12:07pm PT by Philiana Ng
Nickelodeon's 'Sam & Cat' Goes on Hiatus Amid Drama
Nickelodeon has put popular live-action comedy Sam & Cat on hiatus as star Jennette McCurdy continues to make headlines and its chances for a second season remain unclear.
Sam & Cat, which has a 40-episode first-season order, began its production hiatus March 31, though it is unclear how many episodes remain to be produced for its first cycle. Meanwhile, a decision on a second season has yet to be made -- unusual for a popular show nearing the end of its current order.
"We are wrapping up what was an unusually long production cycle of Sam & Cat, and everyone is understandably tired. We are going into our production hiatus next week, which will give everyone on the show a much-needed rest," a Nickelodeon spokesperson said in a statement.
The 21-year-old McCurdy was scheduled to appear at the network's Kids' Choice Awards this past weekend in Los Angeles but failed to attend the fan-voted event. Sam & Cat took home the TV comedy prize, while Ariana Grande won TV comedy actress and creator Dan Schneider was honored with a lifetime achievement award. McCurdy alluded to conflicts in a lengthy tweet Sunday in a bid to explain her no-show. (TMZ reported Wednesday that McCurdy was unhappy with her salary, though Nickelodeon would not comment.)
"I was put in an uncomfortable, compromising, unfair situation (many of you have guessed what it is) and I had to look out for me," McCurdy wrote. "I chose not to go because sticking up for what is right and what is fair is what my mom taught me is ALWAYS the most important thing. I want to thank those of you who have reached out with kind words of support, McCurdians and Arianators alike. No matter who or what you support, I believe in supporting fairness first."
It's been a rough go for McCurdy lately; racy photos of the Nickelodeon star leaked on the Internet in March, prompting speculation that the future of Sam & Cat was in question. "We have the utmost respect for Jennette McCurdy," said a Nickelodeon spokesperson. The network claims there is no connection between the photos and the end of the show.
McCurdy and Grande co-star in Sam & Cat, which was given a giant season-one order last July after only four episodes. The highly rated series, a spinoff of Victorious and iCarly, follows Sam (McCurdy) and Cat (Grande) as they become best friends and unlikely roommates who start a babysitting service.
The June 8, 2013, series debut was Nickelodeon's biggest live-action launch in three years, with 4.2 million viewers tuning in. Nickelodeon aired a supersized Sam & Cat episode ahead of the Kids' Choice Awards on Saturday that drew 4 million viewers.
A rep for McCurdy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.