WGN America Announces Start of Production on First Original Scripted Series, “Salem”

WGN America Announces Start of Production on First Original Scripted Series, “Salem”

Provocative Fox 21 Drama to Star Janet Montgomery, Shane West, Seth Gabel and Ashley Madekwe

WGN America enters the world of the most notorious witch trials in history with its first original scripted series “Salem,” as production begins today in Shreveport, LA on the provocative Fox 21 drama.  On an expansive set reflecting volatile 17th century Massachusetts, “Salem” explores what really fueled the town’s infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth behind them.  Created, executive-produced and written by award-winning writer/producer Brannon Braga (“24,” “Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise”) and Adam Simon (“The Haunting in Connecticut”), “Salem” launches WGN America’s strategy to become a dedicated purveyor of innovative scripted fare.

“Salem” stars Janet Montgomery (“Human Target,” “Made in Jersey”) as the ruthless but vulnerable Mary Sibley, Salem’s most powerful enchantress; Shane West (“Nikita,” “ER”) as handsome, hardened war veteran John Alden – and Mary’s onetime love interest; Seth Gabel (“Fringe”) as local aristocrat Cotton Mather who fans the flames of Salem’s witch hunt; Ashley Madekwe (“Revenge”) as Mary’s mysterious, carnal accomplice; Xander Berkeley (“Nikita,” “The Mentalist”) as chief politician Magistrate Hale; Tamzin Merchant (“Jane Eyre”) as the forthright Anne Hale, an artist with a perilous attraction to Alden; and Elise Eberle (“The Astronaut Farmer”) as the mysteriously afflicted Mercy Lewis.

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.

Alongside Braga and Simon, Prospect Park’s Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz executive produce, with co-executive producers Liz Sarnoff, Tricia Small, Jon Feldman and Vahan Moosekian.  Richard Shepard directs.  WGN America has ordered 13 episodes of the drama, which hails from Fox 21 (“Homeland,” “Sons of Anarchy”), the trailblazing cable production arm of Twentieth Century Fox Television.  “Salem” is slated to premiere in Spring 2014 on WGN America.

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About WGN America
WGN America, the flagship network of Tribune Broadcasting Company, is nationally distributed via cable, satellite and telco with entertainment programming consisting of the original series Salem, premiering in second quarter of 2014, Manhattan, premiering Summer 2014, first-run programs, blockbuster movies and live sports. WGN America is currently available in 75 million homes. For program schedules or additional information please visit www.wgnamerica.com.

About Fox 21
Fox 21 is a production company housed within Twentieth Century Fox Television devoted to making creatively ambitious scripted series for the cable television market, as well as unscripted shows for both cable and broadcast networks. Led by President Bert Salke, Fox 21 produces the Emmy and Golden Globe winning Homeland, starring Claire Danes and Damian Lewis, the critically acclaimed smash hit Sons of Anarchy (with FX Productions) and the breakout animated comedy Brickleberry from Daniel Tosh. The studio also produces the upcoming Tyrant from Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff and Craig Wright, Open from Ryan Murphy, Legends from Howard Gordon and Jonathan Levin, Those Who Kill from Glen Morgan and Imagine TV, and The Witches of East End from Maggie Friedman and Erwin Stoff.

TRIBUNE MEDIA COMPANY is home to a diverse portfolio of television and digital properties driven by quality news, entertainment and sports programming. TRIBUNE MEDIA is comprised of Tribune Broadcasting’s 42 owned or operated local television stations reaching 50 million households, national entertainment network WGN America, available in 72 million households, Tribune Studios, and Tribune Digital Ventures, including the websites Zap2it and TVByTheNumbers, and Gracenote, one of the world’s leading sources of TV and music metadata powering electronic program guides in televisions, automobiles and mobile devices. TRIBUNE MEDIA also includes Chicago’s WGN-AM, the national multicast networks Antenna TV and THIS TV. Additionally, the company owns and manages a significant number of real estate properties across the U.S. and holds other strategic investments in media.

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WGN America: @wgnamerica

Cast on Twitter:
Shane West: @shanewest_1
Seth Gabel: @sethgabel
Ashley Madekwe: @smashleybell
Elise Eberle: @eliseeberle
Tamzin Merchant: @tamzinmerchant

Media contact:

WGN America and Tribune Studios
Rita Cooper Lee
rcooperlee@tribune.com
(424) 702-4448