Thursday, May 21, 2020

Jamie Lynn Spears Opens Up About 'Zoey 101' Reboot Possibility in New Interview

Jamie Lynn Spears is giving an update on the possibility of a Zoey 101 reboot actually happening!


The 29-year-old Sweet Magnolias actor and singer recently shared what she hopes to happen and where she would like the show to live.

“I definitely think we should give the fans what they’ve been asking for. We’ve had conversations, and hopefully things will come together quickly, but we also want to do things the right way, and find the right home for it…I would like it [to go Netflix],” Jamie Lynn told Maria Menounos. “That’s the business side. Do I call Netflix?… I want it to happen. I’ve had conversations with people at Nickelodeon. I think it’s just about, hey Netflix, call your people! I’ll have your people call me people!”

A Zoey 101 reboot/revival on Netflix isn't that hard to imagine. Nickelodeon and Netflix formed a new, multi-year output deal late last year to produce original animated feature films and television series - based both on the Nickelodeon library of characters as well as all-new IP - for kids and families around the world. The deal marks an expansion of the existing relationship between the companies, which has already brought several popular titles to Netflix, including animated specials Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling and Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, and the animated series Pinky Malinky and Glitch Techs. Also forthcoming are specials based on The Loud House and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Spears also dished on Zoey and Chase’s relationship.

“We were like the biggest tease in the whole entire world… If the show comes back, I do think that their love story has to be a bit of a broken one…I don’t think it could be like, ‘Oh, we got right out of PCA and had a wonderful love story!’ That just wasn’t Zoey and Chase,” Jamie Lynn said. “It would have to be some break ups, and some makeups… but of course the Zoey fans want to see them together!…They love each other, but they can never make it last!”

In case you forgot, the Zoey 101 cast actually reunited twice last year. First time was without Jamie Lynn because she was working on her upcoming Netflix show Sweet Magnolias, and then again, but without Victoria Justice (Lola) for a skit on All That! The sketch, which is set to air on Nickelodeon later this year, will see Jamie Lynn Spears, Paul Butcher (Dustin), Sean Flynn (Chase), Kristin Herrera (Dana), Chris Massey (Michael), Erin Sanders (Quinn) and Matthew Underwood (Logan) in an all-new version of “Thelma Stump.”

Austin Butler, who played James Garrett on Zoey 101, is currently busy filming an Elvis Presley biopic.

Update (5/17) - Whilst talking to Fox News, Spears added: "I'm all for it. [...] I just think it's about working out the business side of it and making sure we find the right home for it because I think the fans want to relate to the characters they did when they were younger and I think we need to tell the story of the 'Zoey' cast from a young adult point of view."

Spears confirmed "discussions" have been held in regards to rebooting the show but are still in the "baby stages."

"I've had some discussions with some of the people who would be the ones to make it happen," she said. "Right now, we're looking for the right home and the right story. Those are the two key points that we need right now."

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Update (5/19) - Whilst talking to The Hollywood Reporter, Jamie Lynn Spears talked more about Zoey 101, including plans for the reboot!:

How has your approach to navigating the industry changed since your days as a child star?

Not much has changed in that regard. The one thing that has remained the same is that, even when I was younger, my mom [Lynne Spears] did a really good job of making sure that I had balance in my life. I would go and shoot Zoey 101 and then I would come home to Louisiana and I would go to regular school for part of the year. That was always really important to me, and it really helped me stay sane and balanced. And I continue to keep that balance in my life now. I go, I do my work, and then when I get a break, I come back home so I can re-center. The difference now is that I have children. When I'm planning to take a job, I'm always trying to do 100 percent what makes the most sense for my family.

It seems like your original experience in Hollywood made you a stronger person, in contrast to the many child stars who lose their way due to the pressure that comes with being in the spotlight at such a young age.

I had to fight really hard for balance. If you want to do something other than take the next job right away, the industry will look at you and say, "She doesn't want it enough. She's not willing to work, but this girl is." You get compared, and then this guilt trip is thrown on you when you're just fighting for something as normal as going to school where you grew up. In Hollywood, sometimes normalcy seems like a no-no. I felt a lot of guilt for turning things down because I wanted to go to school or, later, wanted to take time off to be a mom. The pressure to constantly work is really unfair, especially for young kids in Hollywood. They shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to be kids. Even as adults, we shouldn't feel guilty for wanting to have more for our lives than just our careers. Don't get me wrong: I am in a position now where I really want to focus on my career, I want to work hard, and I want to put myself out there again. But I do think that it should be OK to say no to some things, especially if it's for matters of your heart. I don't take for granted that I get to do something that I love, but I also don't let it compromise how I raise my children or the life that I want to give them.

You were only 13 when Zoey 101 premiered in 2005. There's been a lot of discussion about a reboot. I know it's something you and the cast definitely want. What kinds of conversations are happening behind the scenes?

Everything and anything is on the table, whether that's a movie or a series. In all of the discussions I've had with Nickelodeon — which are in baby stages, by the way — the main thing is figuring out the right home for the reboot. We couldn't do it justice by putting it back on Nickelodeon, because our fanbase has grown into young adults like me, 29 or around the same age. We want to tell stories about where the characters are now. We want to connect with the fans and touch on topics that are impacting millennials, so it would have to be aged up and be more mature.

It’s interesting that you say that, because Disney+'s Lizzie McGuire reboot previously halted production due to creative differences between the streamer and series star Hilary Duff. Hilary said she would be doing Lizzie's audience a "disservice … by limiting the realities of a 30-year-old's journey to live under the ceiling of a PG rating."

Exactly. Hilary and I literally grew up playing these characters. I couldn't play Zoey today without some type of connection to who I am now. She grew up, and so did I. You need that freedom to explore where the character would be. I'm sure Hilary had the same kind of thoughts that I have. When I saw those reports about the Lizzie McGuire reboot, that was validation for where my mind was at. We're definitely doing the right thing by taking our time and not taking the quick route.

In your mind, what is Zoey up to these days? What part of her story would you like to explore in a reboot?

We know she's in charge of something. She's a boss of some type. On Nick, Zoey was the problem solver and the good-at-everything girl. But we need to add some depth to her. She and Chase [Sean Flynn] would definitely have some type of tangled love story. I don't think they would have just left PCA and gotten married. Maybe Zoey would be working in fashion in some capacity. When the cast had a mini reunion on All That last year, Erin [Sanders] and Matthew [Underwood] had some really funny storylines for their characters. Erin said that [her character] Quinn would be running to be the first woman president. I could totally see that, because she's a scientist and is so smart. And then Logan [Underwood] would probably be bankrolling her with Daddy's money. I really can't wait to get the ball rolling — once quarantine is over, of course.

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Spears also talked to Daily Beast about working on Zoey 101 whilst pregnant:

Spears’ Nickelodeon show did not end because she was pregnant—although the timing did prove confusing for some, especially her young fans outside the industry. The final season of Zoey 101 had already wrapped by the time Spears found out she was expecting, and when it came time to speak with her team and the network brass, she said, the network was surprisingly supportive.

“Honestly, it blew me away how nice they were to me,” Spears said. “If there was any backlash, then I guess they kept that away from me because they literally were very supportive in a time where they didn’t have to be... It was very refreshing, especially in this industry.”

[...]

As she looks toward the future, Spears is keeping her options as open as possible. She’s hoping to make some real progress negotiating a reboot for Zoey 101 and also self-taping auditions for new roles while quarantined. Working on Sweet Magnolias reminded Spears how much she loves working on a set—and how much she’s missed it.

“I’m just ready to get back out there,” Spears said. “Put myself out there and be able to express myself in whatever creative way makes sense. Whatever opportunities that I get to explore.”

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More from Bustle:

Speaking of reboots and shows once meant for kids growing with their audiences, Spears touched on the production hiatus of Disney+’s Lizzie McGuire reboot. The former child star empathized with Hilary Duff’s desire to give fans a series that didn’t reside under a PG rating. “Hilary and I literally grew up playing these characters,” Spears said. “I couldn't play Zoey today without some type of connection to who I am now. She grew up, and so did I.” She continued, “You need that freedom to explore where the character would be… When I saw those reports about the Lizzie McGuire reboot, that was validation for where my mind was at.”

As for possible reboot storylines, Spears mused that Zoey would be a “boss of some type” and “working in fashion in some capacity.” And, because romance woes are pertinent, she and Chase (Sean Flynn) would definitely “have some type of tangled love story.” As for the whip smart Quinn (Erin Sanders), she’d be the first woman running for president, while Logan (Matthew Underwood) would “probably be bankrolling her with daddy's money.” And, fear not fans, for not even coronavirus will keep Spears away from revisiting her old hit show. “I really can't wait to get the ball rolling — once quarantine is over, of course," she said.

Last November, the Zoey 101 cast reunited for an All That skit after several months of reboot rumors and cast reunions. It came a few months after TMZ reported that Spears had spoken to network executives about a revival deemed as “Zoey with an edge.” Since the future of Lizzie is up in the air, fans of the early aughts will no doubt be awaiting updates about a potential Zoey reboot with an adult edge.

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From E! News:

Jamie Lynn Spears Reveals the Romantic Storyline She Wants for Zoey 101 Reboot

Jamie Lynn Spears shares her thoughts for a potential Zoey 101 reboot.

If Zoey 101 were ever to return, there's some things Jamie Lynn Spears would definitely want for the reboot.

It's been more than a decade since the hit Nickelodeon series went off the airwaves after its fourth and final season. Now, amid renewed talk of a reboot, the series' star already has some ideas for where Zoey Brooks would be today.

When the topic came up on the Chicks in the Office podcast, the now-29-year-old mom of two acknowledged Zoey 101 can't go back to being a "PG perfect show."

"It has to be them as young adults," she said. "It needs to relate to our fans now just like it related to our fans then."

However, Zoey's ambitious personality as a teenager would carry through to adulthood.

"I think whatever she's doing, she's definitely like a boss of some sort. She's running something of some sort," Spears described.

Spears also wouldn't want Zoey's relationship with Chase Matthews to be overlooked.

"I think her and Chase obviously would have to have some romantic story. I don't know if they're still together or if they tried and it didn't work, I don't know, but I think that has to be explored," she said.

Zoey 101, then and now
nickelodeon
Ultimately, if ever and whenever this reboot happens, listen up fans—Spears wants your thoughts.

"I'm open to ideas," she said, noting she wouldn't want to do a reboot just for the sake of doing one if no one actually likes it. "I want to do it to where it is still a good show."

See Jamie Lynn Spears on E!'s Daily Pop tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. ET/PT.

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From Purple Revolver:

Jamie Lynn Spears envisions a more mature Zoey 101 reboot

Singer/actress Jamie Lynn Spears has stated that she would be interested in a revival of her hit Nickelodeon series Zoey 101, on the condition that she had the "freedom" to tackle "more mature" on-screen storylines.

Spears has been in early talks to once again star as the titular character Zoey Brooks, from her popular Nickelodeon series, which ran from 2005-2008 for 4 seasons, the same year that Jamie Lynn announced that she was expecting her first child at the age of 16.

Zoey 101 reboot discussions are currently ongoing, but Spears, 29, has stated that she feels that any potential reboot of Zoey 101 may no longer be made to air on Nickelodeon, as both her and fans of the series, are now all adults, and therefore would expect more mature, age appropriate content.

"Everything and anything is on the table, whether that's a movie or a series," Jamie Lynn has said about a potential Zoey 101 comeback.

"In all of the discussions I've had with Nickelodeon - which are in baby stages, by the way - the main thing is figuring out the right home for the reboot. We couldn't do it justice by putting it back on Nickelodeon because our fanbase has grown into young adults like me, 29 years old or around the same age.

"We want to tell stories about where the characters are now. We want to connect with the fans and touch on topics that are impacting millennials, so it would have to be aged up and be more mature."

Spears' comments are similar to those made by Hilary Duff regarding her planned Lizzie McGuire revival, which has come to a bit of a halt at the Disney+ streaming platform due to differences in the creative direction of Lizzie's character's storylines.

"Hilary and I literally grew up playing these characters," Spears explains. "I couldn't play Zoey today without some type of connection to who I am now. She grew up and so did I. You need that freedom to explore where the character would be. I'm sure Hilary had the same kind of thoughts that I have.

"When I saw those reports about the Lizzie McGuire reboot, that was validation for where my mind was at. We're definitely doing the right thing by taking our time and not taking the quick route."

Jamie Lynn, now a married mother of two, has said that she envisions a grown up Zoey potentially working in the fashion field as "A boss of some type" while dealing with a "tangled love story" with her love interest of the series, Chase, played by Sean Flynn.

"I really can't wait to get the ball rolling - once quarantine is over, of course," she adds of getting back to work after the coronavirus pandemic.

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More Nick: Nickelodeon's 'All That' Reunites Jamie Lynn Spears with the Cast of 'Zoey 101' in All-New Version of “Thelma Stump”!

Originally published: Saturday, May 16, 2020.

Original source: Just Jared Jr.
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