Ariana Grande Confirms Sam & Cat Is Canceled Amid First-Season Controversy
07/14/2014 AT 02:15 PM EDT
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."
"I admire her so much," Grande said of the character she's leaving behind. "She never lost her sense of wonder. As we grow up we become more and more jaded and fearful of how we come across. She never changed. A lot of people will think this is a lot for some 'dumb' kids show character, but to me she is actually a lot smarter, stronger and braver than all the rest of us."
While it may be the end of the road for two of Nickelodeon's quirkiest leading ladies, Grande is just happy to have been along for such a wild and successful ride.
"I will never take these memories or lessons learned for granted," she wrote.