1. Nickelodeon initially turned down the show, telling co-creators D.J. MacHale and Ned Kandel that they “couldn’t scare little kids,” according to MacHale. But after a new head of development took over a year later and looked at the Are You Afraid of the Dark? pitch, they called the duo “and asked why we weren’t doing the show,” MacHale told The Globe and Mail. “The idea of doing ‘horror lite,’ which is what Dark? is, people can’t get their minds around it.”
2. In an attempt to get ahead of any backlash from concerned parents, the network asked the creative team to base the tales off of classic literature.
“Nickelodeon could claim it’s based on classic lit: Daphne du Maurier, Edgar Allan Poe,” MacHale explained. “But never did we have any complaints along those lines. We knew what the limit was. You’re not going to show blood, violence or depravity. You’re going to show, ‘Oh my God! What’s behind that door?!’ We were doing Hitchcock 101.”
3. The original title of the show was Scary Tales, a play on fairy tales. “Nickelodeon actually said, ‘We like the show, but we don’t like the title. We need something that’s more unique, more Nickelodeon-like,'” MacHale told Vulture.