Ariana Grande Confirms Sam & Cat Is Canceled Amid First-Season Controversy

Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande

Michael Simon/Startraks

updated 07/14/2014 AT 11:00 AM ET

originally published 07/14/2014 AT 2:15 PM ET

Ariana Grande has confirmed that Sam & Cat are winding down their onscreen shenanigans together.

The Nickelodeon series, which was slated for a 40-episode first season, has been prematurely canceled, with the 36th episode to serve as the series finale on July 17.

Grande, 21, confirmed the show’s end and wrote an emotion-filled tribute on Twitter Sunday.

“I want to thank Nickelodeon for being a family to me. Thank you to the cast and crew who I spent almost every day with for a good four or five years. I can’t imagine that there is a more pleasant or professional crew in Hollywood,” Grande wrote.

The show went on hiatus following leaked photos of Jennette McCurdy – the show’s other title star – in March. A rep for Nickelodeon said at the time that the racy pics were not to blame for the halt in production. And Grande has denied another rumored controversy surrounding the two stars and salary differences.

In her farewell, Grande paid a special thanks to Dan Schneider, who originated iCarly and Victorious – the Nickelodeon shows where the characters of Sam and Cat were introduced, respectively – “for allowing me to play such a special, beautiful character who I hid behind for so long.”

“When I was younger,” Grande wrote, “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.”

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