On July 13, Ariana Grande used Facebook to confirm the cancellation of Nickelodeon's teen comedy Sam & Cat. "I want to thank Dan Schneider for allowing me to play such a special, beautiful character who I hid behind for so long."
She wanted her audience to understand the meaning. "When I was younger, people loved Cat so much I used to pretend to be more like her. It took me a long time to be brave enough to separate myself and show people how different we actually are.... I think that's honestly because I admire her so much."
And the message is clear to her fans to stop hiding behind fakeness and enjoy life. "She never held back her enthusiasm or joy for fear of appearing some sort of way or for fear of jinxing the good that is real" because Cat never judged people and giving them the benefit of the doubt.
The 21-year-old says that Cat's characteristics helped transition "from teenager to adult" by allowing a lot of inner "personal growth." It's not easy growing up in Hollywood and the child star industry, so it says a lot about the maturity the experience with Nickelodeon provided.
Grande acknowledges that many people will just say Cat's a dim character with little value "but to me she is actually a lot smarter, stronger and braver than all the rest of us." That's important since it offers the audience the chance to say, "it's okay to be different."
Added to that, she thanked her fans for their support, calling them the "most loyal, dedicated and continuously loving supporters I could ever imagine."
She ended the post with a simple but heartfelt, "Thank you for believing in me, accepting me and loving me. I love you forever."
While the message was sweet, open, and kind, the cancellation news wasn't entirely unexpected. For months, rumors about trouble on set have been appearing in blind items and gossip sites.
According The Hollywood Reporter's Philiana Ng, a Nick spokesperson said, "Nickelodeon will not be producing more episodes of Sam & Cat."
While wishing the cast a great future, some of the tension comes from Jennette McCurdy making headlines earlier year for posting racy photos and ongoing salary disputes. Then the 21-year-old also refused to show up at March's Kids' Choice Awards. Both Grande and Schneider were honored with TV comedy actress and lifetime achievement award respectively. Afterwards, the show was put on indefinite hiatus until a decision could be made.
And losing the show will undoubtedly hurt the network's schedule on the whole. While the first season earned 40 episodes in the first season, a sophomore season won't be happening.
Sam and Cat were spin-off characters of the station's teen hits Victorious and iCarly. Somehow the eccentric characters "become best friends and unlikely roommates who start a babysitting service." Which means a lot of young adult hijinks along the way--the perfect recipe for a mega hit.
When Sam & Cat premiered on June 8, 2013, the show drew a huge audience. "Nickelodeon Cancels 'Sam & Cat' After Behind-the-Scenes Drama" points out the show managed to gain the highest ratings in three-years with 4.2 million viewers, while a special episode before the Kids' Choice Awards garnered an impressive 4 million.
Without Grande and McCurdy in the line up, there's no star recognition. Grande's gained a large following thanks to her singing career. Her current single "Problem" features Iggy Azalea and would offer a higher viewership since radio fans may not be aware of her television career.
And her name being dropped constantly on CBS’s summer-hit Big Brother by older brother Frankie J couldn’t hurt. Both Viacom-owned productions would have helped boost Sam & Cat higher.
Instead it’s officially so long Sam and Cat without a peep from a social media savvy Jennette McCurdy.
Sources: Facebook, The Hollywood Reporter