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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 }

Anonymous April 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

what i don’t understand is that even if viewership did drop, 5 million people is still a large devotion. i think it’s just a crock excuse for cutting the show. and it was dumb to depend on a different show to get viewers excited about another one. they couldn’t find a better way to advertise? and lastly, the show won several awards. i doubt if it were such an uninteresting sitcom it could have gotten such accolades.


Toksie October 19, 2010 at 1:14 am

Not fair I loved this series so much! Bring it back. Boohoohoo I want to know how Sam and her boyfriend end up and if she eventually becomes the mean chic again. (I certainly Hope not!!!)


Heather September 23, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I can’t believe they cancelled this show! Samantha Who was a refreshingly smart, funny comedy and a much needed break from all of the reality/game show crap on TV these days. Bad decision ABC!!!


Hadel August 24, 2010 at 9:51 pm

Fools, reality shows are dying and we want real comedies! We miss old shows like Friends, Frasier, Seinfeld…we want real comedy with great writing and now, you give us, sorry to say, CRAP!

No more TV for me, sticking to Internet and Ipod to search what I want.



Dana August 23, 2010 at 5:55 pm

Samantha Who was a great show! I think it’s a big mistake it has been cancelled.. and the way it was cut off was just not right!
ABC should bring it back!


Anonymous June 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm

Please bring back Samantha who, It was the best comedy show on ABC .


Anonymous June 7, 2010 at 7:12 pm

I’m trying to figure out why I haven’t seen Samantha Who?; I’m thinking is going to run in the summer. Now I find out it was cancelled. Like some other comments that was left. I am so sick and tired of these networks removing good, funny, comedy shows, with shows that all they seem to focus on is getting laid or these realities shows that has no purpose but getting into people’s personal life, and then they call it a show!


Anonymous April 12, 2010 at 8:33 pm

This was a really good show and ABC should have at least let the season finish properly. i want the show to return to television.


Lissy February 13, 2010 at 11:59 am

I too am tired of ABC pulling the plug on great shows. Samantha Who? was a perfect balance of great writing, sensational actors, and talented directing. The episodes were brilliant, the story lines, fresh and funny. The show’s characters were a refreshing addition to prime time television. ABC, either you bring back Samantha Who? or we pull the plug on you!


Kee September 27, 2009 at 1:19 am

I can’t believe they canceled this show! It was one of my favorite shows! I was so upset when they had to pause it for the writers’ strike, and then it’s been moving around, and now it’s canceled?!! ABC seriously needs to reconsider this. Bring back Samantha Who!!


annoymous September 26, 2009 at 5:26 pm

I really like Samatha Who. It was getting really good and was looking forward to the next season. ABC you all should really reconsider your desicion cuz you always cancel shows that are good. I too am very ify about watching a show on your network cuz you all always do this. It should be a vote the audience should make afterall we are the ones who make or break a show.


Anonymous September 26, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I’m so sad that ABC canceled Samantha Who?. I loved it! It was so original and soooo funny. I’m so tired of these networks getting you hooked on these awesome shows and then pulling the plug. Wake UP!! Not everyone watches wannabe celebrities dance or skinny runway models fight with each other. Some of us still enjoy smartly written, humorous comedies that require more than just hanging out by your phone so you can vote for someone. Booo to ABC! So sorry Samantha and cast. You’ll be missed.


Brandi September 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Please bring Samantha Who back! : ( This is a quality show. Why do you people keep shoving “reality” (trash) t.v. down our throats?
I watched Cougar Town last night and loved it but at the same time I’m afraid to invest in it because ABC is so famous for pulling the plug on good shows.


joe September 19, 2009 at 11:20 am

are you kidding me this was a great show!


luci September 19, 2009 at 11:12 am

i loved that show it was one of the funniest shows we had in a long time i am tiered of realty tv and want some real good writing for a change ,what’s going on with everybody! and i agree with everyone else and what they say.Oh find another show to cut.


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