In a very competitive situation, Bewitched, a new take on the classic supernatural sitcom, has landed at NBC with a pilot production commitment. Sony Pictures TV took out the comedy, penned by The Vow writers Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, last week, garnering interest from multiple networks that created a bidding situation between NBC and ABC, the network that aired the original series from 1964-1972.
Coming on the 50th anniversary of Bewitched‘s debut, the new version is a reimagining of the original series two generations later. It centers on Daphne — Samantha’s granddaughter and Tabitha’s daughter — a single twentsomething witch who has always used her magical powers to conjure herself the perfect life. But she soon realizes that the one thing she cannot conjure and control is the one thing she wants most — real love.
Created by Sol Saks and executive produced by Harry Ackerman, Bewitched starred Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha, a witch married to an ordinary mortal man, and chronicles the way her powers and wicked family get in the way of her efforts to live a normal, magic-free life as a typical suburban housewife. Her daughter, Tabitha, got her short-lived spinoff series on ABC in 1977. Lisa Hartman played adult Tabitha who, along with her brother Adam, worked at a TV station.
The Bewitched reboot hails from Sony TV and Lucy Fisher and Douglas Wick’s Red Wagon Entertainment, which produced Columbia Pictures’ 2005 Bewitched film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell, and also teamed with Sony TV on a potential series remake at CBS in 2011 with different writers. Also producing the new version is Television 360, with Daniel Rappaport executive producing.
While the movie remake didn’t fare well, the original series remains popular. It has enjoyed a long after-life in syndication and around the world with local versions mounted in Russia, India, Argentina and Japan. The classic sitcom has also been embraced by new technologies, with seasons available on the Hulu streaming service.
Bewitched is part of the wave of classic series and movies that are getting series treatment this development season as the networks are relying heavily on well-known properties, in part because of the dearth of available seasoned creators, many of whom are tied to existing shows.