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Samantha Who?: ABC Cancels Christina Applegate Sitcom, No Season Three

Samantha WhoAnother 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.

Should Samantha Who? have been cancelled?

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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.

 

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

DarDar August 7, 2009 at 11:24 am

It’s a crime, really. It did have a great lead-in, but without letting viewers know about the change in timeslot it was hard to follow. I would have to say that this was one of the freshest, brightest comedies in a very long time. Writing, talent, what a shame to not give it another chance. Applegate and cast need to be on television. On this show.

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laura August 3, 2009 at 10:48 pm

I am soooo dissapointed in the cancellation of my favorite comedy! I absolutely love every character on the show… every episode has me laughing out loud, which is something most of the new comedies just dont have anymore! I greatly hope that ABC reconsiders their decision! this will be huge lose to the network and the shows fans!!!! Please bring Samantha who back!

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Anonymous August 3, 2009 at 2:07 am

This is ridiculous. With the crazy timeslot changes and lack of promotions OF COURSE ratings are going to dwindle! It was obvious the show itself hadn’t lost its luster going going into and delving further into the second season, if anything it grew stronger. Put the show back to a regular, predictable timeslot and the ratings will look healthy again. But of course, ABC gives up early as usual and cuts another could-have-been rating king.

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samantha who? fan July 31, 2009 at 2:27 pm

Wish you would reconsider. The show is enjoyable, funny, well written. There’s so much trash on television today I often wondered where all the good writers had gone; then I watched Samantha Who? and found out. Fortunately, if this cannot be reconsidered, there are still good books to pick up.

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confused July 29, 2009 at 6:09 am

Of course they cancelled Samantha Who. It was a good, clean, funny, entertaining show! Let’s replace it with more trash on the air waves. The new shows coming on now, the reality shows, the idiotic so called comedys that are nothing more than a boring string of one liners, ….. keep those coming! I have a lot of books that I haven’t had time to read anyway. Thanks TV networks. Keep up the good work.

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Anonymous 2 July 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm

That’s too bad. It was cleverly written, funny, and dealt with real-life emotions and situations in a quirky way. I recorded each episode so that I could watch and enjoy fully. Please reconsider the cancellation.

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Pam Kraegel July 25, 2009 at 10:45 am

One of the best shows on TV. Well written and very funny!

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Anonymous July 25, 2009 at 7:18 am

Are you kidding. I was just getting into it. I’m just starting to get to know all the characters. What a great cast. I totally enjoy each one of the characters. That is a hard show to find now a days. It is really one of the funniest sitcom around and my favorite. I hope another network picks it up for the fall. I would love for Lifetime to pick up.

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Just me July 25, 2009 at 2:58 am

Why would you cancel one of the few great comedies left on TV? While I enjoy reality TV, it’s become the norm, and it’s nice sometimes just to have a good laugh and a great storyline as an escape. Good writers, and Christina Applegate is incredible on this show. Bring it back!

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Anonymous July 24, 2009 at 8:27 pm

I can not believe this!! This was my favorite show, so funny. I totally agree that it should have been an hour long. Please another network pick up this show

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Carrie July 24, 2009 at 6:33 pm

Please bring this show back. It’s got such a terrific cast. It kept being shuffled around and was unable to establish a loyal audience. I love it!!!! The actors and writing are stellar.

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 at 6:44 pm

I have watched this show from the beginning. I am so over reality tv. This was a happy show to watch. I would sit down and take a break for 30 minutes and really enjoy it. My family started watching it with me too. I hate to see it end.

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Jennifer July 23, 2009 at 6:18 pm

I just got through watching what I’m guessing is the series finale of Samantha Who? I had heard from a friend it was cancelled, so I googled it and found this article and am very diappointed, to say the least, to see it is true. I hope this decision is reconsidered. Samantha Who is one of the best comedies to come along in a looong time: funny, great cast and characters, great storyline, GREAT writing, and you couldn’t help but watch every week to see what Samantha was going to discover about herself, and if she and Todd would ever get it together. I have been a loyal ABC viewer since I was young…and besides Grey’s, Lost & Private Practice, Samantha was the only thing keeping me coming back…and even watching again on abc.com. I hope this show gets picked up by someone…

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Anonymous July 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

This is a shame. This is very unique and funny show. I am very sorry to see it go. Maybe somone else will pick it up.

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kelly rae July 22, 2009 at 10:16 pm

I love this show! And I’m so sad to see it end so suddenly. Did ABC even air the finale? I haven’t seen it. My solution is, if ABC doesn’t want to go forth with the show, maybe (and hopefully) another network will pick it up. Like what they did with Scrubs!

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