Bewitched by 'Samantha': ABC wants more of rookie

Pickup likely after six-script order

ABC's promising new comedy "Samantha Who?" took a big step toward a full-season pickup Wednesday when the network ordered six additional scripts of the series starring Christina Applegate.

In another sign that ABC plans to keep "Samantha" around, the network said that the freshman comedy, now airing after "Dancing With the Stars" at 9:30 p.m. Mondays, will slide back to 9 p.m. beginning Nov. 26, the night of the one-hour final performance show of the current "Dancing" cycle.

As previously announced, "Samantha" will be paired in the 9 p.m. hour with the returning comedy "Notes From the Underbelly." They will be followed by sophomore drama "October Road," which will premiere Nov. 22 in its original post-"Grey's Anatomy" 10 p.m. Thursday slot before moving to Mondays on Nov. 26.

ABC is making another scheduling move in November, swapping newsmagazine "20/20" and the well-reviewed but low-rated sophomore dramedy "Men in Trees." Beginning Nov. 2, "Men" will air at 8 p.m., while "20/20" will return in its traditional 10 p.m. slot.

Based on an idea by best-selling author Cecelia Ahern, "Samantha," from ABC Studios, has emerged as the highest-rated freshman comedy this season. In its most recent outing Monday, it drew 13.7 million viewers and a 4.5 rating/10 share, holding on to a healthy 82% of its sizable "Dancing" demo lead-in.

"Samantha," created by Ahern and Don Todd, stars Applegate as a woman with amnesia. It joins another freshman ABC comedy, the male-centered "Carpoolers," which received an order for three additional scripts this week.

ABC has handed out full-season pickups to two new dramas: "Private Practice" and "Pushing Daisies."