The Real Reason Nickelodeon Canceled Victorious

Netflix recently added a few old Nickelodeon shows to its ever-changing roster, including Victorias, the TV series that introduced Ariana Grande to the masses in 2010. Of course, the now-megastar wasn't the only one in the cast — Victoria Justice, Elizabeth Gillies, Avan Jogia, Daniella Monet, Matt Bennett, Leon Thomas III, and more appeared alongside Grande when the show debuted. The Nick series came to a close in 2013, but believe it or not, there's still some confusion over why exactly Victorious ended.

Depending on who you ask — the series creator, the network, or a certain cast member (who, uh, blamed another cast member) — the reasons for the show's cancellation range from dramatic to run-of-the-mill to pretty vague. Let's dive right in, shall we?

Ariana Grande & Victoria Justice ignited feud rumors

When Victorious came to an end, rumors of a feud between Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice began. According to J-14, after a fan tried to blame Grande for the show's cancellation, the "Thank U, Next" singer wrote on AskFM in 2013, "Sweetheart the only reason Victorious ended is because one girl didn't want to do it. She chose to do a solo tour instead of a cast tour. If we had done a cast tour Nickelodeon would have ordered another season of Victorious while Sam and Cat filmed simultaneously but she chose otherwise." 

Many assumed that was a dig at Victorious' namesake star, an idea fueled further after Justice reportedly wrote in a since-deleted tweet: "Some people would throw someone that they consider a friend under the bus just to make themselves look good. #StopBeingAPhony #IfTheyOnlyKnew." In a seemingly related response, Grande tweeted at the time, "You just can't hide from the truth."

And the drama didn't end there: In the summer of 2013, Grande appeared on the cover of Seventeen magazine and alluded to on-set controversy that some fans assumed was a dig at Justice. "I worked with someone who told me they'd never like me. But for some reason, I just felt like I needed her approval. So I started changing myself to please her," Grande said, mentioning that the workplace dynamic made her "unhappy." As her character, Cat Valentine, would say, "What's that supposed to mean?

Grande later clarified that quote in Seventeen, claiming she was talking about "a different work experience." According to the pop star, "My years filming Victorious were some of the HAPPIEST of my life and that cast is family to me." She also told her fanbase, "Please don't send hate to anyone, it's undeserved and I would never want that."

The Victorious creator blamed business as usual

Despite the apparent blame game between Ariana Grande and Victoria Justice, there's one person who made clear that the show's cancellation wasn't his fault. In 2012, Victorious creator Dan Schneider explained on his blog that ending the show was not his decision. "This was the network's decision — not mine. Please understand: Almost all Nickelodeon shows have a life of about 60 episodes." He listed Drake & JoshZoey 101, and The Amanda Show as examples. "So, it's not unusual for a Nick show to do a run of just 60 episodes. I would love to have made more than 60 of Victorious, but that's how it usually goes."

In that same post, Schneider encouraged fans to not take their disappointment out on the cast or staff, writing, "They all wanted Victorious to continue – so did I." Interestingly, he listed Justice's name first, although that could simply be because she played the titular character ... or it was a means to squash those sticky rumors?

Nickelodeon played it straight

When the show's cancellation was announced in August 2012, Nickelodeon told Deadline it would "not be moving forward with production on a fourth season." In its statement, the network said it was "very proud" of the show and its cast members, promising that the "audience will continue to see many of them in upcoming new Nickelodeon projects." That was true — Ariana Grande continued playing her Victorious character, Cat Valentine, on the iCarly crossover spinoff Sam & Cat, while Daniella Monet appeared in A Fairly Odd Summer. Plus, fellow Victorious alums such as Monet and Matt Bennett made cameos on Sam & Cat.

In Schneider's aforementioned blog post, he also clarified that it was "really important" fans know that Sam & Cat getting picked up wasn't why Victorious ended: "The network still would have ended Victorious after its 60-episode run."

While the exact reasoning for nixing the show may never be known, it sounds like Nickelodeon called the shots. But hey, at least Nick kids of all ages can now rewatch the show as much as they want over on Netflix.