Kids across America, including those who voted Drake & Josh their Favorite TV Show last month at Nickelodeon's Kids' Choice Awards, will cheer to hear that the hit series starring Drake Bell and Josh Peck has been picked up for an additional seven episodes, bringing its upcoming fourth season total to 20. The announcement about the buddy comedy that also ranks as TV's number-one rated live-action series with kids 2-11 was made today by Marjorie Cohn, Executive Vice President, Development and Original Programming, Nickelodeon. Each of the co-stars is also slated to take a turn behind the camera on one episode, both making their television directorial debuts.

The series resumed production in March after a six-week hiatus during which 2006 Kids' Choice Award winner Bell (Favorite TV Star) recovered from injuries suffered in a car accident. With the additional episode order, filming will extend through July.

"Kids adore Drake & Josh, because the guys, who are such gifted comedic actors, also have great chemistry and are completely relatable," said Cohn. "While these stepbrothers are polar opposites, underneath their comic conflict, they share a bond, and their coming together is the heart of the series. We're very excited to provide kids with more new episodes of this terrific show from our hit-maker, executive producer/creator Dan Schneider's Schneider's Bakery."

Drake & Josh scored instantly when it debuted in the network's popular TEENick block in January 2004, and it rocketed to the top of the Nielsen's with kids and tweens. The show first broke records as Nick's highest rated series premiere in almost 10 years. In the first week of 2006, the television movie Drake & Josh Go Hollywood ranked as the highest-rated TV movie with Kids 6-11 and Tweens 9-14 in Nickelodeon history, and was the highest-rated show on all of broadcast and cable television within its key demos. Drake & Josh airs regularly with new episodes on Saturdays at 8:30 p.m. (ET/PT).

Beyond the tube the series' popularity extends to and TurboNick, Nickelodeon's broadband video platform available on Drake & Josh has garnered 1.5 million plus streams on TurboNick thus far in 2006. And the Drake & Josh message boards boast over 1.1 million page views in 2006 through 4/28/06.

Humor, heart and music by title heartthrob Bell pervade Drake & Josh. Charming, work-averse schemer Drake Parker (Bell), a singer-musician and ladies' man, pulls responsible, sensitive Josh Nichols into shenanigans that leave them both hanging off a figurative cliff. Shared antics cement a growing brotherly bond, while perennial teen issues and dilemmas come to light. Miranda Cosgrove (Yours, Mine & Ours, School of Rock) co-stars as Drake and Josh's sister, Megan, a mischievous 12-year-old with a penchant for practical jokes. Nancy Sullivan (The Amanda Show) and Jonathan Goldstein play their loving parents Audrey Parker and Walter Nichols.

Classic Nickelodeon success stories, Peck and Bell ascended from Nick's The Amanda Show ensemble to become series headliners and soon will segue to the big screen to star in recently announced action/comedy feature film from Nickelodeon Movies, written by Schneider and Steve Molaro.

Bell, who recently co-starred in Nick Movies/Paramount Pictures' Yours, Mine & Ours with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo, taped his first commercial at age 5 and appeared soon after opposite Gena Rowlands in the feature film The Neon Bible. He grabbed attention in a featured role in Jerry Maguire and followed with a co-starring role -- and private music lessons -- with Roger Daltrey in Chasing Destiny. The experience inspired him to start his own band, and his music and vocals are featured in his album Telegraph and on the Drake & Josh soundtrack. Bell also appeared as John Cusack's son in the HBO feature The Jack Bull and played Cusack's character as a kid in High Fidelity.