Daniel James Schneider
January 14, 1966
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Daniel James Schneider (born January 14, 1966) is an American television producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is the founder and co-president of the production company Schneider's Bakery, which he established in 2003 after working as a supporting actor in film and television throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Schneider has helped to create, write, and/or produce the comedy series All That, Drake & Josh, Game Shakers, Henry Danger, Kenan & Kel, iCarly, Sam & Cat, The Adventures of Kid Danger, The Amanda Show, Victorious, What I Like About You, and Zoey 101, the vast majority of which aired on Nickelodeon. He also wrote and appeared in the 1997 film Good Burger, and wrote and co-produced the 2002 film Big Fat Liar.
In 2018, Nickelodeon announced that they had ended their long-time deal with Schneider. In 2018 and 2022, details of his alleged misconduct towards Nickelodeon employees were made public, which he partly denied. After a three-year hiatus, he revealed in 2021 that he had written and sold a new pilot to a different network.
Daniel James Schneider was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 14, 1966, the son of Harry and Carol Schneider. He attended Harvard University, but dropped out after one semester. He found work repairing computers upon returning to Memphis, but soon moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
In the 1980s, Schneider appeared in several films including Making the Grade, Better Off Dead, The Big Picture, Happy Together and Hot Resort. In 1986, he played Dennis Blunden on the ABC television sitcom Head of the Class. The series ran for five seasons from 1986 to 1991. In 1993, he starred in the series Home Free, and in 1994, he played Shawn Eckhardt in Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story, one of two made-for-television films about the Tonya Harding–Nancy Kerrigan scandal. He has made cameo appearances in TV series that he has helped to create and/or produce: All That (and its subsequent film Good Burger), Kenan & Kel, The Amanda Show, Zoey 101, iCarly, and Henry Danger. Schneider also does voice overs in many projects.
Schneider co-hosted the 1988 Kids' Choice Awards, where he met Nickelodeon development executive Albie Hecht. In 1993, Hecht, now head of production for the network, hired Schneider to work on a new sketch-comedy show for children called All That. After writing the pilot episode, Schneider worked as producer, executive producer, and writer on the show. Schneider quit All That after the first four seasons to run The Amanda Show. The show's ratings soon declined, and it was cancelled in the 2000–2001 season. Nickelodeon then asked Schneider to come back and revamp All That in 2001. Schneider agreed, and All That returned to Nickelodeon in 2002. It ran for another four seasons until 2005, bringing All That to the end of its 10-season run.
From 1996 to 1997, Schneider was an executive producer and a writer for Kenan & Kel. Schneider guest-starred in an episode and was an executive producer during the first two seasons. He continued working as a consultant for the remainder of the series. He wrote the 1997 film Good Burger, starring Kenan and Kel and featuring Schneider himself in a supporting role. The film was spun off from a popular All That sketch produced by Schneider.
In 1998, he began his career as a show creator with Guys Like Us. The series is one of only two series Schneider created that was produced for broadcast network television. The show was cancelled after its first season due to low ratings and poor reviews. The next two shows created by Schneider starred Amanda Bynes, who had worked with Schneider on All That. The Amanda Show ran from 1999 until 2002 on Nickelodeon and was a spin-off from All That. Schneider himself often appeared on The Amanda Show as a frustrated old man who was frequently the victim of strange prank phone calls. Schneider co-created What I Like About You with former Friends writer/producer Wil Calhoun. It premiered in 2002 on The WB and ran until 2006. Schneider was an executive producer during the show's first two seasons. He also wrote and co-produced the 2002 film Big Fat Liar which earned a total of $52.4 million at the worldwide box office.
Schneider returned to Nickelodeon in 2004 with the show Drake & Josh. The series starred Drake Bell and Josh Peck, who were actors on The Amanda Show, and Miranda Cosgrove, who would later star in another of Schneider's shows, iCarly. Overlapping both Drake & Josh and iCarly, Schneider created the show Zoey 101, which starred Jamie Lynn Spears. Zoey 101 was Schneider's first and to date only single-camera format program and the first to be presented in a letterboxed format. Schneider also guest-starred in the Zoey 101 series finale "Chasing Zoey", playing a cab driver. After the show was cancelled in 2008, Schneider began working on a new project for one of the actresses, Victoria Justice. That show, Victorious, premiered in 2010 after the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards. A dual-show spin-off of both iCarly and Victorious called Sam & Cat premiered in 2013. It was cancelled after 36 episodes. On March 9, 2010, it was announced that Schneider himself would sign a deal with Nickelodeon.
Following the cancellation of Sam & Cat, Schneider co-created Henry Danger with Dana Olsen. The show premiered in 2014. The following year, Schneider created Game Shakers, which reunited him with actor and Nickelodeon veteran Kel Mitchell. Schneider also served as executive producer.
On March 26, 2018, Nickelodeon announced that it would not be extending its production deal with Schneider and his company Schneider's Bakery. In addition, the network also announced that his comedy Game Shakers would not be renewed for a fourth season. His remaining Nickelodeon comedy Henry Danger would be receiving a fifth season and a new showrunner.
After a three-year hiatus, Schneider announced that he had several new projects in development; The New York Times commented that he seemed "set on returning to television and reintroducing his brand of comedy to new audiences". In a June 2021 interview, he described an "ambitious and very different" television pilot that he had written and sold to a different network. Schneider said that this proposed show is aimed at more of an adult audience than his previous work.
Schneider has been described as "the Norman Lear of children's television" by The New York Times, "the Aaron Sorkin of teen sitcoms" by Gawker, and "the Willy Wonka of television" by Forbes. Variety cited his "Jedi Master-like acumen for creating shows that appeal to kids in the awkward years of adolescence".
Deadline Hollywood, the first to report about Nickelodeon parting ways with Schneider in March 2018, also reported that there were complaints about Schneider's alleged behavior. This included his alleged "well-documented temper issues for years" and his activities on Twitter, where he often posted pictures of the feet of the young actresses who worked for him. Nickelodeon did not respond to Deadline's report and Schneider's representative refused to comment.
In June 2021, the New York Times reported that Nickelodeon's decision to sever ties with Schneider came after its parent company ViacomCBS completed an internal investigation that found evidence of Schneider verbally abusing his colleagues. Some of his colleagues told the newspaper that they found him to be difficult to work with and "prone to tantrums and angry emails". The investigation did not find evidence of sexual misconduct. When asked about the allegations, Schneider defended his work and said that if people found him to be hard to work with, it was because he maintained "high standards" as showrunner.
In August 2022, Insider reported several new allegations from former actors and employees, including accusations of gender discrimination and asking for "massages from adult female colleagues". A person "close to Schneider" said Schneider "regrets ever asking anyone [for a massage] and agrees it was not appropriate". Russell Hicks, a former executive at Nickelodeon, denied allegations of "sexualized" scenes in Schneider's shows and claimed that "parents and caregivers and their friends [were] watching every single frame of footage and listening to every joke [...] every single thing that Dan ever did on any of his shows was carefully scrutinized and approved".
Schneider met food blogger Lisa Lillien at Nickelodeon in the 1990s, and the two were married in 2002. They lived in the Encino neighborhood of Los Angeles until 2016, when they purchased a $9 million mansion from heiress Lori Milgard in Hidden Hills, California.
Notably overweight for his entire career, Schneider revealed in 2021 that he had lost over 100 lb (45 kg) during his hiatus.
|Making the Grade||1984||Blimp|
|Better Off Dead||1985||Ricky Smith|
|Listen to Me||1989||Nathan Gore|
|The Big Picture||1989||Jonathan Tristan-Bennet|
|Good Burger||1997||Mr. Bailey; also screenwriter and co-producer|
|Big Fat Liar||2002||Screenwriter, story, and producer|
|Head of the Class||1986–91||Dennis Blunden|
|Home Free||1993||Walter Peters|
|All That||1994–1999||Mr. Bailey|
|Kenan & Kel||1996||Angus||"Baggin' Saggin' Kel" (season 1: episode 12)|
|The Amanda Show||2000–2001||Mr. Oldman||Various episodes|
|Zoey 101||2008||Taxi driver||"Chasing Zoey" (season 4: episode 12)|
|iCarly||2012||Meekalito, Police Officer, voiceover, random dancer cameo appearance||Various episodes|
|Sam & Cat||2013–2014||Tandy (red robot)||Voice, recurring role|
|All That||1994–2005 (Nickelodeon)||Writer (Seasons 1–4, 6–10), producer (Seasons 1–2), executive producer (Seasons 6–10), guest star|
|Kenan & Kel||1996–2000 (Nickelodeon)||Co-executive producer (Seasons 1–2), writer (Seasons 1–2), consultant (Seasons 3–4), guest star|
|Guys Like Us||1998–1999 (UPN)||Creator, executive producer|
|The Amanda Show||1999–2002 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer, director (Seasons 2–3), recurring guest star|
|What I Like About You||2002–2006 (The WB)||Co-creator (with Wil Calhoun), executive producer (Seasons 1–2), director, writer, executive consultant (Seasons 3–4)|
|Drake & Josh||2004–2007 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer|
|Zoey 101||2005–2008 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer, guest star ("Chasing Zoey")|
|iCarly||2007–2012 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer, guest star|
|Victorious||2010–2013 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer, actor (voice)|
|Sam & Cat||2013–2014 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer|
|Henry Danger||2014–2020 (Nickelodeon)||Co-creator (with Dana Olsen), executive producer (Seasons 1–4), director, writer, guest star|
|Game Shakers||2015–2019 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer, writer|
|The Adventures of Kid Danger||2018 (Nickelodeon)||Creator, executive producer|
|Danger Force||2020–present (Nickelodeon)||Co-creator (credit only)|
|iCarly||2021 (Paramount+)||Creator (credit only)|
|1995||CableACE Award||Children's Series – 7 and Older||All That||Nominated|
|2000||Burbank International Children's Film Festival Award||Best Short Comedy||The Amanda Show||Won|
|2005||Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Children's Program
Shared with Jan Korbelin & Bill O'Dowd
|2009||Outstanding Children's Program
Shared with Robin Weiner, Bruce Rand Berman & Joe Catania
|2010||BAFTA Children's Award||Best International
Shared with Joe Catania
Shared with Sean Gill & Bruce Rand Berman
|Primetime Emmy Award||Outstanding Children's Program
Bruce Rand Berman, Joe Catania & Robin Weiner
|2011||Outstanding Children's Program
Shared with George Doty IV, Robin Weiner, Bruce Rand Berman & Joe Catania
|Outstanding Children's Program
Bruce Rand Berman, Joe Catania & Robin Weiner
|2014||Kids' Choice Award||Lifetime Achievement Award||Won|
These days, after his three-year hiatus, Schneider seems set on returning to television ... to bring forward an 'ambitious and very different' pilot that he has written and sold to another network.