It’s time for the members of iCarly‘s nation to wake up and join her on Paramount+, as Carly Shay (Miranda Cosgrove) enters the spotlight again, nearly 10 years after the original Nickelodeon series concluded.
The last time fans saw Carly, she was heading off to Italy to live with her father overseas, bidding viewers, her brother Spencer (Jerry Trainor) and friends Freddie (Nathan Kress) and Sam (Jennette McCurdy) farewell. Now, she’s back in Seattle and all grown up, living with her new bestie Harper (Laci Mosley) in the building where she grew up.
“It was crazy seeing the set for the first time in all these years,” Cosgrove tells TV Insider. “Just walking on it made me really happy and also a little sad, just because it reminds you of all of your experiences. But overall, it’s been such a great experience,” the actress gushes.
When the show picks up, Carly is working on reviving her popular web series. “She’s navigating trying to be on the internet and having a YouTube channel for the first time in 10 years,” Cosgrove explains. Helping her are Spencer and Freddie, along with Harper, and Freddie’s adopted stepdaughter Millicent (Jaidyn Triplett).
And while Carly will have to overcome the challenge of working on a new version of her show, pal Freddie is just working on keeping it all together. “A lot of life has happened to him — he’s twice divorced,” Kress reveals. “He is a tech entrepreneur that immediately failed and is now living with his adopted stepdaughter in his mom’s apartment.”
Fans will have to wait and see what exactly led him there, but rest assured there’s some interesting change on the horizon. “In a weird way, he’s come kind of full circle in the last 10 years,” Kress says, “but a lot of rough stuff has happened along the way, and it’s very much changed his outlook and his approach to things.”
Spencer, on the other hand, has been living it up after success in the art world. “Spencer lucked into fame and fortune when one of his sculptures accidentally caught fire and it became this incredible artistic statement,” Trainor teases. “Now, he’s rich and famous, so he remodeled the apartment. ”
But while Trainor says they’re “grownups” in this more mature revamp, he also admits that “Spencer’s kind of the same, and I’m happy to be that guy…The kids are all grown up, but some things remain the same.” That sameness includes the nuts onscreen antics for Carly’s show as Cosgrove confirmed that “we do baby Spencer in the pilot.” (Yes!)
While some fans might be missing Sam (McCurdy, who also starred in spinoff Sam & Cat post-iCarly, quit acting several years ago) Carly’s friend Harper is bringing a new level of flair to the show. “She really makes Carly step out of her comfort zone,” Cosgrove says.
“Harper’s character really reflects what it’s like to be a millennial,” Mosley adds. “You get to see her navigate what a lot of millennials faced when they got out of school. And also in dating, Harper is bi, so she’s interested in women and men and we get to navigate that space as well.”
When it comes to the web series though, don’t expect Harper to be too hands-on. “This is the first time that we’re going to really see Carly step into her own power,” Mosley shares. “So, Carly is going to be running iCarly…and Harper has her own interests.”
However, Freddie’s stepdaughter Millicent is the one hurdle Carly might have to overcome. Triplett hints that the youngster “can be sarcastic; she can also be very nice to you; she can be manipulative.” The young girl sees Carly as competition for her own digital future.
“She thinks [Carly]’s old and weird,” Triplett says. “She definitely is very competitive when it comes to Carly.” Perhaps she’ll be able to learn a thing or two from the “original influencer.” As Cosgrove says, the characters that fans came to know over the years on Nickelodeon “have a lot more life under their belts.”
Despite the passage of time, Carly’s fans are sticking by the webcaster. “In the pilot, I talk about telling all the old iCarly fans that we’re starting the show back up again,” notes Cosgrove. “I think she has 3 million subscribers.”
“She’s doing pretty well, but she’s working at it,” Cosgrove says of her character’s efforts to relaunch her web series. Thankfully with the fervor surrounding this Paramount+ title, it feels like Cosgrove and her castmates will have an even easier time reconnecting with old fans than their onscreen counterparts.
iCarly, Series Premiere, Thursday, June 17, Paramount+