While iCarly can easily be added to this list of ‘television revivals’, the sitcom’s reboot lands with something many other shows are yet to achieve - reintroducing our favourite teenage characters as adults, without tarnishing the show's legacy.
The original Emmy-nominated teen comedy proved to be a huge hit with young audiences on its debut in 2007, breaking viewership records for Nickelodeon up until the show ended in 2012.
The Paramount+ reboot of iCarly takes place almost a decade after that series wrapped, but it’s not just the actors and characters that have aged.
Rather than refocusing its target audience back onto children, star and executive producer Miranda Cosgrove wanted to instead make the revival suitable for the people that grew up with the show.
The decision is something that similar reboots of children’s shows haven’t quite figured out how to navigate yet, with the That’s So Raven spinoff Raven’s Home returning as a family comedy similar to the original.
It’s also well-reported that despite Hilary Duff wanting to revive her Disney series, Lizzie McGuire, for an older audience, the project was scrapped over creative differences.
In an exclusive chat with Yahoo Lifestyle, Miranda Cosgrove discussed the difficulties and struggles she has encountered while creating the revamped series of iCarly for a mature demographic.
“We still want families to be able to watch the show together, and we also just didn’t want the show to lose the heart of what it originally had,” she explains.
“So we wanted to keep that without it seeming like a kids show, which is a hard thing to do.
“We're constantly talking with the writers, Jerry [Trainor], Nathan [Kress] and I, and hearing their ideas and trying to balance that, really trying to make sure that even though we still want it to be wacky, that it's not wacky in just like a childish way.”
The first season of the reboot features a number of unexpected moments, including the use of explicit terms like ‘b***h’, adult references including RuPaul’s Drag Race and suggestions of Miranda’s character Carly having a threesome.
“It's been really fun getting to do things on the show that we would have never been able to do in the original series,” Miranda continues. “Like for instance, Jerry’s character Spencer accidentally hiring a sex worker for Freddie's character. That would never happen on the original show.
“We don't want to try to make it really edgy every episode, but it is really fun when those moments come up and we'll be filming a scene and we'll kind of look at each other and be like, yeah, there's no way we would have ever been able to do this in the last series.”
Miranda went on to detail how she wanted the new show to echo the events and situations that she is currently experiencing as a 28-year-old, just as the first series tackled when she was a teenager.
“I just thought it was important to really show the characters ten years later what they’re really like now and touch on a lot of different storylines that are similar to things that I'm going through in real life,” she describes.
“When I did the original show I was 13, and a lot of the things like having a first kiss and going on dates and getting in your first fight with your best friend, those are all things that had happened to me in real life around the same time, but I wanted that to happen again even though the show was for adults now.”
Miranda also admitted that her biggest concern when she was first approached about an iCarly revival was centred around the fans of the original series.
“We don't want to ruin anyone's childhood memories by making a show that didn't live up to the expectations of whatever people were hoping for,” she says.
“But then when we realised it was going to be a different show, even though it's very similar and a lot of the sets are the same and it's the same universe, it's really aged up a lot and more for adults.”
The actress adds that once she realised it was possible to do the reboot how she wanted, the experience became exciting and “less scary”.
“It's not the exact show and it won't ever be exactly the same as that, but the old show will always be there, and this is kind of like an extension where we get to explore new things that we would have never been able to do on the old show.”
iCarly streaming exclusively on Paramount+ Australia from Wednesday, August 11.
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