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Top 10 Nickelodeon Stars: Where are They Now?

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Joey Turner These Nickelodeon stars were huge during their time! Some continue to work in TV while others have gone on to do different things. Amanda Bynes, Miranda Cosgrove, Danny Tamberelli, Larisa Oleynik, Jamie Lynn Spears, Victoria Justice, Kenan Thompson and Melissa Joan Hart, where are they now? Watch and find out!

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Top 10 Nickelodeon Stars

Life goes on after leaving a well-known kids network. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down the Top 10 Nickelodeon Stars, as well as answering the question, “Where are they now?” [alternate intro: Top Nicklodeon Stars and where they are now]
For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the biggest live-action Nickelodeon actors and actresses, who, since leaving the network, have drifted out of the spotlight. With that in mind, Nickelodeon alumni who have gone on to become megastars like Ariana Grande… will NOT be considered.

#10: Kenan Thompson

Back in the golden days, Kenan Thompson was a young comedy icon alongside his good buddy, Kel Mitchell. You would rarely see one without the other -whether they were bouncing off each other on All That, or bringing laughs on their own show, Kenan & Kel. However, after both series concluded, the two auditioned for Saturday Night Live, where only Kenan was selected. Although one of the longest-running cast members, Kenan has not since made the big transition to feature film success or talk show hosting like so many of his peers. For fans of the duo, Kenan and Kel will always be Dexter and Ed from Good Burger.

#9: Victoria Justice

Victoria Justice is another star with a good number of Nickelodeon credits to her name. Getting her start on the network when she was 12 as the character Lola Martinez on Zoey 101, she would go on to land roles in other Nick titles, including TV shows, movies and a hit musical. Justice really made it shine however as Tori Vega, the star of the 2010 sitcom, Victorious. Though her time with Nickelodeon is up for now, she’s still making herself known through her singing and acting ...and she’s not limited to kids’ programs anymore.

#8: Keke Palmer

Since her acting debut in 2004, Keke Palmer has been traveling the road to success. Along the way, she landed the role as the titular protagonist of True Jackson, VP – the Nickelodeon sitcom about a teen-turned-VP of a fashion company’s youth department. Her orange carpet journey didn’t end there, as she also voiced Aisha in the Nick dub of Winx Club, and co-starred in the musical TV movie, Rags. She eventually broke away from Nick and achieved two more milestones in her career – becoming the youngest talk show host on Just Keke, and the first African-American to portray Cinderella on Broadway. Like her character True Jackson, Keke is a true success story.

#7: Jamie Lynn Spears

It would seem that fame and controversy go hand in hand for members of the Spears family. Jamie Lynn, Britney Spears’ younger sister, started her Nickelodeon career as a cast member in the second generation of All That. After her performance on the series, she took center stage in her very own comedy-drama show, Zoey 101. Unfortunately, her career went on hiatus when she was discovered to be pregnant at 16-years-old. In 2013 however, the younger Spears sister got back on the horse, launching her country music career with the single “How Could I Want More”.

#6: Larisa Oleynik

During her teen idol years in the ‘90s, Larisa Oleynik was practically everywhere –including a certain kids’ network. Her crowning achievement for Nickelodeon was as the lead for The Secret World of Alex Mack, in which we followed her adventures as a teenage girl accidentally gifted with supernatural powers. Though the series ended on a cliffhanger, Oleynik was far from done as an actor – landing parts in various films and recurring TV appearances. While her status may no longer be what it was in the ‘90s, she still keeps herself busy with plenty of acting jobs – even temporarily returning to Nickelodeon for their dub of Winx Club as the deviously frosty leader of the Trix, Icy.

#5: Melissa Joan Hart

Melissa Joan Hart stepped onto the scene with Clarissa Explains it All, as the titular sassy girl who tells it like it is when it comes all things teen-aged. After a good few years, Melissa departed from the network to once again land a lead role on the small screen, this time in Sabrina: The Teenage Witch as the aforementioned adolescent sorceress. During this time, Sabrina could pop up anywhere. After a brief sitcom stardom hiatus, she landed yet ANOTHER lead role alongside Joey Lawrence for Melissa & Joey… a fitting title indeed. Nowadays, Melissa’s career has been composed of less sitcoms, and more TV guest appearances and films such as God’s Not Dead 2.

#4: Danny Tamberelli

In the early days, you couldn’t tune into Nickelodeon without seeing Danny Tamberelli. Danny’s first step to network fame began with his starring role alongside Mike Maronna as the Pete brothers in The Adventures of Pete and Pete. That wasn’t the end of Danny’s Nickelodeon success either; as he got older, he joined the cast of All That, and became a regular panelist on Figure it Out… they loved him there. Ironically, this young Nickelodeon poster child has now stepped out of the limelight, but the actor/musician still keeps busy – reuniting with Mike Maronna to host their own monthly podcast, where they once again are searching for new adventures.

#3: Drake Bell

Actor/Musician Drake Bell’s time on the orange carpet began with The Amanda Show, where he displayed his talent alongside Amanda Bynes and his good friend, Josh Peck Like Kenan and Kel, Drake and Josh’s comedic chemistry earned them their own sitcom as bickering stepbrothers. After various guest and film appearances, including three live-action Fairly Odd Parents movies, Bell eventually moved to voice Ultimate Spider-Man for Disney. His 3rd studio album, Ready Steady Go! sold 2,000 copies during its release week. Unfortunately, he’s faced some hardships – a few DUIs, losing his house, and a twitter war with Justin Bieber.

#2: Miranda Cosgrove
After her film debut in School of Rock, Miranda Cosgrove made her way up Nickelodeon’s orange carpet –starting with the mischievous little sister, Megan, on Drake & Josh. When she grew tired of torturing her on-screen brothers, she moved on to the role of Internet web show celebrity, Carly Shay, on iCarly. In between both shows, the young Cosgrove left her mark at least once on most then-big Nick live-action series, before finally departing after iCarly’s conclusion. Since leaving the network, Miranda continues to act, but has not taken center stage since her Nickelodeon days –aside from her voice work in the Despicable Me films. Regardless, she still has talent to spare.
Before we bring the spotlight on our number one star, here are a few honorable mentions.

Mike Maronna

Lori Beth Denberg

Ross Hull

#1: Amanda Bynes

Ah, Amanda Bynes – the young and hilarious newcomer to Season 3 of All That. Audiences loved her so much, she landed her own sketch comedy spin-off where she got to be not just her entertaining self, but also play her own obsessed number one fan, Penelope Taynt. With her Nickelodeon days winding down, Amanda struck out on her own – snagging a lead role on What I Like About You, and films such as She’s the Man. However, the acting bug soon left young Amanda, and she retired in 2012 – deciding instead to enroll in fashion college. Unfortunately, her off-screen antics have since kept her in the spotlight, even when she doesn't want it.

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