ABC exploring 'Samantha' changes

Network eyes similar tactics for 'Scrubs'

If ABC's comedy "Samantha Who" returns for a third season, it will be made a little differently.

Sources said the network is looking to add cameras when filming the amnesia comedy starring Christina Applegate.

As a renewal condition for "Samantha," the network has asked the show's producers at ABC Studios to slash $500,000 from its per-episode budget.

A source close to the show said that if picked up, the comedy will be filmed with three cameras simultaneously to cut down on production time. In its first three seasons, "Samantha" employed two cameras.

Despite rumors that the show may switch to a multi-camera format, "Samantha" does not plan to move to filming on stage, keeping its current sets and its single-camera look.

The networks have been very cost-conscious this year amid the economic downturn and softening ratings. Once a hot prospect when it launched in 2007 after "Dancing with the Stars," "Samantha" has cooled off this season. Its recent trial run in the Thursday 8 p.m. time slot was cut short because of low ratings.

The show was created by novelist Cecelia Ahern and TV writer Don Todd, who is running the series.

Even if "Samantha" stays single-camera, ABC's entertainment chief Stephen McPherson has been looking to get multi-camera comedies back on the network that once dominated the genre with shows like "Roseanne."

Another ABC series exploring the idea is veteran "Scrubs."

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