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CBS Eyes Bewitched Remake

by  in TV News Comment
CBS Eyes <i>Bewitched</i> Remake

Risking an audience curse, CBS has ordered a script from Sony Pictures Television for a remake of the 1960s sitcom Bewitched.

Variety reports that Douglas Wick and Lucy Fisher, the married producers of the widely panned 2005 film adaptation, will executive produce the pilot, written by Marc Lawrence (Miss Congeniality).

The original series, which aired from 1964 to 1971 on ABC, starred Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha, a witch who marries the mortal Darrin Stephens (Dick York and later Dick Sargent) and tries to adapt to life as a suburban housewife while struggling with her disapproving mother (Anges Moorehead) and extended magical family.

While Bewitched remakes have met with success in recent years in overseas markets, it will likely be a far tougher sell in the United States, where the show has aired regularly in syndication since the early ’70s. The cast, not the premise, was the strength of the original: By the fourth season, Bewitched had settled into routine plots that more often than not involved Endora magically sabotaging Darrin’s work at the advertising agency, or Aunt Clara’s powers misfiring (frequently sabotaging Darrin’s work at the advertising agency). But the series succeeded on the charm of Montgomery, the awkwardness and impotent fury of York and Sargent, the theatricality of Moorehead and the quirkiness (and campiness) of recurring guest stars like Bernard Fox, Paul Lynde, Alice Ghostly and Maurice Evans.

As further evidence of the importance of the original cast, look no further than the Nicole Kidman/Will Ferrell movie, which grossed $63 million domestically ($22 million less than the estimated production cost).

bewitched, cbs
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