Grande was cast in the Nickelodeon television show Victorious along with 13 co-star Elizabeth Gillies in 2009. In this sitcom, set in a performing arts high school, Grande played the "adorably dimwitted" Cat Valentine. She had to dye her hair red every other week for the role because the executive producer, Dan Schneider, did not want all the cast members to be brunettes, and the red hair was also a feature that the network felt would fit the personality of Cat. The show premiered in March 2010 to the second largest audience for a live-action series in Nickelodeon history with 5. 7 million viewers. The role helped propel Grande to teen idol status, but she was more interested in a music career, stating that acting is "fun, but music has always been first and foremost with me. " Her character was compared to "Brittany Murphy's performance as the hapless Tai in Clueless" (1995) and described as being "very impressionable and easily swayed" but "generally sweet". The second season premiered in April 2011 to 6. 2 million viewers, becoming the highest rated episode of Victorious. In 2010, she played the role of Miriam in the musical Cuba Libre, written and produced by songwriter Desmond Child.
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