Samantha Who? 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 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). 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. 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. 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. 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.] 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. 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. 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.