Quiet on Set: Unpacking the New In-Studio Interviews

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There were a few unanswered questions in the wake of the Quiet On Set docuseries release.

Viewers wanted to understand the dynamic between Drake Bell and Dan Schneider. Bell's description of Schneider differed from the picture painted by everyone else interviewed.

Folks also wondered if any of the celebrities who backed Bryan Peck had spoken out since the series shed light on their support.

Quiet on Set Unpacking the Latest Episode Lead Photo

The latest episode of Investigation Discovery's Quiet On Set is a departure from the original four. This time, it's a less dramatic setting.

The episode features noted reporter Soledad O'Brien as she chats first with Drake Bell virtually and then in-studio with Giovonnie Samuels, Bryan Hearne, Tracey Brown, and Shane Lyons.

Drake Bell

While the new episode didn't reveal anything quite as shocking as previous installments, it provided some clarity on a few things that were already addressed.

One of the most pressing questions O'Brien had for Drake Bell was in reference to the way he spoke about Dan Schneider.

Every former Nickelodeon cast and crew member interviewed throughout Quiet On Set's first four episodes painted a similar picture of Schneider, formerly considered the network's "golden boy."

Other people like Jeannette McCurdy, who was not featured in the series but mentioned Schneider in her memoir, shared similar experiences with the former showrunner.

By all accounts, Schneider was abusive, cruel, and predatory.

Drake Bell and Dan Schneider

So why was Bell's impression of Schneider so different? He spoke about his old boss fondly, remembering how he was the only person who was there for him in the aftermath of what Bryan Peck did.

Bell says in the latest episode that he was shocked to hear the things others said about Schneider. He didn't attempt any defense but noted that he could only speak to his own experience.

Some critics think Bell was ignorant of what Schneider was doing or that he turned a blind eye to it because he was being treated well.

But it's probably fair to assume that Bell was just consumed by what was happening to him. Maybe he was spared from mistreatment by Schneider, but he clearly didn't come out unscathed.

Drake Bell Teen Photo

Bell also discussed how the events impacted his relationships with his parents.

Peck did everything in his power to isolate Bell from his father, who was suspicious of the Nickelodeon dialogue coach but powerless to keep his son away from him.

Peck's charming nature fooled Bell's mother. But he says he doesn't hold a grudge against his mother for not protecting him.

Pointing to the fact that Peck managed to manipulate everyone around him, Bell said he can't blame his mother for falling under the same spell.

Drake Bell via Satellite

Today, he says his relationships with his parents are great.

Drake Bell isn't the only one whose bond with a parent was fractured as a result of working for Nickelodeon.

Bryan Hearne, a former cast member of All That, and his mother, Tracey Brown, joined Soledad O'Brien in the studio to discuss how Schneider and the network impacted them.

They both describe Hearne's firing from All That as the catalyst that cost them their relationship. Hearne was only thirteen years old, and his mother felt she had lost him.

Bryan Hearne

They said that Quiet On Set brought clarity to them both, and they were able to reconnect after hearing each others' thoughts in their interviews.

Giovonnie Samuels, another All That alumnae, told O'Brien that after the docuseries aired, she received messages from fans saying that the knowledge of what was happening behind the scenes "traumatized" them.

Frankly, those messages are inappropriate. There's no reason anyone should be contacting victims of abuse and saying that they're now traumatized because the victim told their story.

It implies that the value of entertainment is more than the victim's well-being, and there's no excuse for making anyone feel that way.

Giovonnie Samuels

Something else on everyone's mind was whether any of the celebrities who sat behind Bryan Peck in court or wrote character reference letters on his behalf had spoken out.

As it turns out, Will Friedle and Rider Strong have a podcast and recently discussed the series.

In a recording from the podcast, Friedle is heard saying he felt horrible when he realized he was supporting the wrong person.

But Drake Bell revealed in his interview that none of the celebrities who supported Peck have reached out to him personally since Quiet On Set aired, which is shocking and disappointing.

Dan Schneider Apologizes

After the original episodes aired, Dan Schneider gave an apology in a video. He explained that if he'd known anyone was uncomfortable at any time, he would have made changes.

He also said that the jokes he wrote were for children who found them funny and that it was only an issue now because adults are looking through an adult lens at jokes from 20 years ago.

The apology was not well received. Cast and crew members rejected it, and for good reason. At no point does Schneider take accountability for the hurt he caused.

The end of the episode features a new face: Shane Lyons, another former cast member from All That, who said he wanted to share his perspective.

Shane Lyons from All That

He mentions feeling "blessed" that nothing happened to him on set, which honestly felt a bit out of touch.

The perspective he added was nothing we hadn't already heard from others throughout the series other than to say that Peck "made passes" at him during his time on the show.

That said, the more people who are willing to talk about this, the better.

Drake Bell said that he thinks the lack of conversation and media coverage when the news broke years ago contributed to Peck being allowed to later work on other kids' shows. 

Drake Bell and Joe Bell

The episode was largely a way for those involved to get some closure after having seen the original docuseries, and it was helpful for us, too.

We're as sure as ever that the bravery it took for these folks to tell their stories was incredible, and we're grateful that they shined a light on what they went through.

It looks like this is the end of the series for now, so feel free to chat with us in the comments about all your thoughts!

Haley Whitmire White is a staff writer for TV Fanatic.

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