Spending seven years on the highly-successful Gilmore Girls didn’t exactly make Melissa McCarthy feel all that confident about her television career, and when she landed a starring role in the new ABC comedy series, Samantha Who?, it seems not a lot of people were sure she would succeed either.

“Everyone was saying, ‘Well, you’ll never have [Gilmore Girls] again, you’ll be lucky if [Samantha Who??]gets picked up,” McCarthy told TV Guide.

Fortunately for McCarthy, Samantha Who??, a comedy about a woman who, after being stricken with amnesia, decides to make amends for her past wrongdoings, has proven to be good venture for the network, with the November 26 broadcast earning 12.62 million viewers.

On the series, Melissa McCarthy plays Dena, the lead character’s good childhood friend.  Playing a best bud is nothing new to McCarthy, as she portrayed Sookie, Lorelai’s (Lauren Graham) best friend on Gilmore Girls.  McCarthy admits that initially, she was worried that her past and present television characters seemed too alike, but she eventually came to spot the differences between the two.

“At first I was afraid they were going to be pretty similar because they’re both pretty bubbly and kind of high-energy,” she said.  “But the more I get into Samantha Who?? I think it’s the possibilities of Dena that make them very different.  It started right with the pilot:  She’s lying to the family of a woman who’s in a coma!”

Working on Samantha Who?? has also given Melissa McCarthy the opportunity to act alongside well-known stars like Christina Applegate, Jennifer Esposito, Kevin Dunn and Jean Smart, all of whom have exhibited talent in comedy.

“Jennifer just kills me.  There are so many takes that we can’t get through because she gives me a look of such disgust and makes us laugh so hard!” McCarthy told TV Guide.  “Kevin Dunn is just ridiculously funny, and Jean Smart…  I was so freaked out to meet her!…  Everyone is so funny, it’s more about concentrating to get through something.”

Then there’s Barry Watson, an alumnus of another CW series, 7th Heaven.  On Samantha Who??, Watson plays Todd, Samantha’s ex-boyfriend and the current object of Dena’s affection.

“I feel like anytime Todd comes in, Dena does get very nervous.  I think she thinks he’s super cute,” McCarthy said.  “When he comes in, she just goes completely dingy.  And I love how Barry sometimes stares at her like he’s slightly afraid.”

See more of Melissa McCarthy on Samantha Who??, airing Monday nights at 9/8c on ABC.

-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: TV Guide
(Image Courtesy of ABC)


Staff Columnist, BuddyTV