Another casualty of the networks’ efforts to trim their expenses is the sophomore sitcom, Samantha Who?.
The ABC sitcom revolves around a nasty young woman (Christina Applegate) who is hit by a car. When she awakens from a coma, she’s developed amnesia and has even forgotten her terse personality. Samantha Who? also features the talents of Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Dunn, Melissa McCarthy, Tim Russ, Barry Watson, and Jean Smart.
Samantha debuted on October 15, 2007 and was given the plum position of following ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. With that lead-in, the first season averaged 11.8 million viewers. However, though the show’s ratings looked good on paper, the sitcom consistently lost a significant portion of Dancing’s large audience. Looking beyond that, ABC renewed Samantha for a second season.
For the start of its sophomore year, ABC once more gave the sitcom a cushy post-Dancing timeslot. Episodes averaged 10.76 million viewers. Once Dancing finished, the sitcom’s audience fell to 6.75 million.
Then, the network moved Samantha to Thursday nights and things really fell apart. Without the benefit of a strong lead-in, Applegate and company attracted just 5.24 million viewers. Due to the poor numbers, ABC ended up pulling Samantha and In the Motherhood two weeks early.
Despite the faltering ratings, there have been ongoing discussions about keeping the show going for another season; likely because the show is co-produced by ABC’s in-house production company and because they still have seven unaired episodes.
Producers were asked to find a way to cut $500,000 in expenses from each episode. One possibility that was looked at was changing Samantha to a traditional multi-camera comedy, a format that takes less time and money to produce.
Things were looking good going into the weekend but ultimately it wasn’t possible to shave enough money from Samantha’s budget. ABC also has lots of new comedies in the making so finding a place for it on the schedule also became an issue. As a result, ABC has opted to cancel the series.
It was previously announced that Samantha reruns would begin airing on Friday, June 5th. Now that the show’s been cancelled, it’s presumed that the unaired episodes will run on Friday nights as well.
Image courtesy ABC.