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Top 10 Live-Action Nickelodeon Shows That'll Make You Super Nostalgic

VO: Lisa Yang
Script written by Michael Wynands These are the top 10 live-action Nikelodeon shows! We’ve included gems like Clarissa Explains It Al, The Adventures of Pete & Pete, Zoey 101, Kenan & Kel, iCarly, The Amanda Show, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Drake & Josh and All That!
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Top 10 Live-action Nickelodeon shows


The first network for kids isn’t only the home of Nicktoons. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down the top 10 live-action Nickelodeon shows.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the best of the best of Nickelodeon’s live-actionoriginal programming.

#10: “Clarissa Explains It All” (1991-94)

Upon reaching a certain age, you have to learn the strange facts of life as they apply to a typical teenager. Luckily, Clarissa Darling –played by Melissa Joan Hart– is there to help explain it for us. When she’s not butting heads with her evil little brother, she talks directly to us about the issues of teenage life as she’s lived them, which include taking care of the house when your parents are sick, looking cool for school picture day, and dealing with your best friend spending too much time with his girlfriend. As clever as she is charming, Clarissa certainly helped us get through some confusing times.

#9: “The Adventures of Pete & Pete” (1991-96)

What started out as a series of hilarious one-minute shorts eventually turned into the delightfully quirky tale of two redheaded brothers both named Pete. Big Pete tries to be the levelheaded brother in everyone’s crazy life while Little Pete –played by Danny Tamberelli– enjoys defying any adult or bully that tries to control him. Each episode, narrated by Older Pete, features a look into the lives of the brothers as they put up with the great mysteries of life, and meet some of the strangest people; including Artie – the Strongest Man… in the World!

#8: “Zoey 101” (2005-08)

When a former all-boys boarding school starts accepting girls, don’t be surprised if you see a clash between the two genders. However, for Zoey Brooks and her friends, gender wars aren’t the weirdest thing to happen at Pacific Coast Academy. Zoey, played by Jamie Lynn Spears, can find the solution to any problem that this school or her pals can throw at her… except for what to do when your best friend has a somewhat secret crush on you. Torn between being serious and being silly, “Zoey 101” is an unforgettable show and the most expensive Nickelodeon show produced to that point. We’d STILL give anything to be a student at PCA, even after all these years.

#7: “Kenan & Kel” (1996-2000)

With their rise to popularity in the 90s, it only made sense that Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell should get their own show. What sort of adventures can one of the funniest duos embark upon? Anything that gets them into all kinds of silly trouble, that’s what! What makes these inseparable duo’s misadventures even more hysterical is how much they bounce off of each other: Kenan spends an episode coming up with mischievous schemes, and Kel is a loveable goof who LOVES orange soda. Kel also doesn’t like trouble, but that doesn’t stop him from going along with Kenan’s plans and occasionally causing them to backfire.

#6: “Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide” (2004-07)

Middle school is anything but a picnic. Thankfully, Ned Bigby and his two best friends – Moze (mows) and Cookie – have created a helpful guide that can make surviving middle school a piece of cake. Each episode features our three junior survivalists facing a typical middle school problem, such as dealing with bullies, getting organized, stress, and blossoming romances. But with a little assistance from their teachers, fellow students, and a weasel-hunting janitor, the three of them hilariously fill the guide with useful tips that kids and adults alike can learn from.

#5: “iCarly” (2007-12)

Tired of adults trying to control what you can and can’t watch? Carly Shay, Sam Puckett, and Freddie Benson sure are. In the show’s first episode, Carly and Sam are denied a chance to pick their favorite contestants for a talent show when working as judges at the auditions. So, they settle for the next best thing: they start up a web show where they can do anything and everything they want. With Carly and Sam as hosts, Freddie as the tech producer, and some help from Carly’s eccentric brother Spencer, they plan to make “iCarly” the best comedy show on the web… if Sam doesn’t kill Freddie first, anyway.

#4: “The Amanda Show” (1999-2002)

Following her own rise to Nickelodeon fame, little Amanda Bynes graced the airwaves with her very own sketch comedy show; featuring hilarious sketches, such as Hillbilly Moment, Tony Pajamas, Crazy Courtney, Judge Trudy, and even her own Dawson’s Creek parody. But the hilarity doesn’t just happen on stage. Behind the scenes, Amanda plays her own number one fan – Penelope Taynt – who tries all kinds of harebrained schemes to meet her hero, and promote her own Amanda website: www.Amandaplease.com. What’s more, we also see the foundation of another famous Nickelodeon comedy duos. More on them later.

#3: “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” (1990-96; 1999-2000)

Remember being part of a club with your friends? You’d all gather around the campfire deep in the woods at night and tell the scariest story you could think of? Well, that’s exactly what the MidnightSociety is all about. Every week, this young group of friends tells each other –and the audience- creepy and spooky tales of ghosts, curses and demons. A good lot of these stories usually have a happy ending, but others… not so much. Originally produced in Canada, but picked up by Nickelodeon and running during their SNICK programming block from 1992-96, this one proved so popular with Nick fans it was revived by the network in 1999. If you love scary stories, be prepared to submit yours for the approval of the Midnight Society.

#2: “Drake & Josh” (2004-07)

During their time on “The Amanda Show,” fans fell in love with the chemistry between Drake Bell and Josh Peck. So, of course, there’s only one thing to do with two polar opposite characters: turn them into stepbrothers and give them their own show! Like “Kenan & Kel,” Drake and Josh have a habit of getting into funny situations, either by themselves or because of the pranks played by their evil little sister, Megan. And when these two get in a fight, they are prepared to tussle it out big time. But, while they do argue, they still look out for each other like all good brothers should.

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

- “Figure It Out” (1997-2000; 2012-13)
- “Salute Your Shorts” (1991-92)
- “VICTORiOUS” (2010-13)
- “The Secret World of Alex Mack” (1994-98)
- “Big Time Rush” (2009-13)

#1: “All That” (1994-2005)

Taking the number one spot is the live-action Nickelodeon that fills us with the most nostalgia, and acted as the stepping stone for half the shows on this list: “All That!” Basically a “Saturday Night Live” for kids and teens, “All That” features a wide variety of hilarious and memorable sketches, including Coach Kreeton, Vital Information, Everyday French with Pierre Escargot, Detective Dan, Ask Ashley, and –of course– Good Burger. With the combined comedic abilities of Kenan and Kel, Amanda Bynes, Danny Tamberelli, and many others, anyone from the 90s can tell you what a gem “All That” really is… just ask Jimmy Fallon.
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