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Development: ABC rolls back Bewitched reboot; IFC Midnight sets Christmas-themed horror film; more

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Feb 5, 2019

A new version of an old sitcom has been pushed back; a Christmas horror film has been bought; a horror series has been renewed; and a YA series is getting adapted in this edition of SYFY WIRE's Development Roundup.

First up, ABC’s Bewitched reboot has been delayed. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the reimagined take on the 1960s sitcom from black-ish creator Kenya Barris and writer/co-producer Yamara Taylor has been rolled into ABC's development for consideration for the 2020-21 broadcast season.

It was announced in August that Barris and Taylor had reimagined the sitcom as a modern single-camera comedy focused on magic and race relations. This was Barris’ last big project at ABC before leaving the network for a deal at Netflix. 

In this new version of Bewitched that Barris and Taylor wrote, Samantha is a hardworking black single mom who happens to be a witch. She marries Darren, a white mortal who happens to be a slacker. As they navigate married life, Samantha quickly discovers that even when a black woman is literally magic, she’s still not as powerful as a decently tall white man with a full head of hair in America, no matter how lazy he is. 

ABC aired the original Bewitched sitcom from 1964 to 1972. In 2014, the network pursued a sequel, one of two previous attempts by Sony Pictures TV (which has the rights to the title) to revive the series over the past decade. In addition to the 2014 project, which ended up going over to NBC but never going to series, another reboot was in development at CBS during the 2011-2012 season that ultimately went nowhere.

Bewitched was made into a feature film in 2005 by Columbia Pictures starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. It…didn’t go over so well.  

Citing unnamed sources, THR says the network sees Bewitched as a top priority and wants to take the time necessary to get the script right.


And in horror development news, Deadline broke the news that IFC Midnight has acquired the U.S. rights to the Christmas-themed horror film I Trapped the Devil, written and directed by first-time filmmaker Josh Lobo. 

Chris Sullivan, Jocelin Donahue, AJ Bowen, Susan Burke and Scott Poythress star.

In I Trapped the Devil, Matt (Bowen) and his wife Karen (Burke) show up unannounced to his estranged brother Steve’s (Poythress) house to celebrate the holidays. But upon arrival, they’re met with a rather disturbing surprise — Steve is holding a man hostage in his basement. You see, Steve is convinced that he has captured the Devil himself. As you can no doubt guess, things continue to get more tense, weird and upsetting from there. 

IFC Midnight is aiming for an April 26 release date.


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Photo Credit: Rachael Thompson

Meanwhile, Hulu has confirmed that it has renewed Light as a Feather for a second season. The streaming service has picked up a 16-episode order for the supernatural thriller series based on a story by Zoe Aarsen.

Creator R. Lee Fleming Jr. will return as showrunner, writer and executive producer, with Liana Liberato, Haley Ramm and Brianne Tju reprising their roles from the first season.

Having inherited the curse brought on by the deadly game of “Light as a Feather,” McKenna (Liberato) finds herself fighting against a ticking clock compelling her to play along.

AwesomenessTV, Wattpad and Grammnet are producing Light as a Feather for Hulu. 

Hulu has not yet revealed a start date for the sophomore season.


And last but certainly not least, Deadline is reporting that David Gleeson is attached to write the feature adaptation to Polly Shulman’s YA book series The Grimm Legacy for Disney. 

The series is being considered as a possible franchise for Disney’s upcoming online streaming service, Disney+.  

The series, which is made up of three books – The Grimm Legacy, The Wells Bequest and The Poe Estate – is set in a New York Circulating Material Repository and tells the story of a group of teens who work at an old-style lending library that lends magical items to people from the Grimm collection.

(Via Deadline)

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