Remember the Nickelodeon show Sam & Cat? The one starring Ariane Grande and Jennette McCurdy? Well, there’s a reason it lasted for less than a season.
Right off the bat, Sam & Cat did extremely well. It featured two of Nick’s biggest stars and had a plot that was set to withstand the test of time. McCurdy and Grande played Sam and Cat, two BFFs who became roommates. Along the way, they found themselves in the midst of some hilarious situations and built a babysitting business together (which they ran after school, of course). The show was initially supposed to have only 20 episodes, but it got increased to 40 because it became one of the network’s highest-rated series.
So… why was it cancelled after only 36 episodes?
After the show’s cancellation, answers were vague. TMZ reported that Ariana was getting paid more than Jennette. Ariana then released a statement saying that this wasn’t true. Jennette didn’t attend the Kid’s Choice Awards (even though she was nominated for Best Female Actress) and explained that Nickelodeon put her in “an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation.” Fans also worried that Grande and McCurdy were feuding, especially since Ariana wrote a note about the end of the series and left Jennette’s name out of it.
To announce the show’s ending, the network simply stated, “Nickelodeon will not be producing any more episodes of Sam & Cat. We are very proud of the show and its talented cast and we wish them the best.”
Based on Jennette McCurdy’s recent interview with Vulture, it seems that many different factors influenced the show’s cancellation. But, for the most part, this television ending proved that there’s a lot of pressure surrounding teen stars – both on set and off.
“Once we didn’t have child labor laws we could work like 16 hours a day,” McCurdy told E!. “So you are around these people constantly and it’s just natural that you’re going to have ups and downs.” She also admitted that she and Grande “butted heads at times but in a very sisterly way,” and later added that they “both had very different ideas of where [they] wanted [their] careers to go.”
Around this time, McCurdy tragically lost her biggest supporter. “Six days after my mom died I went back to work,” she told Vulture. “I thought, ‘Oh if I do this Vine video, or If I do this episode, if I hit every mark, then I’ll be fine because I’ll have something else to focus on.’ But really I was just putting this huge life-changing event on the back burner and it was slowly causing me to unravel to the point where I would say I got to my lowest emotional point.”
Now, Jennette is doing better. After Sam & Cat‘s cancellation, she produced her own web series called What’s Next for Sarah?. And she’s currently the star of Netflix series Between. She’s also learned to accept the fact that she’s still discovering who she is.
“You is a work-in-progress,” said McCurdy. “You think you’re going to reach some day when you wake up and you’re like, This is me! It’s not going to happen. So accept who you are today, and do you that day, and accept that you on Tuesday might be different from you on Wednesday.”
Even though Sam & Cat may have reached its conclusion, it seems that both Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande are just getting started.
[Image via Nickelodeon Productions]