Bewitched

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Bewitched
Bewitched color title card.jpg
GenreFantasy sitcom
Created bySol Saks
Written byVarious[nb 1]
Directed byWilliam Asher (most episodes)[nb 1]
StarringElizabeth Montgomery
Dick York (1964–1969)
Dick Sargent (1969–1972)
Agnes Moorehead
David White
Theme music composerHoward Greenfield
Jack Keller
Composer(s)Warren Barker (most episodes)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes254 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Harry Ackerman
Producer(s)Danny Arnold (17 episodes, first season)
Jerry Davis (most episodes, first and second seasons)
William Froug (third season)
William Asher (remainder of show)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production company(s)Screen Gems
Ashmont Productions (1971–1972)
DistributorSony Pictures Television (2002–present)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white (1964–1966)
Color (1966–1972)
Audio formatMonaural
Original runSeptember 17, 1964 (1964-09-17) – March 25, 1972 (1972-03-25)
Chronology
Followed byTabitha
 
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This article is about the American television sitcom. For other uses, see Bewitched (disambiguation).
Bewitched
Bewitched color title card.jpg
GenreFantasy sitcom
Created bySol Saks
Written byVarious[nb 1]
Directed byWilliam Asher (most episodes)[nb 1]
StarringElizabeth Montgomery
Dick York (1964–1969)
Dick Sargent (1969–1972)
Agnes Moorehead
David White
Theme music composerHoward Greenfield
Jack Keller
Composer(s)Warren Barker (most episodes)
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons8
No. of episodes254 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Harry Ackerman
Producer(s)Danny Arnold (17 episodes, first season)
Jerry Davis (most episodes, first and second seasons)
William Froug (third season)
William Asher (remainder of show)
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25 mins.
Production company(s)Screen Gems
Ashmont Productions (1971–1972)
DistributorSony Pictures Television (2002–present)
Broadcast
Original channelABC
Picture formatBlack-and-white (1964–1966)
Color (1966–1972)
Audio formatMonaural
Original runSeptember 17, 1964 (1964-09-17) – March 25, 1972 (1972-03-25)
Chronology
Followed byTabitha

Bewitched is an American TV situation comedy fantasy that was originally broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972. It was created by Sol Saks under executive director Harry Ackerman, and starred actress Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York (1964–1969), Dick Sargent (1969–1972), Agnes Moorehead, and David White. The show is about a witch who marries an ordinary mortal man and tries to lead the life of a typical suburban housewife. Bewitched enjoyed great popularity, finishing as the number two show in America during its debut season, and becoming the longest-running supernatural-themed sitcom of the 1960s–1970s. The show continues to be seen throughout the world in syndication and on recorded media.

In 2002, Bewitched was ranked #50 on "TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time".[1] In 1997, the same magazine ranked the season 2 episode "Divided He Falls" #48 on their list of the "100 Greatest Episodes of All Time".[2]

Premise and characters[edit]

Plot summary[edit]

Dick York, Elizabeth Montgomery (front) and Agnes Moorehead (back) as Darrin, Samantha and Endora

A young-looking witch named Samantha (Elizabeth Montgomery) meets and marries a mortal named Darrin Stephens (originally Dick York, later Dick Sargent). While Samantha pledges to forsake her powers and become a typical suburban housewife, her magical family disapproves of the mixed marriage and frequently interferes in the couple's lives. Episodes often begin with Darrin becoming the victim of a spell, the effects of which wreak havoc with mortals such as his boss, clients, parents, and neighbors. By the epilogue, however, Darrin and Samantha most often embrace, having overcome the devious elements that failed to separate them.

The witches and their male counterparts, known as "warlocks", are very long-lived; while Samantha appears to be a young woman, many episodes suggest she is actually hundreds of years old. To keep their society secret, witches avoid showing their powers in front of mortals other than Darrin. Nevertheless, the effects of their spells and Samantha's attempts to hide their supernatural origin from mortals drive the plot of most episodes. Witches and warlocks usually use physical gestures along with their magical spells, and sometimes spoken incantations. Most notably, Samantha often twitches her nose to perform a spell. Modest but effective special visual effects are accompanied by music to highlight the magic.

Setting[edit]

The main setting for most scenes is the Stephens' house at 1164 Morning Glory Circle. Many scenes also take place at the Madison Avenue advertising agency "McMann and Tate" for which Darrin works. The Stephens' home is located in a nearby upper-middle-class suburban neighborhood, either in Westport, Connecticut or Patterson, New York as indicated by conflicting information presented throughout the series. One episode contained the Mills Garage in Patterson, as a neighbor's son soap box derby car sponsor.[3] Elizabeth Montgomery owned a second home in Patterson.

Characters[edit]

Agnes Moorehead as Endora

Samantha's mother, Endora (Agnes Moorehead), is the chief antagonist. Like all witches, she never reveals her surname, indicating to Darrin that he would be unable to pronounce it. Endora loathes mortals, and disapproves of Darrin, as do many of Samantha's relatives. Endora refuses to even use Darrin's name, alternatively calling him "Durwood", "What's-his-name", "Darwin", "Dum-Dum", etc., all much to his annoyance. She refers to him as "Darrin" only eight times during the entire series.[4] Endora casts countless farcical spells on Darrin, but never attempts to destroy him outright. Endora's ploys to provoke a breakup always fail as Samantha and Darrin's love overcomes every obstacle. When High Priestess Hephzibah expresses surprise that Darrin has withstood years of harassment, Endora can only shrug and admit, "He loves my daughter."

Darrin works as an executive at the McMann and Tate advertising agency. His profit-obsessed boss Larry Tate (David White) is a regular character, but Tate's partner, Mr. McMann, appears only twice during the series. Tate's opinions turn on a dime to appease a client in an attempt to land a deal. However, there are two episodes that show evidence that Larry has deep feelings as well as having a sense of integrity. In the first season installment, "And Something Makes Three", Larry realizes he is to become a father for the first time and is almost overcome with joyful emotion. In the seventh season Christmas episode "Sisters At Heart", Larry threatens to cancel an important client's account with McMann & Tate when he realizes the client is a racist. Many episodes culminate in a dinner party with clients at the Stephens' home that is humorously affected by magic. Samantha usually figures out a clever way to save the day and the account. Louise Tate (Irene Vernon, Kasey Rogers), Larry's wife, eventually becomes Samantha's closest mortal friend.

Across the street from Darrin and Samantha lives a retired couple, the nosy and tactless Gladys Kravitz (Alice Pearce, Sandra Gould) and her husband Abner (George Tobias). Gladys' snooping often results in her witnessing witchcraft or its strange side effects. She frequently tries to prove Samantha is a witch, only to fail and be branded delusional by Abner.

Darrin and Samantha in the 1968 episode, "To Twitch Or Not To Twich"

Samantha's father, Maurice (Maurice Evans), is an urbane thespian much like Elizabeth Montgomery's father, Robert Montgomery. Maurice often embellishes his entrances and exits with strained Shakespearean verse. Bewitched is unique for pre-1970s sitcoms in that it portrays Endora and Maurice in, as Maurice describes, "an informal marriage". Endora once introduces Maurice as "my daughter's father", and twice threatens to "move in" with Maurice. In the episode "Samantha's Good News", Endora threatens to file for an "ectoplasmic interlocutory" (i.e. divorce), only to wrangle Maurice's affection. Maurice also refers to Darrin with incorrect names, including "Duncan" and "Dustbin", with Endora going so far as to "correct" him, saying "that's Durwood."

Darrin's parents, the strait-laced Phyllis (Mabel Albertson) and laid-back Frank Stephens (Robert F. Simon, Roy Roberts), visit occasionally but never learn of Samantha's supernatural powers. Phyllis makes inopportune surprise visits, and often complains of "a sick headache" after accidentally witnessing a spell in motion.

On Samantha's father's side of the family[5] is her far-out, egocentric lookalike cousin Serena. Also played by Elizabeth Montgomery, she is credited as "Pandora Spocks" (a spin on the phrase "Pandora's box") in many of her appearances from 1969 to 1971. Serena is first seen in episode, #54, "And Then There Were Three".[6] Serena is the antithesis of Samantha, in most episodes sporting a beauty mark on her cheek, raven-black cropped hair and mod mini-skirts. Ever mischievous, Serena often flirts with Larry Tate (calling the white-haired Tate "Cotton-Top"), just for sport. More progressive than most witches or warlocks, Samantha's counterculture cousin occasionally dates mortals, including characters played by Jack Cassidy and Peter Lawford. Despite her wild behavior and frequent co-plotting with Endora, Serena often supports Samantha and Darrin, even though she finds them both a bit "square."

Samantha and Uncle Arthur in the 1968 episode, "No Harm Charm"

Uncle Arthur (Paul Lynde), Endora's prank-loving brother, makes several appearances. Despite many practical jokes at Darrin's expense, Uncle Arthur has a less antagonistic relationship with him than Endora. In one episode, both Serena and Uncle Arthur go head-to-head with the Witches Council to support the Stephens' union, only to have their own powers suspended.

The only one of Samantha's relatives for whom Darrin regularly shows tolerance is the bumbling, elderly, absent-minded-but-lovable Aunt Clara (Marion Lorne). Though well-intentioned, Clara's spells usually backfire, and her entrances and exits are often a grand fumble, such as entering via a chimney or colliding with a wall. She has a collection of over a thousand doorknobs (inspired by Lorne's real-life collection).[7] Rather than recast the role after Lorne's death in 1968, a similar witch, the anxiety-ridden and magically inept housekeeper Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley), was introduced in 1969.

In the second season, Samantha gives birth to a daughter, Tabitha (spelled Tabatha in production credits until season 5) and later in the series has a son, Adam. Both eventually prove to have supernatural powers. The Tates' son Jonathan is born several months before Tabitha.

A strange occurrence or condition caused by a supernatural illness is occasionally used as a plot device, and assistance is often sought from the warlock Dr. Bombay (Bernard Fox), a womanizer who is often accompanied by a buxom assistant, and who constantly cracks bad jokes. He could be summoned by the phrase, "Dr. Bombay, calling Dr. Bombay. Emergency, come right away." His first name, "Hubert", was revealed in the final episode of the spinoff Tabitha. Help for supernatural illnesses is also occasionally sought from the unnamed witches’ apothecary (Bernie Kopell), an amorous old warlock.

Other recurring characters[edit]

Historical, fictional, and contemporary characters[edit]

Thanks to witchcraft, a number of interesting characters were seen, including Benjamin Franklin, Franklin Pierce, George and Martha Washington, Paul Revere, Sigmund Freud, Julius Caesar, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Leonardo da Vinci, Napoleon, King Henry VIII, Cleopatra, Bonanno Pisano, Santa Claus, Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk, Mother Goose, The Artful Dodger, Hansel and Gretel, The Tooth Fairy, the Loch Ness Monster, a leprechaun, Prince Charming, Sleeping Beauty, Willie Mays (playing himself), and Boyce and Hart (playing themselves).

Cast[edit]

Cast of Characters
CharacterActor(s)No. of episodes
Main Characters
Samantha StephensElizabeth Montgomery254
Darrin StephensDick York (1964–1969)
Dick Sargent (1969–1972)
156 (York)
84 (Sargent)
EndoraAgnes Moorehead147
Larry TateDavid White166
Recurring Characters
Tabitha StephensCynthia Black (1966)
Heidi and Laura Gentry (1966)
Tamar and Julie Young (1966)
Diane Murphy (1966–1968)
Erin Murphy (1966–1972)
116
Gladys KravitzAlice Pearce (1964–1966)
Sandra Gould (1966–1971)
30 (Pearce)
27 (Gould)
Abner KravitzGeorge Tobias (1964–1971)55
Louise TateIrene Vernon (1964–1966)
Kasey Rogers (1966–1972)
13 (Vernon)
33 (Rogers)
Aunt ClaraMarion Lorne (1964–1968)28
SerenaElizabeth Montgomery (1966–1972)
(credited as "Pandora Spocks")
24
Adam Stephensunknown (1969–1970)
Greg and David Lawrence (1970–1972)
24
Phyllis StephensMabel Albertson (1964–1971)19
Dr. BombayBernard Fox (1967–1972)18
EsmeraldaAlice Ghostley (1969–1972)15
Frank StephensRobert F. Simon (1964–67, 1971)
Roy Roberts (1967–1970)
13
MauriceMaurice Evans12
Uncle ArthurPaul Lynde (1965–1971)10

The series is noted for having a number of major cast changes, often because of illness or death of the actors. Most notably, the actor playing Darrin was quietly replaced mid-series. As of 2014, the only surviving members of the regular cast are Bernard Fox, Bernie Kopell, and the actors who played the Stephens children. The various changes during the series and untimely deaths of several of the regular actors in the decades following its cancellation produced a mythology that the series was cursed. However, a study of the average age of death of the actors, many of whom were already past middle age during the show's production, reveals no unusual pattern.[9]

Dick York was unable to continue his role as Darrin because of a severe back condition, the result of an accident during the filming of They Came To Cordura in 1959. Starting with the third season, York's disability caused ongoing shooting delays and script rewrites. After collapsing while filming the episode "Daddy Does His Thing" and being rushed to the hospital in January 1969, York left the show. Dick Sargent, who would go on to play Darrin in the sixth through eighth seasons, was cast for the role that same month.[10]

Marion Lorne appeared in 28 episodes as Aunt Clara and won a posthumous Emmy Award in 1968. Essentially replacing this character was the similarly magic-disabled Esmeralda (Alice Ghostley) in season 6. Lorne and Ghostley had appeared side by side in the hotel scene of Mike Nichols's film The Graduate in 1967.

Also winning a posthumous Emmy award in 1966 for her role, Alice Pearce was the first to play the character of Gladys Kravitz. After Pearce's death from ovarian cancer, Mary Grace Canfield played Harriet Kravitz, Abner's sister, in four episodes during the spring of 1966, and is said to be keeping house while Gladys is out of town. Sandra Gould assumed the role of Gladys Kravitz beginning in season 3.

Louise Tate was played by Irene Vernon during the first two seasons and then replaced by Kasey Rogers, who wore a short black wig to appear similar to Vernon. According to Rogers,[11] Bill Asher noticed her tugging at the wig and asked why she was wearing it. She laughed and said, "because you told me to." He replied, "Why don't you take it off!" and she played Louise with red hair for the show's final three seasons.

Tabitha Stephens' birth in the season 2 episode "And Then There Were Three" featured infant Cynthia Black in the role. For the remainder of the season, Tabitha was played by twins Heidi and Laura Gentry, followed by twins Tamar and Julie Young. Fraternal twin toddlers Diane Murphy and Erin Murphy were cast for the role at the beginning of season 3. In time, they began to look less alike, so Diane was dropped during season 4. Diane made several guest appearances in other roles, and filled in as Tabatha one last time in season 5's "Samantha Fights City Hall", because Erin had the mumps.

Before being cast as magical regulars, Alice Ghostley (Esmeralda), Paul Lynde (Uncle Arthur), and Bernard Fox (Dr. Bombay) all had guest roles during the first two seasons as mortal characters in the respective episodes, "Maid to Order", "Driving Is the Only Way to Fly", and "Disappearing Samantha".

Production[edit]

Dick Sargent, Elizabeth Montgomery, Erin Murphy and David Lawrence during the show's final season

According to Harpie's Bazarre,[12] (a website based on the frequently-depicted "witch magazine" from the series) creator Sol Saks' inspirations for this series in which many similarities can be seen were the 1942 film I Married a Witch (from Thorne Smith's unfinished novel The Passionate Witch), and the John Van Druten Broadway play Bell, Book and Candle, which was adapted into a 1958 movie.

Sol Saks, who received credit as the creator of the show, wrote the pilot of Bewitched, although he was not involved with the show after the pilot. Initially, Danny Arnold, who helped develop the style and tone of the series as well as some of the supporting characters who did not appear in the pilot, like Larry Tate and the Kravitzes, produced and headed writing of the series. Arnold, who wrote on McHale's Navy and other shows, thought of Bewitched essentially as a romantic comedy about a mixed marriage; his episodes kept the magic element to a minimum. One or two magical acts drove the plot, but Samantha often solved problems without magic. Many of the first season's episodes were allegorical, using supernatural situations as metaphors for the problems any young couple would face. Arnold stated that the two main themes of the series were the conflict between a powerful woman and a husband who cannot deal with that power, and the anger of a bride's mother at seeing her daughter marry beneath her. Though the show was a hit right from the beginning, finishing its first year as the number 2 show in the United States, ABC wanted more magic and more farcical plots, causing battles between Arnold and the network.

Arnold left the show after the first season, leaving producing duties to his friend Jerry Davis, who had already produced some of the first season's episodes (though Arnold was still supervising the writing). The second season was produced by Davis and with Bernard Slade as head writer, with mistaken identity and farce becoming a more prevalent element, but still included a number of more low-key episodes in which the magic element was not front and center.

With the third season and the switch to color, Davis left the show, and was replaced as producer by William Froug. Slade also left after the second season. According to William Froug's autobiography, William Asher (who had directed many episodes) wanted to take over as producer when Jerry Davis left, but the production company was not yet ready to approve the idea. Froug, a former producer of Gilligan's Island and the last season of The Twilight Zone, was brought in as a compromise. By his own admission, Froug was not very familiar with Bewitched and found himself in the uncomfortable position of being the official producer even though Asher was making most of the creative decisions. After a year, Froug left the show, and Asher took over as full-time producer of the series for the rest of its run.

The first three seasons had aired Thursdays at 9:00, and the time was moved to 8:30 starting with the fourth season (1967–1968). By the start of the 1968–1969 season, the show had reached a stalemate. While the ratings for Bewitched remained high (it would finish its fifth year in 11th place), the quality of the series began to suffer as the writers were beginning to recycle scripts from previous years. Also, with the increased absence of Dick York due to his back injury, the writers had to rewrite certain episodes with Samantha and Tabitha on their own while Darrin was "out of town on business". At this time, Elizabeth Montgomery's other character of Serena (Samantha's identical cousin) became more of a recurring character. In early 1969, Montgomery and Asher announced that they were expecting another baby and it was decided that, in order to boost Bewitched's ratings, Samantha and Darrin would also have another child in the fall of 1969. Before the end of the fifth season, however, Dick York collapsed on the set and was hospitalized. York then made a decision and told Asher that because of his back condition, he would be unable to continue in the role of Darrin Stephens and left the show.

During the sixth season (1969–1970), despite the new additions to the Stephens' household which included Baby Adam, Alice Ghostley as Esmeralda, the Stephens' inept but kindly witch-nanny (replacing Marion Lorne as Aunt Clara who had died the year before), and Darrin now being played by Dick Sargent, the show saw a significant decline in ratings. It finished that year in 25th place. Viewership continued to dwindle in the seventh season. Scripts from old episodes were also recycled more frequently. In the spring of 1971, Bewitched was #34 in the ratings. For the eighth season, ABC decided to move Bewitched's air time from Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. to Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m. The schedule change did not help ratings as the show was now pitted against CBS's popular The Carol Burnett Show. The show used fewer recurring characters in later episodes, the Kravitzes, Darrin's parents, and Uncle Arthur not appearing in the final (eighth) season at all. Filming for the season ended in December 1971, and in January 1972 the show was finally moved to Saturday night at 8:00, opposite television's number one show, All in the Family, and finished the year in 72nd place. Despite its poor showing in the ratings, ABC was still very interested in renewing Bewitched for a ninth season, however Elizabeth Montgomery's marriage to William Asher was in trouble and the couple had separated by the end of the eighth season. As a consolation to ABC, Montgomery and Asher (under their company name Ashmont, which produced Bewitched) offered a half-hour sitcom to the network starring actor-comedian Paul Lynde. As a result, after eight years Bewitched was canceled and ABC picked up The Paul Lynde Show for the 1972–1973 season. Lynde's series lasted only one year. Had Bewitched been renewed for a ninth season, it is very likely that the format would have had to be altered a bit to give the writers new focus, especially since during the eighth season, there were eight remade episodes.

Storylines repeated from I Love Lucy[edit]

In the episode "Samantha's Power Failure", Serena's and Uncle Arthur's powers are removed by the Witches' Council. The impotent duo get jobs in a confectionery factory, with both tossing and hiding an onslaught of bananas from a conveyor belt which are to be dipped in chocolate and nuts, then packaged. This episode mimics the famous chocolate assembly-line episode of I Love Lucy ("Job Switching"), which was directed by Bewitched producer/director William Asher. Serena's and Arthur's jokes and physical antics are taken from Lucy's (Lucille Ball) and Ethel's (Vivian Vance) playbook.

In the episode "Samantha's Supermaid" Samantha interviews a maid, and the scene is almost identical to one in Lucy. Season 8 featured a European vacation, but was filmed in Hollywood using stock footage, like the "European" episodes of Lucy. Similar to Endora's refusal to pronounce Darrin's name correctly, Lucy's mother always referred to son-in-law Ricky with incorrect names, including "Mickey", and in a letter once, "what's-his-name".

Timely topics[edit]

Some episodes take a backdoor approach to such topics as racism, as seen in the first season episode, "The Witches Are Out", in which Samantha objects to Darrin's demeaning ad portrayal of witches as ugly and deformed. Such stereotypical imagery often causes Endora and other witches to flee the country until November. "Sisters at Heart" (season 7), whose story was submitted by a tenth-grade English class, involves Tabitha altering the skin tone of herself and a black friend with coordinating polka-dots so people would treat them equally.[13] In the 1969 episode, "Tabitha's Weekend", when offered homemade cookies by Darrin's mother, Endora asks, "They're not by chance from an Alice B. Toklas recipe?" Phyllis replies, "They're my recipe", to which Endora retorts, "Then I'll pass". Toklas's cookbook was infamous for having a dessert recipe which included hashish.[14]

Sets and locations[edit]

The 1959 Columbia Pictures film Gidget was filmed on location at a real house in Santa Monica (at 267 18th Street). The blueprint design of this house was later reversed and replicated as a house facade attached to an existing garage on the backlot of Columbia's Ranch. This was the house seen on Bewitched. The patio and living room sets seen in Columbia's Gidget Goes to Rome (1963) were soon adapted for the permanent Bewitched set for 1964. The interior of the Stephens' house can be seen, substantially unaltered, in the 1969 Jerry Lewis film Hook, Line & Sinker. The set was also used several times in the television series Gidget and I Dream of Jeannie, as well as the 1971 made-for-television movie Brian's Song. It was also used, as a setting for an opening tag sequence, for the final episode of the first season of another Screen Gems property, The Monkees and in an episode of The Fantastic Journey.

The house served as '(Doctor Bellows)' house on "I Dream of Jeannie", and was seen in an episode of "Home Improvement" when Tim Taylor took Tool Time on location the house of Vinnie's mother to repair a gas leak in the furnace in the basement, but unknown to Tim there was also a leak at the stove in the kitchen. A clap on-Clap off lamp turned on when Tim clapped and it blew up. The Stephens house was also featured in a Fruit of the Loom Christmas commercial.

In June 1970, Bewitched filmed on location in Salem, Magnolia, and Gloucester, Massachusetts. These location shoots marked the only times the show would film away from its Hollywood studio set, which was being rebuilt due to a fire. The eight so-called 'Salem Saga' episodes helped the show's sagging ratings.[15] On June 15, 2005, TV Land unveiled a Samantha statue in Salem to mark the show's 40th anniversary. On hand were stars Bernard Fox, Erin Murphy and Kasey Rogers.

On the Columbia studio backlot, the Kravitzes' house was actually down the street from the Stephens' house exterior. Both house's exterior doors opened to an unfinished eighteen-by-fifteen foot entry, as the interiors were shot elsewhere. From 1964 through 1966 the Kravitzes' house was the same as used for The Donna Reed Show later use was the house (sets) from The Partridge Family.

Production and filming for Bewitched was based in Los Angeles and, although the setting is assumed to be New York, several episodes feature wide-angle exterior views of the Stephens' neighborhood showing a California landscape with mountains in the distance. Another example of questionable continuity regarding the location can be seen in Season 6, Episode 6: Darrin's parents drive home after visiting the new baby, passing several large palm trees lining the street.

Nielsen ratings[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

The magical powers of the characters, and the sudden change of actors playing Darrin have been sources of many popular culture references to Bewitched.

Spin-offs, crossovers, and remakes[edit]

The Flintstones[edit]

The 1965 episode of The Flintstones titled "Samantha" (1965), features Dick York and Elizabeth Montgomery as Darrin and Samantha Stephens, who have just moved into the neighborhood.[17]

Tabitha and Adam and the Clown Family[edit]

An animated cartoon made in 1972 by Hanna-Barbera Productions for The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie, this featured teenage versions of Tabitha and Adam visiting their aunt and her family who travel with a circus.

Tabitha[edit]

Main article: Tabitha (TV series)

In 1977, a short-lived spin-off entitled Tabitha aired on ABC. Lisa Hartman plays Tabitha, now an adult working with her brother Adam at television station KXLA. There were several continuity differences with the original series. Adam and Tabitha had both aged far more than the intervening five years between the two series would have allowed. Adam also had become Tabitha's older mortal brother, rather than her younger warlock brother, as he was in Bewitched. Supporting character Aunt Minerva (Karen Morrow) says she has been close to Tabitha since childhood, though she had never been mentioned once in the original series. Tabitha's parents are mentioned but never appear. However Bernard Fox, Sandra Gould, George Tobias and Dick Wilson reprised their roles as Dr. Bombay, Gladys Kravitz, Abner Kravitz, and the "drunk guy", respectively.

Passions[edit]

Bernard Fox appeared as Dr. Bombay in two episodes of the supernatural-themed daytime soap opera Passions. This show also featured a character named Tabitha, a middle-aged witch whose parents were Samantha and a mortal, Darrin, and who names her own child "Endora."[18]

Theatrical movie[edit]

Main article: Bewitched (2005 film)

Bewitched inspired a 2005 film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. The film, departing from the show's family-oriented tone, is not a remake but a re-imagining of the sitcom, with the action focused on arrogant, failing Hollywood actor Jack Wyatt (Ferrell) who is offered a career comeback playing Darrin in a remake of Bewitched. The role is contingent upon him finding the perfect woman to play Samantha. He chooses an unknown named Isabel Bigelow (Kidman), who is an actual witch. The film was written, directed, and produced by Nora Ephron, and was poorly received by most critics and was a financial disappointment. It earned $22 million less than the production cost domestically. However it earned an additional $68 million internationally. The New York Times called the film "an unmitigated disaster."[19]

Television remakes[edit]

Episode availability[edit]

Syndication history[edit]

After completing its original run, ABC Daytime and ABC Saturday Morning continued to show the series until 1973. Bewitched has since been syndicated on many local US broadcast stations, including Columbia TriStar Television as part of the Screen Gems Network syndication package from 1973–82 and then since 1993, which featured by 1999 bonus wraparound content during episode airings.

From 1973 to 1982, the entire series was syndicated by Screen Gems/Columbia Pictures. By the late 70s, many local stations skipped the black and white episodes or only ran those in the summer due to a perception that black-and-white shows usually had less appeal than colored shows. From 1981 to about 1991, only the color episodes were syndicated in barter syndication by DFS Program Exchange. The first two seasons, which were in black and white were not included and Columbia retained the rights to those. Beginning in 1989 Nick at Nite began airing only the black-and-white episodes. The remaining six color seasons were added to Nick at Nite's lineup in 1990, originally unedited back then (they also ran unedited black-and-white episodes as well). The edited ones continued in barter syndication until 1992. Columbia syndicated the entire series beginning in 1991. Seasons 1-2 were later colorized and made available for syndication and eventually DVD sales. Cable television channel WTBS carried seasons 3-8 throughout the 1980s and 1990s from DFS on a barter basis like most local stations that carried the show did.

The Hallmark Channel aired the show from 2001 to 2003; TV Land then aired the show from 2003 to 2006, and it returned in March 2010,[22] but left the schedule in 2012. In October 2008, the show began to air on WGN America, and in October 2012 on Logo, limited to the middle seasons only. Channel 9 Australia airs the series on its digital channel GO! Russia-based channel Domashny aired the show from 2008 to 2010. MeTV aired the show in conjunction with I Dream of Jeannie from December 31, 2012 to September 1, 2013.[23] The show now airs on Antenna TV.

The show has been distributed by Columbia Pictures Television (1974–1982, 1988 (black and white ones only until 1990)-1996), DFS/The Program Exchange (1980–1991, 2010–present), Columbia TriStar Television (1996–2002), and Sony Pictures Television (2002–present).

Internet[edit]

Selected episodes may be viewed on iTunes, YouTube, Internet Movie Database, Hulu, The Minisode Network, Crackle, and Amazon.com.

The series may be viewed in its entirety on Netflix in Canada.

DVD releases[edit]

Beginning in 2005, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment released all eight seasons of Bewitched. In regions 1 and 4, seasons 1 and 2 were each released in two versions—one as originally broadcast in black-and-white, and one colorized. The complete series set only contains the colorized versions of Seasons 1-2. Only the colorized editions were released in regions 2 and 4.

On August 27, 2013, it was announced that Mill Creek Entertainment had acquired the rights to various television series from the Sony Pictures library including Bewitched.[24] They subsequently re-released the first two seasons on DVD on January 21, 2014, in only their black and white versions.[25] Seasons 3 & 4 will be re-released on June 24, 2014.[26]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b A full list of directors and writers can be seen at this link.

References[edit]

  1. ^ TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows
  2. ^ "Special Collector's Issue: 100 Greatest Episodes of All Time". TV Guide (June 28-July 4). 1997. 
  3. ^ Season 3 episode 16
  4. ^ "Nicknames". Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  5. ^ Episode 5.20, "Mrs. Stephens, Where Are You?" Aired 1969-02-13.
  6. ^ http://www.harpiesbizarre.com/serenasstyle.htm
  7. ^ IMDb bio of Marion Lorne Retrieved 2011-08-10
  8. ^ Lance, Steven (1996). Written Out of Television: A TV Lover’s Guide to Cast Changes, 1945 – 1994. Madison Books. p. 63. ISBN 1-56833-071-5. 
  9. ^ Mikkelson, Barbara (November 5, 2007). "'Bewitched' Curse". Snopes.com. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Sargent Replaces Bewitched Costar". Los Angeles Times. January 31, 1969. p. G14. 
  11. ^ Interview with Kasey Rogers and Mark Wood - Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre
  12. ^ Sol Saks: Creator of Bewitched from harpiesbizarre.com
  13. ^ Pilato, Herbie J. (2002). Bewitched Forever: 40th Anniversary Edition. Wyomissing, Pennsylvania: Tapestry Press. ISBN 978-1-930819-40-5. 
  14. ^ Toklas, Alice B. (1954). The Alice B. Toklas Cookbook. Harper & Rowe. p. 259. 
  15. ^ Alachi, Peter. "The Salem Saga, 1970". Bewitched @ Harpies Bizarre. Retrieved May 25, 2009. 
  16. ^ "Homecoming Plot Synopsis". imdb.com. 
  17. ^ Barbera, Joseph R. (Executive Producer/Writer), Montgomery, Elizabeth (Samantha Stephens), York, Dick (Darrin Stephens), Corden, Henry (Fred Flintstone), Vander Pyl, Jean (Wilma Flintstone), Blanc, Mel (Barney Rubble), and Johnson, Gerry (Betty Rubble) (1965-10-22). "Samantha". The Flintstones. Season 6. Episode 6. ABC.
  18. ^ "Tabitha Lenox". TV Acres. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  19. ^ Barnes, Brooks (July 31, 2009). "Full Stomachs, and Full Marriages Too". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2009. 
  20. ^ "奥さまは魔女 – Bewitched in Tokyo". Tokyo Broadcasting System. Retrieved September 12, 2009. 
  21. ^ Fletcher, Alex (August 10, 2011). "'Bewitched' to be remade by CBS". Retrieved August 10, 2011. 
  22. ^ "TV Land March 2010 Has Return of Bewitched; Hope For Haiti Now Telethon Airs Friday Night". sitcomsonline.com. January 20, 2010. 
  23. ^ http://metvnetwork.com/programs.php?showID=88
  24. ^ Mill Creek Entertainment Signs Deals With Sony Pictures Home Entertainment To Expand Their Distribution Partnership
  25. ^ Sam and 'Derwood' in the ORIGINAL Black-and-White Seasons 1 and 2!
  26. ^ With a Nose Twitch, Mill Creek Conjures Up Both Seasons 3 and 4

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]