Samantha Who?

Christina Applegate had the kind of 2008 she might want to forget, including the death of her ex-boyfriend and a brave fight with breast cancer. But talking to TVGuide.com about Samantha Who?'s return from a long winter break (ABC, Thursday, 8:30 pm) the former Kelly Bundy was all spring and sunshine. She told us about Samantha's lingering issues with amnesia, a fresh Winston Funk (Billy Zane), and what's going on with Samantha and Todd (Barry Watson).

TVGuide.com: After the terrible year you had, how happy were you to get to go back to work and mix it up with your cast mates?
Christina Applegate: I really missed them. I miss them now and I can't believe if we go in for a third season it won't be for another five months. It's hard. Those are my friends now. I really miss being around them. It was great to finally go back after everything and put my mind into something else and go back to my show.

TVGuide.com: What can we look forward to this season?
Applegate: There's a lot of changes in everyone's lives, actually. We decided to concentrate on giving everyone else a life outside of Samantha. And so there's a lot of scenes I'm not in where the girls are together. And that I really like to watch because you really want to see who these people are. ... There's a new job in store for Samantha — kind of a new, old job. She ends up going back and working at Chapman and Funk, in a different capacity.

TVGuide.com: With someone new playing Funk.
Applegate: Fortunately and unfortunately, we lost Timothy Olyphant as our Winston Funk, who he played in our first season, because he's doing Damages.

TVGuide.com: Fortunately because he's replaced by Billy Zane. Is there any witty acknowledgment of that, like "Oh, Winston, you look different today?" Hopefully wittier than that...
Applegate: No, you know what, she has amnesia, so who knows, she doesn't know really. I think they both have a very similar quality so I don't think people will be too thrown off-course. Since it was a year-and-a half-ago. We're hoping they don't really remember. [Laughs.]

TVGuide.com: In the return episode, Todd seems to be getting serious feelings for Samantha again and she has to decide what to do about that.
Applegate: With those two there's always this push-and-pull, push-and-pull, push-and-pull kind of thing. I don't know if they're ever going to solve it... . There's five more episodes that they may or may not show and there's some really big things that happen in those with those two. I hope that we get a chance to show them. ... We're only scheduled to air six right now and we have eleven.

TVGuide.com: Oh shucks.
Applegate: Yeah, kinda shucks. So hopefully people will get to see those other five, because there's some really cool stuff that happens.

TVGuide.com: Did you have any response to the death this week of British reality star Jade Goody, who had cervical cancer? It was another case that raised so much awareness...
Applegate: I just saw that today and it really broke my heart because cervical cancer isn't something you have to die from, either. That was sad.