Lerman had quit acting for a "year or so" in the early 2000s, when he was ten. He made a "conscious decision" to embrace acting as a profession when he was twelve, having developed an interest in the film making process. In 2004, he was cast in the television series Jack & Bobby, playing one of the title roles, Robert "Bobby" McCallister, a 12-year-old "extremely bright social misfit" in Missouri who was destined to become President of the United States as an adult. The show ran on The WB Television Network during the 2004–2005 season, receiving some positive reviews but low ratings, and was subsequently canceled. Lerman was nominated for another Young Artist Award for his performance, tying with Jack DeSena for the win.  Lerman has stated that he "started taking things seriously" about his career after appearing on the show.  The Boston Herald's reviewer mentioned that Lerman's performance had a "blend of vulnerability and strength," while Entertainment Weekly's reviewer had noted that "Lerman lends Bobby a bedraggled optimism".