Television
Entertainment Television

WGN America will follow 'Salem' with more drama

WGN America is new to the scripted drama business, but its first series, "Salem," is looking like a scary winner.

The story of the infamous witch trials in 17th century Massachusetts, "Salem" will premiere April 20, the network has announced. It's second drama, "Manhattan," is set to start production in March in New Mexico with an eye on a July premiere.

A promo teaser for "Salem" features the voice of Seth Gabel, who plays Cotton Mather, a character described as a witch-hating aristocrat, as he warns the people of Salem that if they shows signs of being witches--and he spells those out--they will be burned at the stake.

Currently filming in Louisiana, "Salem" "explores how suspicion and fear gripped Salem and its residents, and reveals the truth that in Salem, the witches were real, but not who they seemed to be."

Joining Gabel is Shane West, looking much shaggier than he did in "Nikita." West plays John Alden, a war veteran and the onetime love of Salem's most powerful witch, Mary Sibley. Britsh actress Janet Montgomery stars as Mary, with former "Revenge" star Ashley Madekwe playing Mary's enigmatic, carnal accomplice. Xander Berkeley, another "Nikita" vet, plays chief politician Magistrate Hale, while Tamzin Merchant plays Anne Hale, an artist attracted to Alden, and Elise Eberle is the mysteriously afflicted Mercy Lewis.

Brannon Braga ("24," "Star Trek: The Next Generation," "Voyager" and "Enterprise") and Adam Simon ("The Haunting in Connecticut") co-created, executive produced and wrote the series.

"Manhattan" is set in Los Alamos, N.M. in the 1940s, when scientists at the Manhattan Project were racing to build the world's first atomic bomb. The drama explores the cost of secrets and the corrosive effect they have on individuals, families and their relationships.

Sam Shaw ("Masters of Sex") wrote the series and serves as executive producer with David Ellison, Dana Goldberg and Marcy Ross. Thomas Schlamme ("The West Wing," "Sports Night") directs and also serves as executive producer. "Manhattan" is produced by Tribune Studios, in partnership with Skydance Television and Lionsgate Television.

The network also announced at the Television Critics Associaton winter tour that it has ordered a 10-part scripted event series titled "Ten Commandments" from The Weinstein Company. Ten filmmakers will take part in the production, with each one choosing a single Commandment and interpreting it in their own way. Gus Van Sant, Lee Daniels, Jim Sheridan, Wes Craven and Michael Cera have signed on so far, WGN America has said. Bruce Cohen and Bob Weinstein will produce the series.

Find your local WGN America channel here.

RedEye, like WGN America, is a Tribune Company property.

Want more? Discuss this article and others on Show Patrol's Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • 'Salem' 1st look photos from witch drama

    'Salem' 1st look photos from witch drama

    "Salem," TV's latest witch series, will premiere April 20 on WGN America. "Salem" tells the story of the notorious Salem witch trials in 17th century Massachusetts. According to WGN America, "'Salem' explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural...

  • Production begins on 'Salem,' WGN America's witch drama

    Production begins on 'Salem,' WGN America's witch drama

    Seems like every network wants a witch show these days. FX has "American Horror Story: Coven." Lifetime has the "Witches of East End." Witches are casting spells in CW's "The Originals" and "The Vampire Diaries," Fox's "Sleepy Hollow" and a number of other shows.

  • Bewitching TV: Witches through the years

    Bewitching TV: Witches through the years

    Witches seem to be taking over TV again in the fall of 2013, and it's no surprise. With their abilities to manipulate time, people and things, witches have an ever-lasting appeal that holds mere mortals spellbound. Here are some of TV's top witches through the years, and a look at the new ones....

  • It's the season of the witch on TV

    It's the season of the witch on TV

    Vampires may be the undead and zombies relentless, but this fall witches are once again casting a spell on TV. Sisters of the supernatural are the focus of two series, and they play a big part in three other new shows. Add that to the spellcasters in several returning series and you've got a heady...

  • Second City performances canceled through Sunday after fire destroys offices

    Second City performances canceled through Sunday after fire destroys offices

    Second City CEO Andrew Alexander was in Los Angeles on Wednesday when he heard the news that a fire had started on the performance venue's block in Old Town.

  • Some folks should follow One Direction and take a good, long hiatus (cough, Trump)

    Some folks should follow One Direction and take a good, long hiatus (cough, Trump)

    Shortly before their Soldier Field pheromone explosion last weekend, the members of male-identifying pop band One Direction announced that they would be taking a hiatus beginning in March to focus on personal commitments* for at least one year. Fans’ emotions are in shambles, and, in a way, so...

  • Check out local band Santah's gorgeous new song 'Did We Sing?'

    Check out local band Santah's gorgeous new song 'Did We Sing?'

    Welcome to RedEye's "Song of the Day," an ongoing feature where music reporter Josh Terry or another RedEye staff member highlights something they're listening to. Some days the track will be new, and some days it will be old. No matter what, each offering is something you should check out. Check...

  • Love and how to stop hating your body

    Love and how to stop hating your body

    Dear Anna: I need your help. I’m recently out of a relationship and I’ve gained a lot of weight. I hate the way I look and it’s come to the point where I avoid mirrors and dress in the dark. I get depressed more and more every day with how much I weigh. What can I do to get myself back? —Weighty...

Comments
Loading
70°