Don Todd, co-creator and exec producer of ABC’s frosh success “Samantha Who?,” has inked a new two-year overall deal with “Samantha” producer ABC Studios.
Pact calls for Todd to remain the showrunner on the Christina Applegate laffer and develop other projects for the studio.
Todd has been affiliated with ABC Studios for the past five years, fielding numerous pilots for the studio and serving as a consulting producer on the first season of “Ugly Betty.”
“Samantha Who” weathered the lengthy interruption of the writers strike to end its frosh season as a top 30 series.
“The charm and accessible voice he gives to the Samantha character made ‘Samantha Who?’ a breakout hit,” ABC Studios prexy Mark Pedowitz said.
The single-camera comedy revolves around a woman who changes her life as she recovers from amnesia and learns that prior to her car accident, she was a self-centered nightmare.
The concept for “Samantha” and most of the characters were conceived by Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern, who pitched the idea to ABC as a series. ABC Studios recruited Todd to flesh out the pilot script and serve as showrunner and Brillstein-Grey Television chief Peter Traugott as nonwriting exec producer.
Working on “Samantha” has been a best-of-both-worlds experience for Todd. He’s got deep roots as a sitcom writer on such series as “Dave’s World” and “Caroline in the City,” but a few years ago, he shifted to the drama side, as exec producer of the ABC series “Life as We Know It,” among other projects.
On “Samantha,” Todd said he relishes the freedom of doing comedy in the single-camera format with a top-flight cast that includes Jean Smart, Jennifer Esposito and Melissa McCarthy.
“She’s the reason people tune in,” Todd said of Applegate. “I feel like the pressure in my job is to deliver a show that is worth her doing.”