After a weekend of ominous social media posts from former Zoey 101 star Jamie Lynn Spears (Crossroads), fans of the 2000s Nickelodeon series saw the official announcement of a reunion on Monday, in the form of a teaser trailer. Spears proclaimed “THE LEGACY CONTINUES” in a tweet which included the short trailer and a link to an exclusive “See It First Experience”, hosted by Veeps, on October 25.
THE LEGACY CONTINUES: the Follow Me (Zoey 101) See It First Experience!10/25 @Flynning @ErinZariah @MattUnderpants @ChrisMasseyTMB @ChantelJeffries @itsjojosiwa @dixiedamelio @noahbeck @iamlorengray @HarryJowsey @TheGigiGorgeous @sofiareyes @lifeaseva https://t.co/c64KJwtwHT pic.twitter.com/Kha5uo13jZ
— Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) October 19, 2020
This trailer came after Spears, who played the series’ titular Zoey Brooks, dropped hints about a possible reunion on Sunday. “We’re back! Are you ready?” Spears tweeted over the weekend, tagging former Zoey 101 castmates Sean Flynn (Zoey 101, Devious Maids), Erin Sanders (Zoey 101, Big Time Rush), Matthew Underwood (Zoey 101) and Chris Massey (Zoey 101). A second tweet featured a photo of the 29-year-old actress in front of a greenscreen once again repeating “Are you ready?”, the line Spears speaks right before the show’s theme song kicks in.
— Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) October 18, 2020
In Spears’ Sunday tweet, music producer and DJ Chantel Jeffries was tagged alongside the actress’ Zoey 101 castmates. An interview with Nylon, coinciding with Monday’s announcement, clarified Jefferies role in the Pacific Coast Academy reunion. As a part of the reunion, Spears has rerecorded a new version of the show’s theme song “Follow Me” with Jefferies. The original song was performed by Spears and written by her sister, pop star Britney Spears.
*zoey voice* “Are you ready?” pic.twitter.com/57ghvuxFOP
— Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) October 17, 2020
Nylon reports that the updated theme song, which will be released to fans on Thursday October 22, features a “techno edge and update(s) the lyrics for 2020.” Jefferies, a Zoey 101 fan herself, told Nylon “I was so excited to work on something that was so nostalgic and meaningful to me.” Spears has shared a link on Twitter for fans to pre-save the song ahead of Thursday’s release.
After Nickelodeon’s teen comedy came to an end in 2008, many fans blamed Spears after news broke of her pregnancy at age 16. In her candid Nylon profile, Spears verifies that her pregnancy was not the reason the show came to and end, but rather a poorly timed coincidence. The interview tracks Spears’ five-year break from the entertainment industry, behind the scenes return to music and, ultimately, her return to the nostalgia of Zoey 101 and her Nickelodeon origins.
“Seeing how much the fans really are still so in love with it was really when I understood,” Spears tracks her return to the world of Pacific Coast Academy with Nylon “wow, this is a really big deal.” According to Nylon, Spears married two parts of her life when she introduced daughter Maddie to the Zoey 101 cast upon their recent All That reunion. In the All That sketch, filmed prior to COVID-19 shutdowns, Spears revisited her All That character Thelma Stump, which had been apart of her audition for the show at age 11. Stump confronted the reuniting Zoey 101 cast in Nickelodeon’s lobby and Spears explained the sketch was specifically crafted to bring the cast together and “test the waters” (Nylon).
While Zoey 101 fans can mark their calendars for the updated “Follow Me” theme on Thursday and the “See It First Experience” on Sunday, many are left wondering whether this cat reunion is a one-off even, like the All That sketch, or the sign of a full-fledged reboot down-the-line, via People. Spears has been discussing a Zoey 101 reboot for some time now, telling The Hollywood Reporter in May that “everything and anything is on the table, whether that’s a movie or a series.”
In her Nylon interview, Spears indicated that discussions about the reboot have only continued since her first mentions of it in May. “The conversations that we’re having right now are creative,” Spears told Nylon “What is that story? What is the best way to meet Zoey today? We don’t want to just do it to do it. We want it to be good.” Spears expressed her desire for the show to grow-up with its audience, meaning it may find a home outside of Nickelodeon, via The Hollywood Reporter.
Billboard points out that the teaser trailer for the Zoey 101 “See It First Experience” omits cast members Victoria Justice (Victorious, Zoey 101), Austin Butler (Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood, The Carrie Diaries) and Paul Butcher (Zoey 101, Meet the Robinsons). However, Spears’ Nylon interview shed light on the notion that this event is just the beginning of new content from the Zoey 101 crew, meaning the cast members not included in Sunday’s virtual event may still return for the series reboot currently in development. In addition to the original cast joining in on Sunday, influencers Dixe D’Amelio, JoJo Siwa, Gigi Gorgeous, Noah Beck, Loren Gray and Sofia Reyes will play a role, according to Billboard.
— Jamie Lynn Spears (@jamielynnspears) October 19, 2020
Spears’ Monday announcement became an instantly trending topic on Twitter, however she and those involved in the reboot are pushing to make #FollowMeZoey101 the number one trending topic. There has been some indication from those involved in the campaign that further Zoey 101 news and content will be released if this trending goal is reached.
Sunday’s reunion will be the first continuation of Zoey Brooks’ story since the 2015 special “What Did Zoey Say?” which marked the ten year anniversary of the show’s “Time Capsule” episode. The short video premiered on Nickelodeon and featured original cast members Flynn and Massey. The clip revealed that Flynn’s character Chase had not quite been able to move past his love for Zoey, despite finding himself in a new relationship.
Nostalgic Zoey 101 fans who, much like Chase, have not been able to shed their love for the series are in for a treat later this week when Spears releases “Follow Me” and returns to the role of Zoey in the “See It First Experience”.