Reaper is an American comedy-drama created by Tara Butters and Michele Fazekas. The series focused on Sam Oliver, a Reaper who works for the Devil by retrieving souls that have escaped from Hell
The series originally ran on the CW from September 25, 2007 to May 26, 2009. The CW formally canceled the series but there were talks between ABC Studios to continue the show in syndicated form as a Sunday night program, due to the CW returning Sunday nights back to its affiliates.The official Reaper website confirmed on June 17, 2009 that there will be no third season, but there will be a comic book series and possibly a cartoon.
Produced by ABC Television Studios and The Mark Gordon Company, Reaper aired Tuesday nights at 8:00PM Eastern/7:00PM Central on the CW.
Sam Oliver (Bret Harrison) lives at home with his parents (Andrew Airlie and Allison Hossack) and brother in the Seattle area. He had always wondered why his mom and dad were so easy on him, whether it was sports, school, or career choices, and so hard on his younger brother. Sam dropped out of college ("It made him sleepy", his Mom explains) and took a dead-end job at the Work Bench, a home-repair superstore similar to Home Depot but which also has Wal-Mart and Best Buy features (Home Entertainment devices and other products such as sporting goods). The location used for filming the pilot episode is familiar to Canadian viewers as it strongly resembles a Canadian Tire store. He spent the rest of his time hanging out, playing video games, and pining for his co-worker, Andi
On Sam's 21st birthday, his parents behaved very strangely, and Sam himself saw hellish visions and experienced odd events. His father eventually claims that many years ago, he was very sick, and in return for restoring his health, he and his wife promised their firstborn child to the Devil (Ray Wise). Although the couple intended to cheat the Devil by having no children, this plan went awry when Satan convinced their doctor to lie and tell the couple that they could not conceive in exchange for wiping his gambling debts clean. Sam was born shortly thereafter.
After informing him of his fate, the Devil explains to Sam that he must serve as his bounty hunter (or "Reaper"), tracking down souls that have escaped from Hell and sending them back using his new powers (which include telekinesis) and "vessels", varied objects said to have been hand-made in the bowels of perdition by the iniquitous and the vile. Vessels appear inside a long wooden box sent for Sam to open (with the Italian inscription "Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate" ("Abandon all hope, ye who enter here"), as was written on the entrance to Hell in Dante's Inferno), and are specially designed for each job. Examples throughout the series have included a Dirt Devil vacuum cleaner, a Taser gun, and a cigarette lighter
Although Sam initially balks, Satan tells him that should he refuse, then Sam's mother's soul is forfeit. Unwilling to sacrifice his mother, and convinced that he is doing good in the world by tracking down evil souls, Sam accepts his fate. With the help of his slacker friends Sock (Tyler Labine) and Ben (Rick Gonzalez), he begins his new life tracking down the corrupted souls trying to escape their own eternal punishment.