The CW is bringing the magic of Charmed back to the airwaves after the original show ended a dozen years ago. The reboot's cast, producers, and showrunner stopped by the Television Critics Association to talk about the upcoming revival.
According to showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, there was a lot of support for the fact that the three leads (Melonie Diaz, Sarah Jeffery, and Madeleine Mantock) are multicultural. The main backlash came from the fact that they were bringing back such an iconic show in a different way.
"I didn’t feel backlash about them not being white, but about it not being a revival," she said. "I hear from people how important it is they aren’t white and I learned that from Jane [the Virgin] ... "We want to explore more and interesting ways that different cultures [take an] interest [in] witchcraft."
"The creativity of the stories and the direction of the show is why I wanted to be on it. It’s strong women from different cultures and to pull story from them too is great," added Ser'Darius Blain, who plays scientist Galvin Macy, the love interest for one of the main characters. "It’s covering issues that teens today are dealing with rather than when the original series. I’m a black scientist on TV with strong political views."
On the version of Charmed that ran on The WB between 1998 and 2006, the three main characters were played by white women: Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, and Alyssa Milano. This was something Snyder wanted to change for the reboot, and promised that the different backgrounds of the three sisters would be explored.
"Each girl is multiracial," she said. "They each have different fathers and it will come into play with their stories and racial identical."
Another change from the OG series is that the sisters won't be rhyming as much when casting spells.
"We didn’t want to limit ourselves to just rhyming because of the use of different languages," Snyder said, continuing on the theme of striving for multiculturalism.
Star Rupert Evans (The Man in the High Castle) added another way in which the reboot will reflect the times: "The show is so different and this show deals with sexuality which the other show didn’t."
The panel also touched on the special place the original series holds in the hearts of fans and the original cast. In particular, Holly Marie Combs was not happy the show was coming back without her and her fellow castmates. She made several social media posts, voicing her displeasure on the matter.
"We’re a little disappointed in the Combs comments because the script is incredible. But she’s allowed to feel however she wants to about about it," stated Madeleine Mantock, who plays Macy Vaughn, the eldest sister.
Rose McGowan, who joined Charmed in its fourth season, was also not so hot on the idea of a reboot.
Charmed, like the show that inspired it, will follow three sisters, who also happen to be witches. Discovering their magical powers after the death of their mother, the trio fight off a host of supernatural threats to the world like demons and evil spellcasters.
"One of the most important things we can do with the show is that demons are a metaphor for something else happening," offered executive producer Jessica O’Toole.
Setting the main action in a college town was a big part of telling the show's stories, Snyder said: "It allow[ed] us the space to explore those topics and expand issues we are touching on, while also being fun. There’s a huge wish fulfillment of being a witch."
The Charmed reboot will premiere on The CW Sunday, Oct. 14.
In the first episode alone, you'll see a sequence where a bunch of people are frozen, was not done with CGI, but with a troupe of mimes, revealed executive producer Amy Rardin. There's also a passing reference to the POTUS bringing about the end of the world, although they steered clear of using the name "Trump."