Nick's 'Sam & Cat' gone after less than season

AP Television WriterJuly 14, 2014 

TV Sam Cat

In this publicity image released by Nickelodeon, Jennette McCurdy, portrays Sam, left, and Ariana Grande, portrays Cat from the Nickelodeon series "Sam & Cat." The children’s network said Monday, July 14, 2014 that Thursday’s episode of the series will be its last. At points this year, the series that debuted last summer with Grande and Jennette McCurdy was Nickelodeon’s most popular series.

NICKELODEON, LISA ROSE — AP Photo

— With Ariana Grande hitting it big in the music world this summer, her time as a star on children's television is about to become history.

Nickelodeon announced Monday that "Sam & Cat," which at times was the network's most popular series after debuting just last summer, will air its last original episode Thursday.

Grande, whose single "Problems" has sold 2.3 million tracks, co-starred on the series with another longtime Nickelodeon personality, Jennette McCurdy.

"We are very proud of the show and its very talented cast, and we wish them all the best," Nickelodeon said.

It's unusual for a network to end a highly rated series so quickly. After an initial order of 20 episodes, Nick doubled it to 40. But the series shut down production this spring, four episodes short of a full order amid published reports of turmoil on the set and a falling out between Grande and McCurdy.

Representatives for the actresses did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Nickelodeon would not comment on why production was cut short. Its executives said that both stars had reached 21 and were anxious to move on in their careers.

While Grande's musical career was taking off, some racy pictures of McCurdy surfaced online.

The creator of "Sam & Cat," Dan Schneider, is making a new series for Nick, titled "Henry Danger." It's scheduled to premiere in the fall.

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