Miranda Cosgrove, middle, as Carly Shay, with Jennette McCurdy as Sam Puckett… (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times…)
By now, "iCarly" fans are aware of the looming reality: The Nickelodeon teen sitcom will be wrapping its run after five seasons.
The series, from Dan Schneider ("Drake & Josh," "Victorious"), broke new ground with the way it entwined the Internet and technology into its story about three friends who start up a Web show, speaking to a generation glued to their cellphones and laptops. It was a scheme that would prove beneficial. Early in its run, "iCarly" would outpace fictional teen queen "Hannah Montana" in the race for young viewers.
Jennette McCurdy, who stars as Carly's bestie Sam and co-host of the Web show, recalled a more telling moment of the show's power.
"One time I was at California Pizza Kitchen, and they have this great honey BBQ chicken pizza. I really wanted it, but they wouldn't let me because it's on the children's menu. Then manager came over and asked for an autograph for his daughter. I said I'd give it to him if I could get the pizza. It worked."
A few spaghetti tacos and random dances later, the show will come to an end. Partly because the kids that grew up with "iCarly" have in some cases outgrown it. Its current season is averaging 3.2 million viewers, down nearly 32% from the previous season.Friday it will get a one-hour send-off.
And die-hard "iCarly" fans, Schneider hopes, will be treated to a special dotted with Easter eggs, with callbacks from the pilot and other first-season tidbits.
"I tried to think back to all those things I wanted to see from the shows I watched as a kid," he added. "Whether I was 10 years old watching the last 'MASH' or watching the last 'Family Ties' — not to say we are on the same level. But I thought, 'Well, what did I want to see in those?' in trying to give the audience everything they would want in this finale."
Join Show Tracker as we talk to "iCarly" star Jennette McCurdy at 11 a.m. Pacific time Friday as they discuss the show's one-hour send-off.