In this period of television, remakes and revivals have been becoming all the rage. Some of these reboots have been near-universally praised, like the new Disney “Ducktales” animated series starting 2017; others have been reviled even before they started airing such as the upcoming The CW remake of “Charmed” starting later this year. Now there is another planned reboot joining in the mix. “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris is soon to follow Shonda Rhimes into creating Netflix content, but before leaving ABC he has brought up one last idea, a remake of classic TV sitcom “Bewitched”, with an interracial concept twist.
Entertainment Weekly has it that Kenya Barris and fellow “Black-ish” writer-producer Yamara Taylor are putting their heads together in conceptualizing a contemporary take on the magical sixties sitcom “Bewitched”, which starred Elizabeth Montgomery and Dick York (and Dick Sargent), on the same network that hosted the original. The old show’s concept was delightfully simple: the quirky home life of witch wife Samantha and her grounded mortal husband Darrin. One conflict was the disapproval of Sam’s witchy relatives of her “mixed-species” marriage, something Barris wants to add to in his reboot; not only is the lead couple a mixed witch-human marriage, they will also be mixed-race.
“Samantha, a black hardworking, single mom, who happens to be a witch, marries Darren, a white mortal who happens to be a bit of a slacker,” so goes the “Bewitched” revival story treatment written by Kenya Barris and Yamara Taylor. “They struggle to navigate their differences as she discovers that even when a black girl is literally magic, she’s still not as powerful as a decently tall white man with a full head of hair in America.” The two will also serve as executive producers, Barris with Khalabo Ink Society and Taylor alongside Davis Entertainment.
“Bewitched” has been something of a dream remake project for the past several years. A film version, or reimagining, in 2005 starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell was a bomb. Both CBS in 2011 and NBC in 2014 had their own reboot plans for the show that fell through. Such was the classic sitcom’s international appeal that TV studios in India, Japan, Russia and more have tried to create their localized versions of it. A successful “Bewitched” reboot at present could then compete against similar magic-themed but different-genre shows like Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and The CW’s “Charmed” reboot.
This will be the last ABC project by Kenya Barris before leaving for Netflix ideas. The “Bewitched” remake will be handled by ABC Studios, Sony Pictures Television and Davis Entertainment.
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