EXCLUSIVE: Nickelodeon has greenlit a fifth season of its flagship live-action series iCarly. After locking in star Miranda Cosgrove with a new deal, the network has ordered 13 new episodes of the comedy, which will begin production in 2012 for a premiere later that year. The renewal comes on the heels of the most recent episode of iCarly, iOMG, drawing a massive audience of 7.4 million last Saturday. The episode was the most watched basic cable program last week and ranks as basic cable’s top kids’ telecast this year in total viewers. iCarly is in the midst of a two-year pickup. Season 3 is currently airing, with production on Season 4 slated to begin in May.
Created and executive produced by Dan Schneider, iCarly has been a runaway hit for Nickelodeon since the sitcom’s 2007 launch, ranking as Nickelodeon’s top-rated live-action series in total viewers and all key kids and tween demos and spawning ratings record-breaking specials like iGot a Hot Room and iSaved Your Life. “Our audience will be psyched to get more of what they love – new episodes of their favorite show, iCarly,” said Marjorie Cohn, Nickelodeon’s president of original programming and development. A show within a show, iCarly follows Carly Shay (Cosgrove) and her best friends, Sam (Jennette McCurdy), Freddie (Nathan Kress) and Gibby (Noah Munck), as they create a webcast for and about kids their age while grappling with everyday tween problems and adventures. Carly lives with her older brother and guardian Spencer (Jerry Trainor) who produces her web show from a makeshift studio in the loft upstairs. Since hitting stardom with iCarly, Cosgrove also has launched a music career, releasing her first album last year.