After five successful seasons on the groundbreaking series iCarly, Jerry Trainor steps into his first starring and producing role on Nick at Nite’s brand-new live-action family comedy, Wendell & Vinnie, premiering Sunday, Feb. 17, at 8p.m. (ET/PT). A multi-camera scripted half-hour, the series follows 30-year-old Vinnie Bassett (Trainor) living the life of a carefree bachelor, when he suddenly becomes the legal guardian of his precocious, wise-beyond-his-years nephew, Wendell (Buddy Handleson, Shake It Up) forming a hysterical odd-couple family dynamic. Nicole Sullivan (Rita Rocks, MadTV) also stars as Vinnie’s older unlucky-in-love sister, Wilma, with Haley Strode (Gangster Squad) as Vinnie’s newly divorced neighbor and love interest, Taryn. The series will air regularly on Sundays at 8p.m. (ET/PT) followed by the Scott Baio original comedy, See Dad Runat 8:30p.m.
“Jerry’s infectious style of wacky comedy made him a favorite with kids and families over the past five years on iCarly, and this new family series from the Emmy award-winning sitcom veteran Jay Kogen will showcase his incredible comedic talents to an even broader audience,” said Russell Hicks, Nickelodeon’s President of Content Development and Production. “We look forward to the smart humor that develops from this collaboration.”
Wendell & Vinnie follows Vinnie Bassett, proprietor of a pop culture memorabilia store who only takes breaks to read comic books and play video games. His bachelor life comes to a halt when he assumes guardianship of his incredibly intelligent and mature nephew, Wendell. They soon find that 12-year-old Wendell may be just the parent Vinnie needs. This season will find lighthearted Vinnie helping socially awkward Wendell – and vice versa – including Vinnie navigating through PTA politics to help Wendell build a school garden, a sleepover that goes awry when Vinnie becomes the center of attention and Wendell sent to detention after he helps Vinnie get closer to his vice principal. Wendell & Vinnie will also feature special guest appearances by Dan Castellaneta (The Simpsons), Robin Givens (House of Payne) and Willie Garson (Sex and the City).
In support of the Feb. 17 premiere, NickatNite.com has launched its Wendell & Vinnie show site, which includes trailers, character information, sneak peek photo galleries and message boards as well as a “Are You A Wendell or a Vinnie?” quiz. Full episodes will also be made available after each premiere. Beginning Feb. 18, Wendell & Vinnie episodes will be available for purchase on iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, Xbox Video, Vudu, PlayStation Store and Samsung Media Hub. Viewers can keep up with the show on Twitter by following the Nick@Nite handle at @nickatnitetv and by liking the Wendell & Vinnie Facebook pages.
Star and producer Jerry Trainor is best known for his role as Spencer, the off-centered aspiring artist and brother/guardian of his teenage sister Carly on Nickelodeon’s mega-hit television series iCarly. Trainor also currently stars in the hit Nickelodeon animated comedy series T.U.F.F. Puppy as the voice of Dudley Puppy. Additionally, he starred alongside his iCarly co-star Jennette McCurdy in the 2010 Nickelodeon original television movie Best Player. After moving to Los Angeles, Trainor landed a three-episode arc on MTV’s Undressed and has also appeared in the feature film Donnie Darko starring Jake Gyllenhaal before going on to guest-star in episodes of Malcolm in the Middle, ER and Angel. He also played a recurring character asan audio-visual geek in Crossing Jordan before winning the career catalyst role of erratic usher Crazy Steve in Drake & Josh.
The series is executive produced by Emmy Award-winning Jay Kogen and Aaron Kaplan. A seasoned TV comedy writer/producer, Kogen, along with friend Wallace Wolodarsky, started writing as a team on the critically acclaimed The Tracey Ullman Show where, in four seasons, they rose to producers, received three Emmy nominations and garnered an Emmy Award. Soon after, the two helped launch The Simpsons, where they became supervising producers and worked on the show for the first five seasons, helping to create and develop many of the regular characters including Mr. Burns, Smithers, Otto, Mrs. Krabappel and Krusty. Kogen also wrote and co-executive produced Frasier, winning two more Emmy Awards and a Humanitas Award. Since then, he has spent the last few decades writing, producing and directing shows such as Malcolm in the Middle, Everybody Loves Raymond, The George Lopez Show, Wanda At Large, The Class and Nickelodeon’s The Troop. Most recently, Kogen was co-executive producer of Happily Divorced for TV Land.