Samantha Who?

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Samantha Who?
Created by
Narrated byChristina Applegate
ComposerJan Stevens
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes35 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
Production locationLos Angeles, California
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time22 minutes
Production companies
Original release
ReleaseOctober 15, 2007 (2007-10-15) –
July 23, 2009 (2009-07-23)

Samantha Who? is an American television sitcom that originally aired on ABC from October 15, 2007, to July 23, 2009. The series was created by Cecelia Ahern and Donald Todd, who also served as producers. Although highly rated during its first season, the sitcom lost momentum and viewers throughout its second season, and ABC canceled the show in May 2009 before the remaining seven episodes were burned off the 2008–09 TV schedule.

The series was produced by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and ABC Studios and executive produced by Christina Applegate, Donald Todd, Peter Traugott, Bob Kushell, Alex Reid, and Marco Pennette.


The show centered on Samantha Newly (Christina Applegate), a vice president of a real estate firm who develops retrograde amnesia after a hit and run accident. After awakening, she progressively realizes to her dismay that she had been selfish and unlikable before her accident, and therefore sets out to make amends and become a better daughter to her somewhat dysfunctional parents, Howard (Kevin Dunn) and Regina (Jean Smart), a better friend to self-centered Andrea (Jennifer Esposito) and needy but well-meaning Dena (Melissa McCarthy), and a better on-again, off-again girlfriend to her roommate and ex-boyfriend, Todd (Barry Watson). Wryly observing her transformation from "Old Sam" to "New Sam" is Samantha's bemused doorman, Frank (Tim Russ).[1]

Production history[edit]

Produced by ABC Studios, Donald Todd Productions, and Brillstein-Grey Television, the series was officially greenlit and given a thirteen-episode order on May 11, 2007.[2]

The show was originally named Sam I Am until ABC renamed it Samantha Be Good due to conflicts with the estate of Dr. Seuss.[3][4] TV Guide later reported that ABC had changed the title of the series once more to Samantha Who?.[5] Early television promotions for the series, playing off of the concept of its lead character's amnesia, appeared without stating any specific title. The lack of stated title (with a question mark shown instead) was attributed in promotions to Applegate's character not remembering the name of the series.

The series premiered on October 15, 2007, at 9:30PM Eastern/8:30PM Central[6] and moved to 9:00PM Eastern/8:00PM Central on Mondays on November 26, 2007.

On October 25, 2007, ABC ordered six additional scripts for Samantha Who?.[7]

On October 30, 2007, ABC ordered a full season of 22 episodes for Samantha Who?.[8] However, due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike, only 15 episodes were produced for season one.

On February 11, 2008, ABC picked up Samantha Who? for the 2008–09 television season.[9]

On October 31, 2008, ABC ordered seven more episodes of Samantha Who? bringing the total number of episodes for the show's second season to 20. The announcement came in advance of mandated budget cuts at ABC Studios, which produces the series.[10]

The series, which was filmed in the single-camera format, went on hiatus during the 2008–2009 television season and returned in a new timeslot on Thursday, March 26, 2009, following In the Motherhood before being pulled.

On May 18, 2009, ABC announced that they would not be renewing Samantha Who? for a third season.[11] ABC burned off the final episodes on Thursday nights at 8:00PM Eastern/7:00PM Central from June 25, 2009, until the finale on July 23, 2009[12] (with additional episodes airing Thursday, July 2 and Thursday, July 9 at 8:30PM Eastern/7:30PM Central[13][14]).

Pop began rebroadcasting the series in September 2011.

Cast and characters[edit]


U.S. television ratings[edit]

Standard ratings[edit]

In the following summary, "rating" is the percentage of all households with televisions that tuned to the show, and "share" is the percentage of all televisions in use at that time that are tuned in. "18–49" is the percentage of all adults aged 18–49 tuned into the show. "Viewers" are the number of viewers, in millions, watching at the time. "Rank"; how well the show did compared to other TV shows aired that week.

Unless otherwise cited, the overnight rating, share, 18–49 and viewing information come from Your Entertainment Now.[16] The weekly ranks come from ABC Medianet.[17]

This episode started at 9:45PM,[18] so the ratings are estimated and are the average of the 9:30 half-hour and the 10:00 half-hour.

Without a strong lead-in (provided by Dancing with the Stars in its first season) and paired with another failing ABC comedy In the Motherhood, the ratings for Samantha Who? dropped to lows of around 4 million in its second season.

Seasonal ratings[edit]

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Samantha Who? on ABC:

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September (sometimes in early October) and ends in late May, or occasionally early June, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Episodes Timeslot (Eastern) Premiere Finale TV season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
18–49 Rating/Share
1 15 Monday 9:30 P.M. (October 15, 2007 – November 19, 2007)
Monday 9:00 P.M. (November 26, 2007 – December 10, 2007)
Monday 9:30 P.M. (April 7, 2008 – May 12, 2008)
October 15, 2007 May 12, 2008 2007–2008 #26[22] 11.82[22] TBA
2 20 Monday 9:30 P.M. (October 13, 2008 – December 1, 2008)
Thursday 8:30 P.M.(March 26, 2009 – July 23, 2009)
Thursday 8:00 P.M. (June 25, 2009 – July 23, 2009)
October 13, 2008 July 23, 2009 2008–2009 #54[23] 8.9[23] TBA

Ratings competition[edit]

Samantha Who? first aired against fellow freshmen show K-Ville on FOX. It also aired against Rules of Engagement on CBS, Heroes on NBC and The Game on The CW—each in their second season. This was for the first six episodes Samantha Who? aired at 9:30pm.

On November 26, 2007, Samantha Who? shifted to the 9pm timeslot. Its competition shifted from The Game to Girlfriends on The CW and from Rules of Engagement to Two and a Half Men on CBS. Sophomore sitcom Notes from the Underbelly assumed the 9:30pm position.

DVD releases[edit]

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released the entire series on DVD in Region 1. They also released season 1 on DVD in Region 2 & Region 4 (Australia). Both seasons contain several special features including bloopers and deleted scenes. The Region 1 releases have been discontinued and are out of print.

On February 9, 2012, it was announced that Lionsgate Home Entertainment had acquired the rights to the series and plan on re-releasing it. Seasons 1 and 2 will be re-released on May 1, 2012.[24][25][26]

DVD name Ep # Region 1 Region 2 Region 4 Special Features
The Complete First Season 15 September 23, 2008
May 1, 2012 (re-released)
May 3, 2010[27] February 12, 2009[28] Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel
Comments in Audio
The Complete Second and Final Season 20 August 25, 2009
May 1, 2012 (re-released)
N/A N/A Kit for Beginners
Deleted Scenes
Gag Reel
Conversation of Girls
Set Tour with Christina Applegate
Moment "Dance" Christina

Awards and nominations[edit]


In the United Kingdom the series was broadcast on E4 and Comedy Central. The series aired in Ireland on TG4. In New Zealand the series ran on TV 2, and in Australia the series aired on Seven Network and 7Two. The series later reran on Pop (TV channel) and currently reruns in Logo TV.


  1. ^ Samantha Who? at The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 13, 2007.
  2. ^ Sullivan, Brian Ford (2007-05-11). "ABC ADDS 10 NEWCOMERS, RENEWS 'NOTES,' 'ROAD'". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 2007-06-13.
  3. ^ Adalian, Josef (2007-06-19). "Seuss gives ABC sitcom new name". Variety. Retrieved 2021-01-01.
  4. ^ "ABC RENAMES 'SAM I AM,' EYES FRIDAY CHANGES". The Futon Critic. 2007-06-19. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  5. ^ Webb Mitovich, Matt (2006-06-26). "Christina Applegate Series Now Hears a Who?". Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2007-06-27.
  6. ^ "Highlights". Dayton Daily News. October 15, 2007. p. Life 10.
  7. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 25, 2007). "'Samantha' among who's who of fall TV". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
  8. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 31, 2007). "'Samantha' gets full-season pickup". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 4, 2008. Retrieved October 30, 2007.
  9. ^ "ABC Announces Scripted Show Renewals". 14 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 February 2008.
  10. ^ Schneider, Michael (October 31, 2008). "ABC orders full season of 'Samantha'". Variety.
  11. ^ Schneider, Michael (May 18, 2009). "ABC Cancels "Samantha Who?"". Archived from the original on 2012-11-07.
  12. ^ "Breaking News - ABC to Revisit "Motherhood" in June -".
  13. ^ ABC Drops "Motherhood", Shuffles Sundays, The Futon Critic, June 30, 2009
  14. ^ "In the Motherhood": ABC Yanks Cancelled Sitcom Again, TV Series Finale, July 1, 2009
  15. ^ My Best Friend's Boyfriend - Samantha Who? (Season 2, Episode 10) | Apple TV
  16. ^ "Your One Stop Shop For All Things Entertainment". Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  17. ^ ABC Medianet Archived December 16, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ "The Virgin" Press Release at The Futon Critic
  19. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (2007-10-25). "New schedule for freshman 'Samantha'". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 2007-10-26. Retrieved 2007-12-01.
  20. ^ "2005–06 primetime wrap; Series Programming Results". The Hollywood Reporter. 2006-05-26. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  21. ^ "2006–07 primetime wrap; Series Programming Results". The Hollywood Reporter. 2007-05-25. Archived from the original on 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2007-12-02.
  22. ^ a b "Season Program Rankings from 09/24/07 through 05/25/08". ABC Medianet. May 28, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  23. ^ a b "Season Program Rankings from 09/22/08 through 05/17/09". ABC Medianet. May 19, 2009. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  24. ^ " – Goodbye". Archived from the original on 2012-04-14.
  25. ^ "Buy SAMANTHA WHO? SEASON 1 DVD from Lionsgate Shop". Archived from the original on 2012-08-20. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  26. ^ "Buy SAMANTHA WHO?SEASON 2 DVD from Lionsgate Shop". Archived from the original on 2012-08-19. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
  27. ^ "Samantha Who? Season 1". 3 May 2010 – via Amazon.
  28. ^ [1]

External links[edit]