What These Former Nickelodeon Stars Are Up To Now In 2021

Hey Millennials: did this year’s debut of the iCarly reboot make you feel old? Perhaps it seems like just yesterday that you were tuned into Nickelodeon’s Drake & Josh; today, Drake Bell is making headlines for child endangerment charges. Or maybe it’s hard to believe that Jamie Lynn Spears—best known as high schooler Zoey Brooks—is a mother of two.

All this is to say that we can’t believe how much time has passed since we were first introduced to these child stars. And it’s just as incredible that after all these years, they remain in the spotlight (some for better reasons than others.) Take a trip down memory lane and find out where all of your favorite former Nickelodeon stars are now.

Victoria Justice

Left to right: Victoria Justice in 2006, Victoria Justice in 2020
(s_bukley / Shutterstock.com, Ron Adar, Shutterstock.com)

What They’re Most Famous For

Victoria Justice made her TV debut in a 2003 episode of Gilmore Girls, but children’s channels are where she found fame. After three seasons on Zoey 101 and appearances on shows like The Suite Life of Zack & Cody and iCarly, Justice earned top billing in the sitcom Victorious. For four seasons, she won over millions of teens with her role as aspiring singer Tori Vega. The series also earned two consecutive Kids’ Choice Awards (2012 and 2013) for Favorite TV show.

What They’re Doing Now

Now 28, Justice is an all-around entertainer who divides her time between singing and acting. One of her bigger projects included starring alongside Laverne Cox in 2016’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again. She also self-released two singles this year: “Stay” and “Too F–kin’ Nice.”

She hasn’t forgotten her roots, either. In 2020, she hosted a virtual edition of Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards.

Drake Bell

Left to right: Drake Bell in 2006, Drake Bell in 2019
(Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com, David Livingston / Getty Images)

What They’re Most Famous For

Drake Bell was 13 years old when he first appeared on Nickelodeon’s The Amanda Show; five years later, he and co-star Josh Peck earned their own spin-off Drake & Josh. The Odd Couple-esque sitcom ran for four seasons between 2004 and 2007 and spawned three full-length made-for-TV movies. Bell also found success as a musician, writing and performing the series’ theme song “I Found a Way.” His role helped win multiple Kids’ Choice Awards for Favorite TV Actor and Favorite TV Show.

What They’re Doing Now

Bell had a successful post-Nick career, voicing Spider-Man in various TV series: Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Ultimate Spider-Man. He’s also released a total of five studio albums, one of which charted on the US Billboard 200.

But recent legal troubles have threatened his career and reputation. In early July, Bell pleaded guilty to charges of attempted child endangerment regarding an incident involving a 15-year-old girl. He was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.

Jennette McCurdy

Left to right: Jennette McCurdy in 2010, screenshot of Jennette McCurdy's podcast 'Empty Inside'
(Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com, Jennette McCurdy / YouTube)

What They’re Most Famous For

Jennette McCurdy is best known for playing Sam Puckett on iCarly. After its five-year run, she starred in two seasons of the spin-off Sam & Cat. She also showed promise as a musician, landing on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for her 2012 single “Generation Love.”

What They’re Doing Now

But McCurdy didn’t quite capitalize on her teen fame the way her fellow Nickelodeon peers did. She eventually quit acting and even declined an opportunity to appear on the recent iCarly reboot.

“I resent my career in a lot of ways,” she said earlier this year. “I feel so unfulfilled by the roles that I played and felt like it was the most cheesy, embarrassing.”

McCurdy revealed that her acting years coincided with hidden personal traumas, including a history of eating disorders and a toxic relationship with her mother. Today, she has turned her life around and focuses on work behind the camera. She has written and directed three short films since 2018 and currently hosts the podcast Empty Inside.

Keke Palmer

Left to right: Keke Palmer in 2009, Keke Palmer in 2019
(Jaguar PS / Shutterstock.com, Theo Wargo / Getty Images)

What They’re Most Famous For

Keke Palmer was a promising star with an impressive resume (Akeelah and the Bee, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne) long before Nickelodeon scooped her up to play the lead on True Jackson, VP. Palmer’s role on the sitcom made her the fourth highest-paid child star of 2010; she also parlayed her success into a fashion line carried at Walmart.

What They’re Doing Now

True Jackson, VP ran for three seasons and ended in 2011, but Palmer continued working for Nickelodeon on other projects, including voiceover work for Winx Club and a starring role in the movie Rags. She didn’t rely on the teen demographic forever, though. In 2019, she co-hosted the daytime news program GMA3 (or Strahan, Sara, and Keke) with Sarah Haines and Michael Strahan. She also had a role in Lorene Scarafia’s Hustlers.

Palmer, who has one studio album and four EPs under her belt, continues to pursue music, too. (It seems that courting controversy on Twitter has not affected her career.) In 2020, she hosted the MTV Video Music Awards, where she performed the single “Snack.”

Jamie Lynn Spears

(s_bukley / Shutterstock.com, ViacomCBS)

What They’re Most Famous For

Jamie Lynn Spears wasn’t one to live in the shadow of her big sister Britney. From 2002-2004, she starred in episodes of the sketch comedy show All That. The following year, she scored her own show, Zoey 101. The series ran for three years and was one of Nickelodeon’s highest-rated programs of the 2000s. In 2006, Spears won the Kids’ Choice Award for Favorite TV actress.

What They’re Doing Now

Spears became pregnant during the final season of Zoey 101 and is currently a mom to two kids, Maddie Briann Aldridge and Ivey Joan Watson. She dropped out of the spotlight for a few years to focus on motherhood, but in 2019 she was cast in the Netflix series Sweet Magnolias. The following year, she confirmed that a Zoey 101 reboot was in the works following a cast reunion on All That.

All eyes are currently on Spears as her big sis fights for her independence. Perhaps she’ll provide more insight in her memoir, which is scheduled for release in January 2022.

Amanda Bynes

Left to right: Amanda Bynes in 2003, Amanda Bynes in 2020
(Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com, Instagram)

What They’re Most Famous For

Amanda Bynes was Nickelodeon’s golden child in the 1990s. Her natural comedic talent on the sketch show All That led to her own popular variety series The Amanda Show. From there, she spent four years starring in the WB comedy What I Like About You while working on her budding film career. With positive reviews for She’s the Man and Hairspray, fans and critics saw a promising future for Bynes.

What They’re Doing Now

In 2010, Bynes announced her retirement from acting after filming her final movie, Easy A. After a string of disturbing and controversial behavior, her parents for conservatorship in 2013. She turned a new leaf as a student at a Los Angeles fashion school, graduating in 2019. Bynes continues to struggle with restarting a stalled career, but concerned fans on social media are rooting for a comeback.

Miranda Cosgrove

Left to right: Miranda Cosgrove in 2008, Miranda Cosgrove in 'iCarly (2021)'
(Everett Collection / Shutterstock.com, Paramount+)

What They’re Most Famous For

Miranda Cosgrove showed promise ever since she played the sassy little student Summer Hathaway in School of Rock. But it was her starring role on Nickelodeon’s iCarly that made her a household name. In addition to starring on six seasons of the teen sitcom, she made appearances on a number of the channels’ other programs (Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, All That) and had a starring voice role in the Despicable Me film series.

What They’re Doing Now

Cosgrove released the studio album Sparks Fly in 2010, but she seems to prioritize acting over music. Most recently, she received two Daytime Emmy nominations for her CBS series Mission Unstoppable with Miranda Cosgrove. And earlier this year, she starred in the reboot of iCarly on Paramount Plus. Cosgrove also served as an executive producer on the series—a reminder that she’s come a long way from being a cute child star.

Josh Peck

Left to right: Josh Peck in 2003, Josh Peck in 2021
(Featureflash Photo Agency / Shutterstock.com, Matt Winkelmeyer / Getty Images)

What They’re Most Famous For

Like Drake Bell, Josh Peck got his start on The Amanda Show before transitioning to his own sitcom Drake & Josh. Since then, his varied career has included indie films, voice roles for the Ice Age animated film series, and primetime network series. His role on the short-lived Fox comedy Grandfathered even earned him a 2016 People’s Choice Award nomination for Favorite Actor in a New TV Series.

What They’re Doing Now

In 2017, Peck made the unusual transition from acting to vlogging. He started as a regular member of David Dobrik’s Vlog Squad and then established his own YouTube channel.

But he hasn’t given up on acting entirely. In July, he returned to screens as the star of Turner & Hooch on Disney+. He’s also currently filming 13: The Musical, co-starring Peter Hermann (Younger, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) and Rhea Perlman.

Devon Werkheiser

(s_bukley / Shutterstock.com, @devonwerkheiser / TikTok)

What They’re Most Famous For

Devon Werkheiser came into kids’ consciousness when he played Ned Bigby on the popular Nickelodeon sitcom Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide. The series ran for three seasons between 2004 and 2006, after which the young actor began dabbling in music. Between one-time spots on various TV shows (2 Broke Girls, Greek, Criminal Minds), he released the 2016 studio album Prologue and three EPs.

What They’re Doing Now

In 2019, Werkheiser appeared in the film Crown Vic, starring Bridget Moynahan and David Krumholtz. The following year, he starred in 10 episodes of the Twitch original series Artificial. These days, he engages his fans on TikTok, where he has 1 million followers.

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