WGN America orders its first original series
Salem is first step toward "aggressive" expansion of cable net's own slate of shows
WGN America has ordered the drama series Salem from award-winning producers Brannon Braga (24, Star Trek: TNG, Voyager & Enterprise) and Adam Simon (The Haunting in Connecticut) it was announced today by Matt Cherniss, president/GM, WGN America. The series hails from Fox 21 (Homeland, Sons of Anarchy), the prolific cable production division of Twentieth Century Fox Television, and marks the first original scripted series for WGN America as it begins to aggressively expand its programming slate.
Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, Salem explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history. In Salem, witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem. The show, which centers on an epic romance wrapped around this explosive revelation, delivers a bold new vision of Salem – and an even bolder new vision of witches.
WGN America has ordered 13 episodes entering production this fall in for a 2014 premiere. The series was created and written by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, who will serve as executive producers alongside Prospect Park’s Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz. The series will be produced by Fox 21.
Said Cherniss, “Brannon and Adam have an amazing vision for the world and characters that comprise Salem, Massachusetts during the witch trials and we believe that a great adventure full of supernatural, romance, and action awaits the viewer. In addition, everyone here at WGN America feels fortunate to have the support of Fox 21 and 20th Television as we embark on our first foray in original scripted programming.”
“As WGN America launches its strategy of programming distinctive original content, Salem is the perfect vehicle, and Gary, Dana, Bert and everyone at 20th with whom we have worked in the past is the perfect studio for us to begin this journey,” said Peter Liguori, CEO, Tribune Company. “Salem is a subject that has captivated readers and audiences, and this show gives us a chance to examine it with a fresh perspective through the eyes of great storytellers.”
“Our studio has had a long and successful relationship with Peter and Matt, so we are thrilled to be back in business with them on this fantastic new project ,” remarked Twentieth Century Fox Television chairmen Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “And we’re excited to be working again with co-creator Brannon Braga, whose history with this company dates all the way back to ’24.’ As we expand our cable television business through Fox 21, we are always on the lookout for new opportunities, and we couldn’t be prouder to be the first studio to produce an original scripted series for WGN America.”
Added Fox 21 president Bert Salke, “Salem is a passion project of ours at Fox 21, and Matt and Peter’s enthusiasm for it was instantaneous and incredibly gratifying. We are excited to be delivering WGN America its inaugural scripted series and look forward to continuing to develop with the network in the years ahead.”