By Paula Hendrickson
It happens every October. Witches, ghosts and zombies decorate yards and fill the airwaves. This year, there may be more new horror genre series than ever before. This week, we’ll focus on witches.
While The CW’s Vampire Diaries spinoff, The Originals, is filled with vampires, werewolves and a vampire-werewolf hybrid, witches also figure heavily in the New Orleans-set story. When the story opens, the witches of New Orleans have been forbidden to practice their craft, under the edict of charismatic vampire leader Marcel (Charles Michael David). Let’s see how long that lasts.
Lifetime has jumped into the paranormal area with its new scripted series Witches of East End, not to be confused with the Witches of Eastwick movie or short-lived 2009 TV series.
Witches of East End is a slightly lighter spin on the genre, sort of like Charmed minus The Power of Three. Julia Ormond (recently seen as Megan’s mother on Mad Men) plays Joanna, an ageless witch cursed to watch her two daughters (Rachel Boston and Jenna Dewan-Tatum) live, die and be reborn time after time, powerless to help them live past 30. Madchen Amick clearly has fun as Joanna’s sister Wendy — who’s also a black cat and has at least nine lives.
But it’s American Horror Story: Coven that has generated the most interest this fall. As expected, co-creators and executive producers Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk have created an intense new story set in a complicated world, and it happens to center on a group of witches. Also set in New Orleans, Coven revels in the city’s history, not shying away from themes of slavery and voodoo. As with past AHS seasons, Coven can be downright disturbing, yet compelling to watch. It’s not for sensitive viewers.
Cast members returning from prior seasons include Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson, Lily Rabe, Taissa Farmiga, Evan Peters, Jamie Brewer, Denis O’Hare and Frances Conroy. But new cast members like Kathy Bates, Emma Roberts and Angela Bassett bring an exciting new vibe to an already amazing cast.
If comedic witchcraft is more your speed, Antenna TV’s “Witch-o-Ween” has 27 consecutive hours of Bewitched starting Oct. 30. (Halloween itself will be “Hitch-o-Ween” with a day’s worth of episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents.)
Which witches will you watch? If vampires, zombies or ghost are more your thing, stay tuned.
Witches of East End airs on Lifetime Sundays at 9 p.m. Central.
The Originals airs Tuesdays on The CW at 7 p.m. Central, immediately before Supernatural.
American Horror Story: Coven airs on FX Wednesdays at 9 p.m. Central.
Bewitched “Witch-o-Ween” airs on Antenna TV all day, Oct. 30.
From the Oct. 16-22, 2013, issue