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The series follows Tori Vega, a teenager who is accepted into Hollywood Arts High School, a school for talented teens in various performing-arts fields, after taking her older, much less talented sister Trina's place in a showcase after Trina had an allergic reaction to a Chinese herb product designed to help make people sing better. The plot follows Tori as she finds her place within Hollywood Arts, while getting into crazy situations and adventures, and meeting friends to help her along the way. Other students at Hollywood Arts, and the students who make up Tori's group of friends, include Andre Harris, a musical prodigy who becomes Tori's best friend at Hollywood Arts after encouraging her to stay at the school and helping her realize her talent; Robbie Shapiro, a socially-awkward ventriloquist who carries around his puppet Rex Powers, who is seen by Robbie (and generally everyone else) as a living person; Jade West, a sarcastic and Gothic "mean girl" who has a complicated frenemy relationship with Tori and often threatens her; Cat Valentine, a sweet and innocent but naive and somewhat dim-witted girl; and Beck Oliver, a down-to-earth and handsome guy who is Jade's boyfriend. They had been a couple since before the start of the series until the Season 3 episode "The Worst Couple", but got back together in the Season 4 episode, "Tori Fixes Beck and Jade". Beck and Tori have also had moments where they were attracted to each other (they almost kissed twice), but Tori did not want to risk her small friendship with Jade over this. Other characters include Erwin Sikowitz, the performing-arts teacher for Hollywood Arts; Lane Alexander, the school's guidance counselor; and Sinjin Van Cleef, an odd classmate who is mostly in charge of A/V.


Cast


See also: List of Victorious characters

Main cast

Victoria Justice as Tori Vega

Leon Thomas III as Andre Harris

Matt Bennett as Robbie Shapiro

Elizabeth Gillies as Jade West

Ariana Grande as Cat Valentine

Avan Jogia as Beck Oliver

Daniella Monet as Trina Vega

Recurring cast

Eric Lange as Erwin Sikowitz

Lane Napper as Lane Alexander

Michael Eric Reid as Sinjin Van Cleef

Jim Pirri as David Vega

Jennifer Carta as Holly Vega

Marilyn Harris as Andre's grandmother

Marco Aiello as Festus

Susan Chuang as Mrs. Lee

Darsan Solomon as Burf

Episodes


Main article: List of Victorious episodes

Season Episodes Originally aired Prod. line DVD release date

Season premiere Season finale Region 1

1 19 March 27, 2010 March 26, 2011 1xx July 5, 2011 (Volume 1)[7]

November 11, 2011 (Volume 2)[8]

2 13 April 2, 2011 December 26, 2011 2xx May 15, 2012[9]

3 13 January 28, 2012[10] June 30, 2012 3xx N/A

4 13[11] September 22, 2012[12] February 2, 2013[13] N/A

Special episodes

Title Type Air date

"Freak the Freak Out" Special episode November 26, 2010

"iParty with Victorious" Crossover episode June 11, 2011

"Locked Up!" Special episode July 30, 2011

"Tori Goes Platinum" Special episode May 19, 2012

Production


Victorious is the fifth series created by Dan Schneider for Nickelodeon, after The Amanda Show, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, and iCarly.[14] Schneider first met Victoria Justice in 2005, when she was twelve and arrived to audition for the part of Lola Martinez on Zoey 101. Impressed by her energy and look, Schneider hired her and, after working with her on three episodes, called Nickelodeon to say, "I've got your next star."[15] Justice continued her role on Zoey 101 until the series ended in 2008. In the meantime, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon's main competitor, had experienced immense success with franchises like Hannah Montana and High School Musical, which featured original songs and generated revenue through music as well as television. Seeking to "follow where the kids are", Nickelodeon executives asked Schneider to create a music-based show for the channel.[15] Near the end of Zoey 101's run, Justice was summoned to meet with Schneider about a potential series starring her.[16] Victorious is the first series on Nickelodeon to premiere in the decade of 2010. Big Time Rush's first episode premiered two months earlier, but its original pilot premiered in 2009.


While discussing possible concepts for the series during the meeting, Justice mentioned that she had attended a performing arts middle school. The idea intrigued Schneider, who recognized the appeal of a series concerning fame.[16] "If there is anything I've learned about kids today—and I'm not saying this is good or bad—it's that they all want to be stars," said Schneider.[17] Marjorie Cohn, who was then Nickelodeon's executive vice president of original programming and development, agreed. "Every kid thinks they're five minutes away and one lucky circumstance from being famous", Cohn stated. She noted that Schneider's iCarly, a sitcom about a girl who hosts a popular web show, was spurred by the rise of YouTube celebrities and has become a successful series for Nickelodeon.[17]


On August 13, 2008, Nickelodeon announced that Justice had signed "an overall talent and music deal" with the company, agreeing to star in a then-untitled musical-comedy series about a girl who attends a performing arts high school.[18] While discussing the show's premise, Schneider stated that while it would be nice if more children "wanted to be teachers and social workers" instead of celebrities, "At least in Victorious, you see a world where they're all working on the talent part."[17] Nickelodeon Productions and the Columbia/Epic Label Group of Sony Music Entertainment agreed to co-produce the series as part of a partnership to develop talent and release their music.[19]


Jerry Trainor, Perez Hilton, Josh Peck, Ke$ha, Nathan Kress, Drake Bell, Miranda Sings, and Jennette McCurdy have appeared on the series as cameos or guest stars.


Season 1 of Victorious began filming on October 5, 2009, and ended on April 14, 2010, with 20 episodes produced.[20] Season 2 began filming October 4, 2010 and finished filming on February 23, 2011.[21] In August 2011, Victoria Justice confirmed that she was returning to the Victorious set, as Season 3 began filming on October 3, 2011.[22] During the TV special 7 Secrets with Victoria Justice, Justice explained the weekly schedule the cast and crew operate on: scripts are issued to them on Sunday nights, the cast has table reads on Mondays and Tuesdays, then the episode is shot on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and on Saturday, they watch a premiering of their show that is newly released to the public then.


Victoria Justice told M Magazine in August 2012 that "We will not be expecting a fourth season, this is the first time I've talked about it. I just found out a couple of days ago that we're not coming back. It's sad because I've been with Nickelodeon since I was 12 years old and I became a family with my Victorious cast. We spent a lot of time together and bonded for sure – I'll look back on the experience very fondly. It's a little shocking and a little bittersweet, but at the end of the day it might not be such a bad thing – we all want to do our own thing and continue to grow."[23] The third season was split into two, thus making four seasons in total.


The series ended without a proper finale. It has been claimed in an episode of Sam & Cat contained a reference to this, when the titular characters' favorite show is cancelled and Cat asks "What kind of network cancels a show without giving it a proper finale?". However, Dan Schneider himself has since stated otherwise.[24]


Casting

Several of the actors on Victorious had either appeared in Nickelodeon programs or Broadway musicals prior to Victorious' premiere. In addition to Zoey 101, Victoria Justice appeared on iCarly in "iFight Shelby Marx" as Shelby Marx, as well as True Jackson, VP, The Naked Brothers Band, and The Troop. She also co-starred with Avan Jogia, who portrays Beck, in the Nickelodeon television film Spectacular!. Daniella Monet has guest starred as Rebecca Martin in three episodes of Zoey 101, Tootie in the Nickelodeon television film A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, the Supah Ninjas Season 1 episode "Morningstar Academy" as one of the main antagonists named Clarissa, and in Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred (in lieu of Jennette McCurdy) as Bertha. Leon Thomas III had not only guest starred in an episode of iCarly as Harper and also in The Naked Brothers Band but he had also previously appeared in musicals such as The Lion King, The Color Purple, and Caroline, or Change, and in the film August Rush.[25] Elizabeth Gillies and Ariana Grande had co-starred in the musical 13.[26][27]


Sets

Victorious is filmed at Nickelodeon on Sunset on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.[28] According to Paula Kaplan, Nickelodeon's executive Vice President for talent, "In our adult world, nobody accommodates us for down time. But in a child's life on a set, we do take that seriously. At our studios on Sunset Boulevard, where we shoot iCarly and Victorious, the greenrooms are filled with games and Rock Band. We create an environment where they can have fun with their colleagues and take it easy."[29]


Victorious is set primarily at Hollywood Arts, however the front of Hollywood Arts High School are digitally altered photos of Burbank High School. The lunch area of Hollywood Arts depicts the back area of Nickelodeon on Sunset, with a parking lot next to the back area.[30] According to David Hinkley of the New York Daily News, "Outside of school, Victorious has the same look as iCarly, with most of the action taking place on one main set with a few basic home/crib-furniture items." The series also has a BLIX machine from Zoey 101.[31]


Reception


Critical reception

Like iCarly, Victorious has received generally mixed reviews. Variety magazine reviewer Brian Lowry wrote, "Victorious has been cobbled together with the wooden-headed market in mind."[32] David Hinkley of the New York Daily News says the series' format is nearly identical to iCarly's and hopes that the series will develop a "more distinctive personality" over the course of the season.[31] Roger Catlin of the Hartford Courant describes Victorious as "harmless but hardly entertaining".[33] Mark A. Perigard of the Boston Herald titled his review "Victorious is a big loser" and writes, "The bulk of the cast mugs for the cameras, probably to compensate for a script that could have been commissioned from fifth-graders."[34] Linda Stasi of the New York Post was mixed; she agreed that the series contained over-acting performers, "corny" dialogue and a "terribly, terribly loud laugh track", but believed it was "a surefire tween hit".[35]


However, reviewers were positive about Justice's performance and suggested that the show's potential hinged on her. Hinkley comments, "At this point, Justice is better at singing than acting, and the show doesn't flow as smoothly as iCarly, but Justice has the personality and talent needed for a shot at being 'the Next Big Teen Thing'".[31] Perigard describes her as "undeniably appealing"[34] and Lowry states, "Justice is winsome and talented enough to provide the latest show a leg up in connecting with tween girls."[32] Emily Ashby of Common Sense Media gave the series four out of five stars, writing, "Upbeat iCarly-like tween comedy promotes confidence".[36]


Viewership


Victorious Cast at the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 2012.

The series' premiere did well among viewers. The first episode, advertised as a "sneak preview" of the series, aired after the 2010 Kids' Choice Awards on March 27, 2010, to 5.7 million viewers, the second-highest premiering live-action Nickelodeon series to date. Its second episode was advertised as the series' official premiere and drew a low 3.48 million viewers.[37] By comparison, Nickelodeon's Big Time Rush received 3.5 million viewers for its "sneak preview" debut in November 2009,[38] and 7.1 million Total viewers for its "premiere" in January 2010.[39]


On April 2, 2011, the Season 2 premiere episode "Beggin' on Your Knees" became the most-watched episode of the series to date, with 6.1 million total viewers.[40]


Merchandise

In fall 2011, Spin Master released dolls and toys based on the show. In June 2011, Walmart announced an exclusive-to-Walmart product line for the show; including over 250 products, such as apparel, accessories, lunch boxes, t-shirts, soundtrack CDs, DVDs, etc.[41] It has sold its newest toy, Singing Tori, a doll of Tori singing. In 2012 dolls of Cat, Trina, and Jade were released..[citation needed]


In late April 2012, McDonald's released Victorious toys, included in their Happy Meals.[42] They relaunched in January/February 2013.


Video games

On November 15, 2011, Victorious: Time to Shine for Kinect and Hollywood Arts Debut for Nintendo DS were released.[43] On November 13, 2012, Victorious: Taking the Lead for Wii and Nintendo DS was released.[44]


Awards and nominations


Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.

2010 Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Breakout Show Victorious Nominated [45][46]

Hollywood Teen TV Awards Teen Pick Actress: Comedy Victoria Justice Nominated [47]

Ariana Grande Nominated [47]

Teen Pick Show: Comedy Victorious Nominated [47]

2011 2011 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Actress Victoria Justice Nominated [48][49]

UK Kids' Choice Awards 2011 Nick UK's Favourite TV Show Victorious Nominated [50]

Nick UK's Funniest Person Matt Bennett Nominated [50]

Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2011 Fave TV Star Victoria Justice Nominated [51][52]

Fave TV Show Victorious Nominated [51][52]

Imagen Awards Best Young Actress/Television Victoria Justice Nominated [53]

Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Program Victorious Nominated [54]

ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actress – Leading Role in a Comedy Victoria Justice Nominated [55][56]

NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program (Series or Special) Victoria Justice Nominated [57][58]

British Academy Children's Awards BAFTA Kid's Vote: Television Victorious Nominated [59]

Youth Rocks Awards Rockin' Ensemble Cast (TV/ Comedy) Victorious Nominated [60][61]

2012 2012 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show Victorious Won [62]

Favorite TV Actress Victoria Justice Nominated [62][63]

Hollywood Teen TV Awards Favorite Television Actress Victoria Justice Nominated [64]

Ariana Grande Won [64]

Favorite Television Show Victorious Nominated [65]

Imagen Awards Best Young Actress/Television Victoria Justice Nominated [66][67]

Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Children's Program Victorious Nominated [68]

Outstanding Hairstyling for a Multi-Camera Series or Special Episode: April Fools Blank Nominated [69]

Outstanding Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series or Special (Non-Prosthetic) Episode: April Fools Blank Nominated [70]

ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actress — Comedy Victoria Justice Nominated [71][72]

Casting Society of America Outstanding Achievement in Casting - Children's Series Programming Krisha Bullock

Jennifer Treadwell Nominated [73]

NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Performance in a Youth/Children's Program (Series or Special) Leon Thomas III Nominated [74][75]

Kids' Choice Awards Mexico Favorite International Show Victorious Nominated [76][77]

Kids' Choice Awards Argentina International TV Show Victorious Won [78]

2013 2013 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Show Victorious Won [79]

Favorite TV Actress Victoria Justice Nominated [79]

Australian Kids' Choice Awards 2013 Aussie’s Fave Nick Star Ariana Grande Nominated [80]

Victoria Justice Won [80]

Young Artist Awards Best Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actress 17-21 Jennifer Veal Nominated [81]

Best Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actor 11-13 Parker Contreras Nominated [81]

Joe D'Giovanni Nominated [81]

Best Performance in a TV Series - Guest Starring Young Actress Ten and Under Sage Boatright Nominated [81]

Ryan Lee Nominated [81]

Best Performance in a TV Series - Recurring Young Actor 17-21 Mikey Reid Nominated [81]

2013 Kids Choice Awards México 2013 Favorite international TV Show Victorious Won [82]

Music


Main article: List of songs in Victorious

Soundtracks

Victorious: Music from the Hit TV Show (2011)

Victorious 2.0: More Music from the Hit TV Show (2012)

Victorious 3.0: Even More Music from the Hit TV Show (2012)

"Make It Shine" is the theme song of the series. The song also serves as the lead single from the soundtrack to the series. It peaked at number 16 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in the U.S.[citation needed]


Victorious features approximately one song every three episodes.[83] The songs that have been featured in Victorious are listed below. Victoria Justice told "7 Secrets with Victoria Justice" that she is currently working on music for her solo album. Parts of songs have also been sung in a few episodes of Victorious.


The Victorious soundtrack, featuring 12 songs from the show (including "Leave It All to Shine") was released on August 2, 2011.

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