Today in celebrity gossip: Sam & Cat's Jennette McCurdy quit Nickelodeon's #1 show, Drake Bell has strong words for Ariana Grande, and Miley Cyrus is very bummed right now.
If you're like most people, your remote control's "Last" button is worn to a nub from flipping back and forth between Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel. Haha just kidding, you probably don't watch those channels at all, but your kids certainly do. (The ones who haven't run away yet.) But would it surprise you to know that some of those networks' original programming could be classified as "good"? If you can get past the neon colors, brain-melting interstitials, and brazen attempts at launching pop music careers, some of these shows are actually funny! Disney's Selena Gomez vehicle Wizards of Waverly Place had an unexpectedly strange sense of humor and deep roster of talented guest stars while Good Luck, Charlie is as clever and heartfelt as any network sitcom. It's the same story over on Nickelodeon, where original sitcoms like iCarly and its spin-off Sam & Cat have been getting insane ratings for years by respecting kids' weird senses of humor. Anyway, Nickelodeon's microcosm of in-house, on-brand entertainment took a big hit this week when Sam & Cat, their #1 rated show and the current home of increasingly high-profile singer Ariana Grande, mysteriously halted production. According to TMZ, the troubles seem to surround co-star Jennette McCurdy, who was a mysterious no-show at the network's Kids' Choice Awards last weekend despite Sam & Cat nearly sweeping all the TV categories. Taking to Twitter, the actress assured fans that her absence had nothing to do with the racy lingerie photo that had leaked online previously, but that it definitely had to do with "how Nickelodeon treated me." TMZ reports that that McCurdy's alleged mistreatment boils down to a too-small paycheck, particularly compared to Grande's: "We're told the pint-sized star is pissed that Grande makes WAY MORE money than her and she's been trying to renegotiate her deal ... so far to no avail." Nickelodeon is apparently playing hardball, halting production entirely and declining to renew the show for another season. Which, by the way, did you know that on Nickelodeon each season is 40 episodes? 40! That sounds exhausting! I would demand a raise as well. Keep raging against that machine, Jennette McCurdy. [Page Six, TMZ]
Meanwhile, Drake Bell, former star of Nickelodeon's Drake & Josh, gave an interview to BuzzFeed in which he puts his peers on blast. Singling out Ariana Grande he said, "Ariana Grande is a billionaire before she’s been an artist. You have to work to be able to appreciate what you have, and what work did she ever have to do in her life?" Told! He also had strong words for Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, mostly about how they do or do not respect their fans. For one thing, he believes they turn a blind eye to their fans' often ugly behavior, but he also questions whether Bieber even cares about Beliebers at all:
A lot of artists try to run away from that fan base so quickly, but I would rather have my audience grow with me than to suddenly turn my back on them because I’m an adult now, because I take my clothes off, smoke weed, and f—king drive fast cars.
In a classic case of a celebrity denying a rumor you'd never heard in the first place thus generating completely unearned publicity, Miley Cyrus' reps have informed Us Weekly that she is NOT pregnant. Unless you meant 'pregnant with grief,' in which case Miley Cyrus is VERY pregnant. Earlier this week Cyrus experienced the heartbreaking loss of her dog and has been openly mourning the little guy on social media and even in concert. (One of the more memorable stage elements during her Bangerz Tour has been an enormous inflatable version of Floyd, the Alaskan Klee Kai she'd owned since 2011.) Tweeting "I am broken," Cyrus has been sharing with fans her favorite pictures of Floyd:
I know I don't mean it but I wish he would've taken me with him �� this is unbearable. What am I gonna do without him? pic.twitter.com/Jq9HEvBsw6— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) April 2, 2014
And during soundcheck at the Boston leg of her tour, Cyrus sobbed her way through a cover of Stevie Nicks' "Landslide," shaky video of which you can see here:
This is perfect: Former House star and current Chicago Fire hunk Jesse Spencer was recently touring the Illinois State Capitol with his parents when their elevator became stuck, trapping them and about 30 other tourists about two-feet below basement level. "People started to freak out. It was getting so hot. It's claustrophobic. One poor girl had a fear of being trapped in elevators," Spencer told the Chicago Sun-Times. At that point there was a bit of controversy when the building managers were reached over the emergency phone and opted to call an elevator repairman instead of the fire department. You'll never believe what happened next. Okay, you will: Jesse Spencer used his fireman knowledge and brute fireman strength to pry open the doors and call the real Fire Department! "He also opened the elevator's fire access panel to bring in more air." Eventually the real Fire Department arrived and helped everybody out and Jesse Spencer tweeted a group photo with his heroes:
Thanks Springfield FD saved us from an elevator at the Capitol Building. Stuck for an hour, I muscled the doors open pic.twitter.com/I1BA9GtLm4— Jesse Spencer (@Jesse_Spencer) April 1, 2014
Thank you, Jesse Spencer. Thank you, Chicago Fire. Thank you, Australia. [People]
Not since Richard Nixon shook hands with Mao Zedong has there been a meeting of such diametrically opposed titans: Justin Bieber is now hanging out with rising pop star Austin Mahone:
Continuing this column's trend of celebrities you probably haven't heard of (but your kids definitely have), the squeaky-clean Mahone is widely considered to be Bieber's closest rival and successor to the pop-hunk throne. Add to that rumors that Mahone has possibly dated Bieber' ex Selena Gomez and it's been widely assumed the two were enemies. But now they are hanging out! It's an inspiring story, really. If they can make a go of it, why can't other world leaders? Widespread peace is truly on the horizon.
Almost nothing is better than a former child star seeking to dirty up his or her image, so please enjoy this photo of Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) hanging out with a scantily clad woman in the pages of Interview Magazine:
[SLIGHTLY NSFW] And for the sake of gender parity, here's Game of Thrones' Natalie Dormer looking very chill and relaxed in the pages of GQ:
This concludes today's edition of Cute Celebrities Taking Their Shirts Off in Magazines.