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Old 06-08-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
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TV Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande Preview Spin-off "Sam & Cat"

"Sam & Cat": Jennette McCurdy and Ariana Grande On Their New "Odd Couple"-esque Nickelodeon Show
by Emily Rome
Jun 8 2013



The worlds of popular Nickelodeon shows "iCarly" and "Victorious" first met in summer 2011 on a special three-part episode called 'iParty with Victorious'. But in that crossover, there were two key characters who never got to meet — "iCarly‘s" Sam Puckett and "Victorious‘" Cat Valentine.

Now the two girls who often stole the spotlight in their original Nick shows will have plenty of time together, in their new show, "Sam & Cat", which airs its series premiere tonight. It’s a crossover spin-off that continues the stories of the two characters in their post-"iCarly" and "Victorious" lives — both aired their series finales last year.





In "Sam & Cat", the duo meets when Sam travels from Seattle to talk about the web show at Hollywood Arts, Cat’s high school. They eventually become friends, and when Sam transplants permanently to L.A., they become roommates and start a babysitting business together.

Sam’s real-life alter ego, nearly 21-year-old Jennette McCurdy, admits that she was initially “not the most enthusiastic” about the idea of continuing to play the character she had embodied for six years, but once she heard that the new show would be a spin-off with Cat Valentine, she was on board, largely for the opportunity to work with Cat’s portrayer Ariana Grande and to see what happened when these two different-as-night-and-day characters were tossed in new situations together.

Brash, sarcastic Sam and sweet, innocent Cat have “worldviews on opposite ends of the spectrum, and that’s what makes them the perfect fit,” McCurdy told EW. “They see things in each other that they don’t have any of in themselves. That helps them be better as a team than they would be individually since they’re such strong personalities.



That means Cat learns a bit about how to push past her naiveté and take responsibility (which is especially important now that she’s doing a lot of babysitting).

And where Sam would have been met with playful come-backs to her brazen teasing on "iCarly", she now gets responses from Cat like, “Oh, that’s great! I love you!” Grande explained. So Sam softens a little as she spends more time with her new roommate.





So will fans start to see Cat toughening up and getting street smart?

No, not even close, no, never,” Grande said with a laugh at the thought.





And Cat’s soft voice and bright demeanor aren’t going anywhere either, especially as long as Grande’s voice coach has anything to say about it. Grande, who’s almost 20 (she and McCurdy share a late June birthday), also has a blossoming music career.

Her singing teacher has told the actress that it’s healthier for her voice to speak higher than her naturally lower register. Every time the cameras are about to start rolling on the set of "Sam & Cat", Grande delivers an instant morph into high pitch-voiced, doe-eyed Cat. But the actress is glad that she’s always able to morph right back.

When people meet me, they’re like ‘Oh, you don’t actually talk like that.’ I’m like ‘No, thank God I don’t actually talk like that,” she said.





Though Cat’s speaking voice remains the same on "Sam & Cat", there’s no singing on the show, which Grande says was another reason she was drawn to the new series.

I feel like since Hannah Montana every show was trying to do music because that was what was cool,” Grande told EW. “I like making a show without singing better, to be honest. It feels like we’re just doing a sitcom, and it’s not confused with people trying to be pop stars or anything. It’s just a sitcom, and I love that. It’s classic, funny TV.





Sam and Cat’s L.A. adventures begin shortly after Sam rides into town on her motorcycle, and they meet when Sam rescues Cat from a garbage truck.

Among the guest stars set to appear in upcoming episodes are British cousins Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland of viral video and "Ellen" fame.

Created by Dan Schneider, the same producer who originated "iCarly" and "Victorious", "Sam & Cat" premieres on Saturday, June 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

http://family-room.ew.com/2013/06/08...ious-spin-off/
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