ABC Cancels 'Samantha Who'

ABC has canceled the Christina Applegate starrer Samantha Who.

The show, which had been expected to return, got caught up in this year’s belt-tightening trend at the networks. According to an insider close to the show, decision to scrap Samantha came down to numbers. The show couldn’t slash it budget deep enough to make a third-season pickup work, they said.

ABC had been mulling a plan to decrease Samantha’s budget by changing the way the show is shot - moving to multiple cameras, rather than the single camera now used. Alphabet was looking to slash as much as $500,000 per episode from the show’s budget.

But Samantha became expendable once ABC picked up such a hefty number of new series for next year - 10 in total. With that large a crop of frosh series, it no longer made sense to bring Samantha back or promote it. Samantha was initially a strong performer for the Alphabet on Monday nights, but faltered this season after moving to Thursdays.

Samantha comes from ABC Studios. Cecelia Ahern and Donald Todd created the show; Todd and Peter Traugott are exec producers.

(Michael Schneider writes for B&C’s sister publication, Daily Variety)