Always Watching

ABC Pulls Samantha Who?

In ABC, Samantha Who? on 04/21/2009 at 12:31 pm

In a not so surprising move, ABC has pulled Samantha Who? and In The Motherhood a week early. I posted early, with a bit of surprise, that Samantha Who? was on the bubble. Things have really progressed from there. No word on whether they’ll air the pulled episodes at another time.

Their usual Thursday 8pm slot will be filled with Ugly Betty. The decision was made, apparently, to protect darling dramedy Grey’s Anatomy. ABC heads felt the low lead-in numbers were hurting their baby. I would have assumed that Grey’s was destination television, not dependent on lead-ins, but that’s apparently one of the many reasons I’m not a television excecutive.

The downfall of Samantha Who? has been swift, predictable, surprising and a real shame all at once. The show debuted in the 2007 season to high ratings and enjoyed the number one spot for shows of it’s type.

Reviews were good and the comedy began racking up critical nods. The show recieved two Emmy nominations and one win, two Golden Globe nods, three People Choice Awards nominations and two wins, two Screen Actors Guild nominations, three Teen Choice Awards noms and one nomination by the Television Critics Association Awards.

Despite a minor stumble where the show dropped to around 7 million viewers during the 2007 holiday season, the show averaged 11.8 million viewers for it’s first season. Had the network not put the show on a four month hiatus (Dec 10-April 7) I suspect the first seasons average would have hovered more in the 14 million range.

Surprisingly, season two premiered the following October with over 11 million viewers. You would think that would cement the deal, right? Nope. As if the network had amnesia, the show stumbled again, dropping to just under 7 million viewers during the 2008 holiday season and another lengthy hiatus was imposed.

To add insult to injury, the hiatus was suspended just under four months later with the show on a new night: Thursday. The ignorance that lead to the show being put against NBC‘s popular Comedy Night Done Right and losing it’s very helpful Dancing With The Stars lead-in is pretty shocking. The networks choices when handling an award winning series seem so bad that if I were the conspiracy type I would suggest sabotage.

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