A lot can happen to a child star once they’re all grown up. Sometimes, they spiral out of control, becoming daily tabloid fodder. Others stay in the limelight, creating extremely lucrative careers for themselves. But then some child stars fade away, leaving everyone wondering, “Whatever happened to them?” That was certainly the case with Miranda Cosgrove. She was everywhere in the entertainment world until suddenly, she wasn’t. With the iCarly revival right around the corner, we’re wondering where Miranda Cosgrove has been up since the show’s original conclusion in 2012. Here’s a deep dive into what the young actress has been up to in her post-Nickelodeon years.
Miranda Cosgrove Starred In ‘iCarly’ For Five Years
Miranda Cosgrove’s big break was in the critically acclaimed 2003 comedy School of Rock. She played Summer Hathaway, the know-it-all student turned band manager.
The next year, she landed her first big TV role on Drake & Josh, where she played Megan Parker, the mischievous younger sister of the title characters. The role made her a favorite among Nickelodeon fans, and she went on to make appearances in several other Nickelodeon shows, like Zoey 101 and Unfabulous.
But Cosgrove’s biggest claim to fame came in 2007, the same year Drake & Josh ended. She landed the titular role of Carly Shay in iCarly. Created by Dan Schneider, the show depicts Cosgrove as a young girl who hosts a popular online show. The series was ahead of its time, as it perfectly predicted the rise of influencer culture and YouTube celebrities. And it was a hit among audiences at home. During its run, it was consistently among the highest-rated children’s shows. A 2010 episode scored a whopping 11.2 million viewers, according to a report by DigitalSpy.
iCarly ran for six seasons from 2007 to 2012, and thanks to its massive popularity, Paramount+ ordered a revival. Most of the cast will return for the upcoming season, and it’s expected to show fans exactly what Carly, Freddie, and Spencer are up to 10 years after the show’s original conclusion.
In 2009, She Launched Her Music Career
Following the blueprint set by Nickelodeon and Disney stars before her, Miranda Cosgrove leveraged her television fame to launch a music career.
She sang the theme song for iCarly, “Leave It All To Me.” And in 2008, Nickelodeon released the iCarly soundtrack, which featured more original songs from the show’s star.
Her real pop music career kicked off in 2009 when she dropped her debut EP, About You Now. She started working with mainstream producers and songwriters, like Dr. Luke and Max Martin, who are known for creating chart-topping hits. In 2010, she released her debut full-length album, Sparks Fly, and it was a success. The album spent 21 weeks on the Billboard charts, peaking at number 8. The lead single, “Kissin’ U” received regular airplay on Nickelodeon, with the music video airing multiple times a day during commercial breaks.
A year after Sparks Fly, Cosgrove geared up for her next project, an EP titled High Maintenance. The lead single, “Dancing Crazy,” was written by Max Martin and Avril Lavigne. The EP dropped in March 2011 and featured five teen-pop tracks.
With A-list songwriters, a hit television show, and the unwavering support of Nickelodeon, Cosgrove was poised for total pop culture domination. But it didn’t exactly work out that way.
A Tour Bus Accident Put Her Music Career On Pause
Following the release of her second EP, Cosgrove embarked on the Dancing Crazy Tour. The singer was set to perform dozens of shows around North America. However, on August 11, 2011, the tour was abruptly interrupted by a terrifying accident.
As TMZ reported at the time, her tour bus was traveling through Illinois when it plowed into an overturned 18 wheeler. Cosgrove broke her ankle in the crash and was forced to cancel the rest of the tour.
In the aftermath, Cosgrove and her mother sued the bus driver, the truck driver, and the transportation companies, arguing that the accident could have been prevented. In the lawsuit, Cosgrove and her mother claimed they had been “disfigured and disabled” and were unable to continue their normal lives.
After the accident, Cosgrove’s career was not the same. According to TMZ, the actress lost nearly $2.5 million following the crash. She lost around $400,000 from the canceled tour dates in addition to $560,000 for future shows. She also claimed that her record label dropped her following the accident. The actress and singer was also a spokesperson for Neutrogena, a $400,000 paycheck she claims she lost in the accident’s aftermath.
iCarly ended a year after the crash, and Cosgrove never released any music after the accident. So what was she doing during the downtime?
She Went To College
Once iCarly was over, and after she recovered from the horrifying bus accident, Miranda Cosgrove did what many 19-year-olds do: she went to college.
The actress attended the University of Southern California, and she told USA Today that her college experience was surprisingly normal: “People come up to me and introduce themselves. My best friends are people who came up to me in class. I guess I’m not the kind of person who goes up and introduces herself, so it’s been the best thing ever. Sometimes I forget that I’ve been on the show, because everyone is just trying to get to class and get their work done.”
According to Seventeen, the actress switched her major three times before settling on a psychology degree. First, she was going to participate in USC’s theater program – that didn’t work out. She told the magazine, “It’s kind of funny, but I’m really not good on stage. I love to act, but I get nervous when it comes to being on stage, like being in a play or something. That was mostly what the theater program was, which makes no sense why I applied for that.”
After putting the kibosh on the theater program, she set her sights on studying film. But that wasn’t a great fit either because she wasn’t interested in directing or writing. She finally landed on psychology, a field she wound up loving. She told Seventeen, “I love all the classes. It really makes such a difference when you really are enjoying your major. When you really find something that you actually love, it made like doing the work so much easier. I should’ve done that from the start, but I guess everything is a learning experience and I’m glad I got there.”
Miranda Cosgrove’s Acting Career Was Hit Or Miss After ‘iCarly’
Although she majored in psychology, Cosgrove didn’t completely turn her back on showbiz. iCarly might be her most recognizable role, but she landed plenty of other gigs with varying degrees of success.
In 2013, she was cast in an NBC pilot called Girlfriend in a Coma. The buzzworthy project sounded promising. It was about a woman named Karen who wakes up from a coma to find out she has a 17-year-old daughter. Cosgrove was going to play the daughter, and Christina Ricci was tapped to play Karen. However, Ricci unexpectedly left the show, and the Girlfriend in a Coma never made it past the pilot stage. A 2017 pilot, Spaced Out, cast Cosgrove in a lead role, but that show met a similar fate.
Cosgrove joined another NBC show called Crowded in 2015. In it, she played the younger of two adult daughters who moved back in with their parents. Although the show was picked up for series, it was not well received. The Hollywood Reporter left the show a scathing review, saying, “Predictable, dumb, unfunny — it checks off all the wrong boxes at an alarming rate, ending on “painful” as the pilot wraps, cascading downward to “punishing” by the second episode.”
And then there’s her 2015 horror movie, The Intruders. The direct-to-video project was hit with negative reviews across the board. It has a 20% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes.
While it might seem like her career was a flop after iCarly, many fans forget that Cosgrove actually starred in several massively popular movies. It’s easy to forget because you never see her face; she voiced the character of Margo in the Despicable Me franchise. And that’s a very lucrative franchise to be a part of. In 2017, it became the highest-grossing animated franchise of all time, pulling in a mind-blowing $3.5 billion.
How Much Did Miranda Cosgrove Make On ‘iCarly’?
While it might seem like Miranda Cosgrove fell off the face of the Earth after iCarly ended, that’s definitely not the case. The tour bus accident temporarily derailed her, but starring in a successful teen sitcom and multi-billion dollar movie franchise is quite the accomplishment. Yes, her career might not be as hyper-visible as some of her fellow Nickelodeon alums, like Ariana Grande or Kenan Thompson, but Cosgrove has been busy since the days of iCarly. This makes us wonder, what is Miranda Cosgrove’s net worth and how much of it is from iCarly?
During her iCarly days, she became a Guinness World Record holder as the highest-paid child actress on television. She was making an astonishing $180,000 per episode. The show ran for 97 episodes, so you do the math there! For comparison, the New York Post reported that Miley Cyrus pulled in $15,000 per episode for Hannah Montana.
Between her iCarly paychecks and her work as a voice actress, Cosgrove reportedly has a net worth of $10 million. The same year she started college, she used her massive wealth to purchase a 3,000 square foot home in Hollywood Hills for $2.65 million. She was just 19 at the time.
While there’s no word on how much she’ll get paid for the iCarly revival, we’re excited to see her back on the small screen! The show will premiere on Thursday, June 17th on Paramount+, so set a reminder and prepare for the nostalgia to set in.