemmas come to
 light. Miranda Cosgrove (Yours, Mine & Ours, School of Rock) co-stars as
 Drake and Josh's sister, Megan, a mischievous 12-year-old with a penchant
 for practical jokes. Nancy Sullivan (The Amanda Show) and Jonathan
 Goldstein play their loving parents Audrey Parker and Walter Nichols.
     Classic Nickelodeon success stories, Peck and Bell ascended from Nick's
 The Amanda Show ensemble to become series headliners and soon will segue to
 the big screen to star in recently announced action/comedy feature film
 from Nickelodeon Movies, written by Schneider and Steve Molaro.
     Bell, who recently co-starred in Nick Movies/Paramount Pictures' Yours,
 Mine & Ours with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo, taped his first commercial at
 age 5 and appeared soon after opposite Gena Rowlands in the feature film
 The Neon Bible. He grabbed attention in a featured role in Jerry Maguire
 and followed with a co-starring role -- and private music lessons -- with
 Roger Daltrey in Chasing Destiny. The experience inspired him to start his
 own band, and his music and vocals are featured in his album Telegraph and
 on the Drake & Josh soundtrack. Bell also appeared as John Cusack's son in
 the HBO feature The Jack Bull and played Cusack's character as a kid in
 High Fidelity.
     Peck, who lends his voice to the hit animated feature film Ice Age 2:
 The Meltdown, started his acting career at age 7 and launched a stand-up
 comedy career at 9 by appearing in New York clubs including Catch a Rising
 Star and Stand Up, New York. He made his feature-film debut a few years
 later in the Nickelodeon/Paramount movie Snow Day, followed by Max Keeble's
 Big Move and Spun. He recently won critical acclaim, including an
 Independent Spirit Award, with the role of a bully who gets his comeuppance
 in the feature film Mean Creek and as a punk kid in Barbara Kopple's movie
 Havoc. Last year, Peck was inducted into the Friar's Club as its youngest
 member.
     Schneider continues to carve a progressive niche in the world of kid
 and family entertainment currently as executive producer/creator of the
 Nickelodeon hits Zoey 101 and Drake & Josh. He also creatively ran
 Nickelodeon's All That for several years, serving as executive producer and
 show runner and created and executive produced The Amanda Show. His unique
 sense of kid-humor served as a natural launching pad for his feature-film
 endeavors including Good Burger a Paramount Pictures/Nickelodeon Movies
 film and Big Fat Liar from Universal Studios. His recent credits also
 include creating and executive producing the WB series What I Like About
 You. He received an Emmy(R) nomination for Nickelodeon's Zoey 101, starring
 Jamie Lynn Spears.
     Nickelodeon, in its 27th year, is the number-one entertainment brand
 for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in
 everything it does. The company includes television programming and
 production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer
 products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films.
 Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 89 million
 households and has been the number- one-rated basic cable network for more
 than ten consecutive years. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters
 and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:   VIA, VIA.B).
     * (Source: Nielsen Cume Data - 1Q06)
 
 

SOURCE Nickelodeon

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