- This article is about the upcoming TV show, adapted from Melissa de la Cruz' Beauchamp Family series.
You were maybe looking for the novel of the same name ; see Witches of East End (Book).
Inspired by Melissa de la Cruz’s New York Times best-selling novel, Witches of East End centers on the mysterious Beauchamp family: free-spirited artist Joanna and her two grown daughters, wild-child bartender Freya and shy librarian Ingrid, both of whom are unaware that they are gifted - and cursed - with a magical birthright. Freya is recently engaged to the man of her dreams, wealthy playboy Dash Gardiner, but when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to Dash’s troubled, enigmatic brother Killian, bizarre occurrences begin to manifest in her life. Meanwhile, Joanna’s long-estranged sister Wendy shows up with a warning that could change the Beauchamps’ fate forever, forcing Joanna to reveal to her daughters they are, indeed, immortal witches who possess great untapped powers. With their idyllic small town life now turned upside down, and a formidable and ancient enemy intent on ending the Beauchamp family line, will Freya and Ingrid be able to accept their true potential before it is too late?
It was revealed on July 19, 2012 that Lifetime had picked up Witches of East End as a pilot for its 2013 season, along The Secret Live of Wives. The show would be executive-produced by both Maggie Friedman (Dawson's Creek, Eastwick) and Erwin Stoff (The Matrix) and produced by Fox 21. However, on December 17, 2012, Jenna Dewan and husband Channing Tatum announced publicly that the actress was bearing their first child, putting the pilot in jeopardy, as the project could have been post-poned or completely dropped.
As of the beginning of 2013, Lifetime had a total of three pilots which could become series later on and make it onto the 2013 schedule : Witches of East End ; Cinnamon Girl and The Secret Lives of Wives. The Secret Lives of Wives was the first project to be abandonned, and the Cinnamon Girls pilot later followed.
On January 31, 2013, Witches of East End was picked up, as a drama series composed of ten episodes to begin with, and was scheduled to shoot and premiere in the course of 2013. Of the project, Rob Sharenow, executive VP of programming for Lifetime Networks, had to say : "We've been thrilled about Witches of East End and its powerful premise since the moment we bought the property, and our friends at Fox 21 helped develop it for television. This is one of the most exciting ensemble casts we've seen and the whole show is fresh, original and just right for Lifetime."
Therefore, Witches of East End joined the fifth season of Drop Dead Diva, the seventh season of Army Wives, the second of The Client List and the first season of the ABC dropped-Desperate Housewives spin-off, Devious Maids, on the 2013 schedule. By the end of 2013, Lifetime renewed Devious Maids and Drop Dead Diva, but cancelled The Client List and Army Wives. Witches of East End was renewed for a second season as well, on November 22, 2013.
CastingEditJulia Ormond had landed a main role on Witches of East End, as Joanna Beauchamp. On September 14, 2012, the role of Freya Beauchamp was officially given to Jenna Dewan. On September 19, 2012, Rachel Boston and model Daniel Di Tomasso were announced to have earned two main roles, respectively Ingrid Beauchamp and Killian Gardiner. However, a few changes were made to the original casting after the series was ordered for a complete first season, and therefore, some roles were recasted.
The role of Dash Gardiner, previously held by Patrick Heusinger, was given to Eric Winter on June 26, 2013. Mädchen Amick, whose appearance as Joanna's sister Wendy was originally only meant to be for one episode, was promoted to be one of the six main characters. Nicholas Gonzalez exited the projet and his main role as Detective Matt Torcoletti, which was therefore renamed as Adam and given to Jason George. While Tom Lenk's recurring role as Hudson remained unchanged, the role of Penelope Gardiner, who had originally been given to Glenne Headly, was then given to Virginia Madsen.
For the second season of the show, British actor Christian Cooke won the coveted role of Frederick Beauchamp, while Steven Berkoff and James Marsters were respectively announced to play the devilish King Nikolaus and a mysterious warlock called Tarkoff.
The filming of first version of the pilot began on October 16, 2012 in the port town of Wilmington, North Carolina under the supervision of director Mark Waters (Mean Girls, Vampire Academy). It went on in Macon, Georgia, and ended on November 5, 2012. When Lifetime later announced that Witches of East End was going to be a full-series, it was decided that filming for the rest of the series would take place in Vancouver, Canada instead of Wilmington, NC. Some scenes for the pilot had to be shoot again with new actors and new sets. The first season was filmed from July 16 to October 21.
Shooting for the second season, which is composed of thirteen episodes, started on April 22, 2014 and ended on August 30, 2014.
|Season premiere||Season finale|
|1||10|| October 6, 2013|
| December 15, 2013|
"Oh, What a World!"
|2||13|| July 6, 2014|
"A Moveable Beast"
|2014 - TBA|
In the U.S.Edit
Witches of East End (ordered for a full series on January 31, 2013) debuted on Lifetime TV on October 6, 2013. The second season debuted on July 6, 2014.
|Australia||Eleven||August 4, 2014|
|Canada||Lifetime Canada||Oct. 6, 2013|
|France||6Ter||May 6, 2014|
|Germany||SixxTV||May 1, 2014|
|India||Romedy Now||Jan. 26, 2014|
|Italia||Fox Life||Dec. 4, 2013|
|United Kingdom||Lifetime UK||Nov. 5, 2013|
Critical reaction to Witches of East End has been mixed, with a score of 50 on Metacritic and 61% for the first season so far on Rotten Tomatoes with a consensus saying "Although it's ridiculously soapy, Witches of East End is often campy fun; it's a supernatural spectacle that's entertaining despite its silliness."
Diane Werts of Newsday gave the show a positive review, saying "What's utterly clear is that the starter hour picks up steam whenever loose-cannon Amick bops around - although Ormond does a nice job of grounding its shenanigans in a semblance of reality." She finishes her review giving the pilot a B rating. Allison Keene from The Hollywood Reporter also praised the premiere, claiming "Witches of East End is up against a number of other supernatural shows, and there becomes a question of saturation. Fortunately or unfortunately, we aren't at that point, yet. It seems there's plenty more room at the table, and there, Witches of East End currently looks like the most fun." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times also gave the show a glowing review, starting off by negativelly reviewing the "humorless" witches on shows such as the 2013 debuts of Sleepy Hollow and The Originals, then going on to say Witches of East End is a welcome relief to those series. He further applauds the casting and characters, saying "thanks to zippy repartee among the stars. Ms. Amick is hilarious, and Ms. Dewan Tatum and Ms. Boston make a pretty amusing pair of mismatched sisters." He ends the review with "there is a lot of heavy fare on television on Sunday nights. If “Witches” can retain its wry tone, it will be a satisfying alternative for viewers looking for a lighter way to end the weekend."
Witches of East End premiered on a hectic Sunday night with 1.93 million viewers. The premiere also achieved a 0.7 in adults 18-49. Though the premiere was down from the June 23 premiere of Lifetime's other new show Devious Maids, Witches of East End faced a lot of tough competition during primetime season and ended the night being the number two scripted drama on cable, behind Boardwalk Empire. The second episode saw an increase to 0.8 in adults 18-49 despite the return of The Walking Dead. In viewers, the show remained completely even from its premiere with 1.93 million, and was the second highest-rated drama of the night again, behind The Walking Dead.
- Some similarities with Eastwick, another witch-based show, have already been displayed.
- First of all, the role of Maggie Friedman, who wrote and produced both shows.
- Then, the presence of Rachel Boston, Jason George and Matthew del Negro who all had guest/recurring roles on Eastwick.
- And finally, funny similarities in names:
- Joanna was also the first name of one of the main three witches, a young and shy journalist.
- the surname Torcoletti (which is the surname of detective Matt Noble in the show) was Roxanne/Roxie's, another main protagonist in the former show.
- the surname Gardiner (from Killian and Bran) closely resembles the one of the last witch of the Eastwick trio: Katherin "Kat" Gardener.