Even though it’s a well-established fact that entertainment will occasionally work in twos, it was still a surprise when WGN America announced that their first voyage into original programming would take viewers back to the 17th century for the witchy drama Salem, which will premiere almost three months after American Horror Story: Coven’s final episode. The show’s promotional campaign began last month, and we now have what they’re calling the first trailer, even though it’s only slightly more in depth than the previously released teaser.
There doesn’t appear to be much of a multi-tiered plotline going on in Salem, Massachusetts; it’s just business as usual trying to identify witches and subsequently putting them to death. But while some of the accused were innocent, there is indeed a powerful witch or two among the population, and they’re like nothing anyone had imagined. There’s a romance tied up in all this that is supposed to ratchet up the drama two or three more broom clicks. One thing’s for certain: this show is taking itself very seriously.
Essentially, though, this is all fairly rote material, though the production design looks particularly noteworthy. The men want the witches dead. The witches aren’t standing for the men’s shit. Blood and animal heads. Rituals. The usual.
Salem, which is being co-executive produced by 24 and Cosmos: A SpaceTime Odyssey exec Brannon Braga, boasts a cast including Shane West, Alexandra Daniels, Iddo Goldbert, Seth Gabel, Janet Montgomery, Xander Berkeley and more. At least the pilot episode is being directed by Richard Shepard, whose upcoming raunchy comedy caperDom Hemingway looks like the polar opposite of this dark and gloomy series.
The pilot will debut on Sunday, April 20. But before you go chanting a speeding time spell, check out the teaser trailer and a pair of clips below. The clips look really cool, stylized but in a way that somehow still retains a very somber tone. I wonder if anyone is going to be smiling in Salem.