|Created by||Constance M. Burge|
|Starring||Holly Marie Combs
Karis Paige Bryant
|Opening theme||"How Soon Is Now?" by Love Spit Love (Cover version)|
|Composer(s)||J. Peter Robinson
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||8|
|No. of episodes||178 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Brad Kern
Constance M. Burge
E. Duke Vincent
|Camera setup||Panavision, Single-camera|
|Running time||40–45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Spelling Television
Worldvision Enterprises, Inc.
|Original channel||The WB|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital|
|Original run||October 7, 1998– May 21, 2006|
Charmed is an American television series created by Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Spelling Television, with Brad Kern serving as showrunner. The series was originally broadcast by The WB for eight seasons from October 7, 1998, until May 21, 2006.
The series narrative follows three sisters, known as The Charmed Ones, the most powerful good witches of all time, whose prophesied destiny is to protect innocent lives from evil beings such as demons and warlocks. Each sister possesses unique magical powers that grow and evolve, while they attempt to maintain normal lives in modern day San Francisco. Keeping their supernatural identities separate and secret from their ordinary lives often becomes a challenge for them, with the exposure of magic having far-reaching consequences on their various relationships and resulting in a number of police and FBI investigations throughout the series. The first three seasons of Charmed focus on the three Halliwell sisters, Prue (Shannen Doherty), Piper (Holly Marie Combs) and Phoebe (Alyssa Milano). Following the death of Prue in the third season finale, their long-lost half sister Paige Matthews (Rose McGowan) assumes her place within the "Power of Three" from season four onwards.
Charmed achieved both critical and popular acclaim, with its first episode "Something Wicca This Way Comes" garnering 7.7 million viewers, breaking the record for the highest-rated debut episode for The WB. During its fifth season, the series became the highest-rated Sunday night program in The WB's history. At 178 episodes, Charmed is the second-longest drama broadcast by The WB and the second-longest running hour-long television series featuring all female leads. The series has also received numerous awards and nominations. In 2010, HuffPost TV and AOL TV ranked Charmed within their joint list of "The Top 20 Magic/Supernatural Shows of All Time" while, in 2013, TV Guide listed the series as one of "The 60 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows of All Time".
Charmed has been developed into other media, including a video game, board games, novels, and a comic book series, which serves as a continuation of the show. Throughout 2012, six years after it ceased broadcasting, Charmed was the second-most watched television series on subscription video-on-demand services, including Amazon Instant Video and Netflix.
- 1 Series overview
- 2 Characters
- 3 Production
- 4 Reception
- 5 Broadcasting
- 6 Cultural impact
- 7 Other media
- 8 Merchandise
- 9 References
- 10 External links
In 1998, after the three Halliwell sisters' (Prue, Piper, Phoebe) grandmother dies, Phoebe moves from New York to the Halliwell Manor in San Francisco to live with her sisters. When Phoebe comes across the family's Book of Shadows, she learns that she and her sisters are the most powerful witches ever known in the history of witchcraft and the world, destined to protect both innocents and the world at large from demons, warlocks, and other evil creatures. Phoebe, reasonably thinking the book is a novelty, reads the book's initial inscription—an inscription which also happens to be the incantation which activates the sisters' powers once all of them are back at the manor.
By the end of the first episode, each sister learns that she has a unique power and that they can each cast spells and brew potions. Prue, the eldest, has the power of telekinesis—(the ability to move objects with her mind), and in season two she develops the power of astral projection. Piper, the middle sister, has the power to effectively "freeze" people and objects. As she grows more proficient, she learns how to freeze only certain people or objects or body parts, as she wishes. In season three, her powers grow even more, as she is able to make molecules move so fast they explode. Phoebe, the youngest, initially possesses the power of premonition, which evolves into being able to receive visions of both the future and the past. She later picks up the powers of levitation in season three, and empathy in season six, the latter allowing her to sense and tap into others' emotions and sometimes, powers.
During the first two seasons, the sisters face various evil beings from week to week. However, they discover in season three that their true enemy is The Underworld's ruler, The Source of All Evil. Prue is later killed in the season three finale by The Source's personal assassin, Shax. While grieving Prue's loss, Piper and Phoebe discover that they have a half-sister—Paige Matthews, who had been the secret love child of their witch mother Patty and her whitelighter (guardian angel), Sam Wilder. Paige's abilities represent her dual heritage as both a witch and whitelighter; like Prue, she possesses a form of telekinesis, but she has to verbally call for objects to orb ("teleport") them to their intended destination. As she learns to control the dual sides of her ancestry, Paige also learns how to orb herself and others, and eventually she receives her own whitelighter charges to train and protect as they learn witchcraft. Paige, after falling in love with her future husband, develops the ability to heal others with the touch of her hand in season eight.
The Source, responsible for all of the attacks on the sisters, becomes the main villain during season four until he is finally vanquished. After The Source is vanquished, an annual season-long storyline and several antagonists are introduced in subsequent seasons (the "Big Bad" television format). These include Phoebe's ex-husband Cole Turner until mid-season five; the scheming, misguided whitelighter Elder Gideon throughout season six; The Avatars until mid-season seven; the demon Zankou until the season seven finale; and in season eight, powerful sister witches Billie and Christy, who fall under the influence of the evil demonic Triad (who earlier feature as early-season three antagonists). On top of the supernatural issues in Charmed, the characters contend with serious issues in the day-to-day world of the mortals such as relationships, careers, marriage, childbirth, illness and the deaths of their loved ones. The sisters also fight to prevent the exposure of the existence of magic to the community at large, contending with several police and FBI investigations.
The sisters also face romantic storylines. Prue's feature love interests include Inspector Andy Trudeau, a childhood friend who dies in the season one finale, and co worker Jack Sheridan in season two. Piper's central love interest throughout the series is the sisters' whitelighter Leo Wyatt; their early relationship is problematic due to the forbidden nature of witch-whitelighter relationships, and so in season two a love triangle forms with Piper, Leo and her neighbor Dan Gordon. Eventually, the two manage to marry and consecrate their union in season three and have two sons—Wyatt, in season five, and Chris, in season six. The couple separate due to supernatural circumstances at the end of the fifth season, and later reunite in the sixth; the final episode of Charmed shows them to have a daughter, many grandchildren, and grow old together. Phoebe's relationship history involves many dates in the first two seasons, and a tortured relationship with half-demon Cole Turner in the show's third, fourth and fifth seasons; they have a turbulent marriage in the fourth, and in the fifth he plays the role of an aggressive ex. Phoebe has a number of multi-episode mortal boyfriends in subsequent seasons before meeting a cupid, Coop, in the eighth season, whom she marries and has three children with in the finale episode flashforward. Paige, like Phoebe, has several multi-episode mortal boyfriends, as well as male witch and magic "addict" Richard Montana (in season six) and unstable FBI agent-come-whitelighter Kyle Brody (in season seven). In the eighth season, she becomes committed to mortal parole officer Henry Mitchell, whom she marries and—in flashforwards—is shown to have three children with.
- Shannen Doherty as Prue Halliwell, the eldest sister who has the power to move objects with her mind using telekinesis with a direct line of sight. As the series progresses, Prue learns how to channel her telekinetic powers through her hands and also gains the power of astral projection, which allows her to be in two places at once. She sacrificed a majority of her childhood to help raise her sisters Piper and Phoebe, after the death of their mother Patty and the abandonment of their father Victor Bennett. Prue is the strongest of the Halliwell sisters, as she usually takes charge of situations that involves demons and warlocks. In the season three finale, Prue is killed by Shax, a powerful demonic assassin sent by The Source of All Evil.
- Holly Marie Combs as Piper Halliwell, the second eldest sister who has the power to freeze her surrounding environment. As the series progresses, she also gains the power to cause objects to spontaneously explode. Piper starts out as the middle child of the Halliwell sisters, but later becomes the oldest sister after Prue dies. One of the recurring struggles for Piper is her attempt to maintain a normal life despite her destiny of defeating the forces of evil in San Francisco. In season three, she marries her whitelighter—a guardian angel for good witches—Leo Wyatt and as the series progresses, they have two children; Wyatt (born in season five) and Chris (born in season six).
- Alyssa Milano as Phoebe Halliwell, the third sister with the power of premonition, which enables her to see into the future and the past. As the series progresses, she also gains the powers of levitation and empathy. Phoebe starts out as the youngest and most rebellious of the Halliwell sisters. Because of her free-spirited nature, she often comes into major conflicts with Prue, but the two eventually mend their relationship. She later becomes the middle sister after Prue dies and the series introduces her younger half-sister Paige. One of the recurring struggles for Phoebe is her attempt to find a career and true love.
- Rose McGowan as Paige Matthews, the youngest half-sister who has the power to move objects with her mind by orbing ("teleporting") objects from one location to another through a vocal command. She is the daughter of Patty and her whitelighter Sam Wilder, making Paige a half-witch and half-whitelighter. Paige was given up at birth to protect her from the wrath of The Elders if they were to discover her whitelighter heritage. She arrives at the beginning of season four and goes on to help reconstitute The Charmed Ones by assuming her place within the Power of Three. As the series progresses, Paige also inherits a variety of whitelighter powers such as orbing, sensing, glamouring and healing. One of her recurring struggles is finding an identity for herself outside of her role as a Charmed One.
- Ted King as Andy Trudeau, introduced into season one as the Halliwell sisters' childhood friend and Prue's high school sweetheart and first love. He works as an inspector for the San Francisco Police Department and is coincidentally assigned to almost every police case that involves the sisters. Andy eventually discovers that they are witches and serves as the sisters' initial connection to the police force. In the season one finale, Andy is killed by the demon Rodriguez, who also happens to be one of the Internal Affairs officers investigating Andy's unsolved cases.
- Dorian Gregory as Darryl Morris, a lieutenant in the San Francisco Police Department. Darryl is introduced into season one as Andy Trudeau's partner. At first, Darryl is suspicious of the Halliwell sisters' recurring connection to mysterious murders and crimes. However, in season two, the sisters reveal to him that they are good witches trying to bring justice and protection to the world. Throughout the series, Darryl helps the sisters cover up unsolved cases related to demonic activity, as well as granting them favors and giving them general support. At the end of season seven, Darryl and his family move to the East Coast.
- Brian Krause as Leo Wyatt, the Halliwell sisters' whitelighter—a guardian angel for good witches—who has the powers to orb, heal, sense, levitate, glamour and hover. Leo is introduced into season one as the sisters' handyman who is hired to fix up their house, but they later discover that he is their whitelighter. Leo's whitelighter duties often causes problems for his marriage to Piper and their family. Their relationship is the first of many conflicts between the sisters and The Elders.
- Greg Vaughan as Dan Gordon, introduced into season two as the Halliwell sisters' new next-door neighbor. Dan and Piper become romantically involved after Piper and Leo break up due to the strenuous nature his whitelighter duties place on their relationship. Piper later breaks up with Dan and reconciles with Leo. At the end of the season, Dan moves to Portland to take a job offer.
- Karis Paige Bryant as Jenny Gordon, introduced into season two as Dan Gordon's niece who temporarily moves in with him for school because her parents are in Saudi Arabia on business. Whilst living with her uncle, Jenny forms a bond with the Halliwell sisters and often turns to them for advice on female issues that she is not comfortable talking to her uncle about. Midway through season two, Jenny moves back in with her parents after they return to the United States.
- Julian McMahon as Cole Turner (also known as the demonic assassin, Belthazor) who has the powers to teleport and throw projective energy balls which could stun or kill. Cole is introduced into season three as an Assistant District Attorney sent by The Triad to kill The Charmed Ones, but instead he falls in love with Phoebe. Although Cole completely rids himself of his demonic nature and marries Phoebe in season four, he later returns to evil after he unwillingly becomes the new Source of All Evil. As The Source, Cole is eventually vanquished by The Charmed Ones, only to come back from death in his attempts to win Phoebe back. Driven insane, Cole is, through his own doing, once again killed by the sisters in season five.
- Drew Fuller as Chris Halliwell, the second son of Leo and Piper. Chris is introduced into the season five finale as a whitelighter from the future who helps assist the Halliwell sisters against magical beings known as The Titans. In season six, Chris reveals that he is Leo and Piper's son and has traveled back in time to prevent his older brother Wyatt from growing up to be the evil dictator he becomes in the future. In the season six finale, adult Chris is killed by an Elder named Gideon and baby Chris is born.
- Kaley Cuoco as Billie Jenkins, introduced into season eight as a young college student and a new charge for Paige. Billie has the power to move objects with her mind using telekinesis. She spends most of the season trying to find her eldest sister Christy, who was kidnapped 15 years earlier by The Triad. Billie is eventually reunited with her sister, but does not know that Christy has been turned evil under the influence of demons. After Christy briefly sways her to betray The Charmed Ones, Billie eventually sides with them in the series finale and is forced to kill her sister in self-defence.
In 1998, when the The WB began looking for a new drama series for the 1998–99 season, they approached Spelling Television (which had produced the network's most successful series 7th Heaven) to create it. Expanding on the popularity of supernatural-themed dramas such as The WB's own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the production company explored different forms of mythology to find characters they could realize with contemporary storytelling.
Constance M. Burge was hired to create the series as she was under contract with 20th Century Fox and Spelling Television after conceiving the drama series Savannah. When the theme of witchcraft was first pitched to her, she was aware of stereotypes of witches (flying brooms, black cats, and warts). After Wicca research, she changed her perspective and aimed at telling a story of good witches who looked and acted like ordinary people. With this, her initial concept was a series set in Boston, Massachusetts about three friends and roommates who were all witches. However, executive producer E. Duke Vincent lacked confidence, asking "Why would anybody want to watch a show about three witches?" He proposed that the series focus on family values and developed the series-long mantra of it being about "three sisters who happen to be witches, not three witches who happen to be sisters." Spelling warmed to Burge's ideas and, after the concept was re-crafted to be a series about three sisters (now living in San Francisco) descended from a line of witches, it was pitched to The WB's President of Entertainment Susanne Daniels, who liked it, allowing the series to begin development.
The series was retitled Charmed after Spelling's suggestion of House of Sisters was dropped. Burge wrote the pilot's script. They filmed a 28-minute version (the "unaired pilot", never aired on network television) with which the series was picked up by The WB. Upon its debut, Charmed received the largest audience for a series premiere in The WB's three-year history. The first season of twenty-two episodes was picked up by The WB after two episodes aired.
Former Beverly Hills, 90210 actress Shannen Doherty was cast as the eldest sister Prue Halliwell, while her best friend and former Picket Fences actress Holly Marie Combs played the role of the second sister Piper Halliwell. Lori Rom was originally cast as the third sister Phoebe Halliwell in the 28-minute unaired pilot episode. However, Rom quit the series, and a new pilot was filmed with former Who's the Boss actress Alyssa Milano in the role of Phoebe. In season one, T.W. King was cast as the detective Andy Trudeau, Dorian Gregory was cast as his detective partner Darryl Morris, and Brian Krause was cast as the Halliwell sisters' whitelighter Leo Wyatt. Doherty departed the series after the third season and was replaced by film actress Rose McGowan, who played the long-lost younger half-sister Paige Matthews.
Executive producers Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent maintained their roles until the series ended. Constance M. Burge became an executive producer when she was hired to create the series and write the pilot. After the short "unaired pilot" was shown to The WB and the series was picked up by the network, Brad Kern was recruited as the fourth executive producer and as the show runner in order to decipher how the series would develop over the course of its run. While Kern remained with the show until its end, between the second and third seasons Burge was not an executive producer. She remained as executive consultant until the end of season four when she left Charmed.
Writing and format
Scripting was done by a large number of writers. Brad Kern did the most writing, with a total of 26 episodes, as well as directing one of them. The writers with the most writing credits other than Kern include Daniel Cerone, Curtis Kheel, Zack Estrin, Chris Levinson, Krista Vernoff, Sheryl J. Anderson, Monica Breen, Alison Schapker, Cameron Litvack, and Jeannine Renshaw. Constance M. Burge wrote seven episodes for the first and second seasons before leaving her position as executive producer. Scripting was carried out after group brainstorms took place, discussing the events of the episodes, the emotions of the characters, and the mythology involved. Robert Masello, an executive story editor for the series, credits himself as the only demonologist hired for a series, in order to add his experience to the storyline.
|“||Charmed is the only show that has a licensed fully bonded demonologist, which is me, on staff and as a result because I've written books about demonology and the occult of witchcraft, I'm there to answer questions about how a demon would behave.||”|
However, as Holly Marie Combs revealed in The Women of Charmed documentary, the series aimed at following a mythology created by fantasy, and not adhering to Wiccan rules too closely, for fear of coming under criticism for either not being "technically correct enough" or missing the truth completely. Between the second and the third season, Burge left, leaving her former position to executive producer Kern. She remained as creative consultant until season four. Burge's departure resulted in changes in the story structure of the show, from a "demon of the week" system to using third or half-season-long story arcs. In addition, more importance was given to the protagonists' personal lives. The serial connection of episodes culminated in the second half of season four. Despite the ratings increasing during season four's final story arc from 4.19 to 4.21, The WB asked Kern to abandon the serial system. This led to the largely episodic structure of season five, and resulted in the two systems being balanced from the sixth season onwards.
The opening credits for Charmed was used to introduce the main and supporting characters in each season. It consisted of various scenes from episodes and individual footages of characters that were updated from season to season. The opening began with images of the Golden Gate Bridge and flashing shots of the triquetra symbol. The show's title card then appeared with the triquetra symbol and Book of Shadows in the background. After the title card faded in the seasons 1–3 opening, scenes from the pilot episode were shown, which included an overhead view of the sisters at a round table and a shot of them coming downstairs. A scene of the sisters reciting a spell was then shown with the word "starring". This was followed by individual footages and names of each cast member; Shannen Doherty's appeared first, then Holly Marie Combs' and Alyssa Milano's, followed by the individual footages and names of each supporting character. The last few scenes in the opening showed the sisters walking upstairs into their home and Doherty's character closing the door using her telekinetic powers.
Following Doherty's departure at the end of season three, the season four opening credits had to be redone to remove all footages of Doherty and to include her replacement Rose McGowan. The beginning of the opening remained the same. However, after the show's title card faded, scenes from the pilot episode were replaced with images that included the Golden Gate Bridge, a gargoyle, talisman, scrying crystal, tattoo of the triquetra symbol, and candles. The order in which each main character's individual footage and name appeared in the opening was also changed; Milano's was moved up first, McGowan's was put in second and Combs' was moved down third. The last few shots in the opening were also changed to include the Halliwell Manor and pages in the Book of Shadows. A five-second opening was used for the two-part premiere episodes of seasons four and five; it featured flashing shots of the triquetra symbol and the show's title in large blue letters.
The opening theme song used in the television airings of all eight seasons was Love Spit Love's cover version of "How Soon Is Now?" by The Smiths. In the shortened five-second opening for the two-part premiere episodes of seasons four and five, the song was replaced by instrumental music. "How Soon Is Now?" was also replaced by hard-rock instrumental music in the season eight DVD because the music license to use it had expired. This instrumental music is also used in the opening credits for all eight seasons on Netflix.
Charmed received a Metacritic score of 61 out of 100 in its first season, based on reviews by 26 critics, indicating generally favorable reviews. During the first season, Entertainment Weekly writer Ken Tucker, speaking on the comparisons between Charmed and rival series, argued: "spike-heeled where Buffy is fleet-footed, Charmed is Charlie's Angels with a Ouija board". As well as the show's action sequences—describing the Halliwells as "superheroes"—he noted that the series "plays up the stars' separate-but-equal charms" and admired both its "casting and pop-culture timing". Vanessa Thorpe of The Guardian agreed with Alyssa Milano's description of Charmed as "perfect post-feminist girl-power", praising the balance between action and emotion as the "three sibling sorceresses know mischief, but are accessibly feminine". Entertainment Weekly critic Karyn L. Barr, in her retrospective review of the first season, wrote that "this supernatural Spelling series remains spellbinding thanks to its proper balance of quirky humor [and] Buffy-esque drama", labelling it as a "crafty cult classic".
During the third season, PopMatters' Michael Abernethy credited Charmed as "more enjoyable than most shows in the good vs evil genre" largely due to the strength of the performers. He also recognized the use of humor in creating "unexpected turns in stock storylines [which are] more interesting than one might expect". The monster of the week format is frequent during the early-half of the series, however Abernethy stated that, despite this, "the writers tend to explore the sibling dynamics to keep the show from growing redundant". Christel Loar from the same publication agreed that "episodes go beyond the demon-of-the-week formula to tap into the relationships of the characters and their ... flaws. Charmed... succeeded by combining sisterhood with the supernatural". She also claimed that the Halliwells' struggle for normal lives, "stability, and a sense of self is one of the reasons Charmed strikes such a chord with its viewers". During the fourth season, Leigh H. Edwards, also of PopMatters, asserted that the show effectively "explores some big questions (free will ... who is running the universe)", whilst paying attention to domestic issues including sibling rivalry, absent parents and love troubles.
During the sixth season, Gillian Flynn of Entertainment Weekly stated that "the charm of Charmed is that it knows what it is: a guilty-pleasure fantasy", and gave credit to its mythology as well as the grounded characterisations of the sisters: "they call otherworldly beings 'dude' and get peeved over wondrous inconveniences". While reviewing the eighth and final season, Aubry D'Arminio from the same publication asserted "A FITTING FINALE? ... There's nothing like watching our witchy sisters kick evil's tail once and for all". She also described the lack of bonus features on the DVDs as "criminal considering it was TV's longest-running [all-female lead] show" at the time. In PopMatters' conclusion of the last season, Jon Langmead argued that Charmed's run had many appealing elements including "smart casting" and "an attention to relationship drama", further adding that the series "rarely got notice for, more often than not, being smarter and more entertaining than much of its competition".
Awards and nominations
Charmed has gathered several awards and nominations. The show was nominated for one TV Guide Award, two International Horror Guild Awards, three Teen Choice Awards, three Wand Awards and seven RATTY Awards, with Holly Marie Combs winning "Best Science Fiction Lead Actress" in 2003. It was also nominated for three Saturn Awards, including one "Best Network Television Series" nomination for its first season and two "Best Actress on Television" nominations for Shannen Doherty in 1999 and 2000. In 2001, Charmed won a Cable Guide Award in the United Kingdom for "Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Series". The series also won a "Certificate of Merit" at the 2003 EDGE Awards for the season four episode "Muse to My Ears".
In 2004, Alyssa Milano was nominated for a Spacey Award in Canada for "Favorite Female TV Character" and in 2005, she was nominated for "Favorite Television Actress" at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. That same year, Rose McGowan won the award for "Favorite Sister" at the Family Television Awards. Charmed also received recognition for its young guest actors, having been nominated for five Young Artist Awards, with Alex Black winning once for his role in the season four episode "Lost and Bound".
|Season||Episodes||Timeslot (ET)||Premiered||Ended||TV season||Rank||Viewers
|1||22||Wednesday 9:00 pm||October 7, 1998||7.7||May 26, 1999||5.6||1998–99||#118||5.5|
|2||22||Thursday 9:00 pm||September 30, 1999||5.1||May 18, 2000||4.5||1999–2000||#120||4.7|
|3||22||October 5, 2000||7.7||May 17, 2001||5.3||2000–01||#117||4.9|
|4||22||October 4, 2001||6.0||May 16, 2002||5.2||2001–02||#129||4.2|
|5||23||Sunday 8:00 pm||September 22, 2002||6.3||May 11, 2003||4.9||2002–03||#128||4.5|
|6||23||September 28, 2003||6.3||May 16, 2004||4.7||2003–04||#154||4.3|
|7||22||September 12, 2004||5.5||May 22, 2005||3.4||2004–05||#132||3.4|
|8||22||September 25, 2005||4.2||May 21, 2006||4.5||2005–06||#132||3.5|
In the United States, Charmed premiered on The WB on October 7, 1998 and ended on May 21, 2006. The first season aired on Wednesday nights at 9:00 pm. For its second, third and fourth seasons, Charmed moved to Thursday nights. For the fifth season, the series moved to Sunday nights at 8:00 pm and remained there until its eighth and final season. By the end of season eight, Charmed had aired a total of 178 episodes and became the longest running hour-long television series featuring all female leads. Each season consisted of 22 episodes with the exclusion of the fifth and sixth seasons which contained 23 episodes, including their double-episode premieres and double-episode finales.
Ever since Charmed ended, TNT has aired two repeat episodes every weekday morning at 7:00 am and 8:00 am. In June 2010, WE tv began airing two repeat episodes each weeknight at 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm. TNT has released full episodes of Charmed for viewing on their official website. Similarly, subscription video-on-demand service Netflix released the full series in July 2011 via their Instant Streaming Service. In 2012, Charmed was found to be the second-most watched television series on Netflix, as well as on other video-on-demand services Amazon Instant Video and Hulu Plus.
Charmed was the first primetime television show about a coven of witches. Following the January 22, 2006 broadcast of the season eight episode "Payback's a Witch", Charmed became the longest running hour-long series in American television history featuring all female leads. However, this accolade was surpassed by Desperate Housewives in 2012. In 2000, Cult TV placed Charmed at number forty-four on its list of the "Top 100 Cult TV Shows". In 2007, AOL TV ranked each Charmed One on its list of the "Top TV Witches"—Piper third, Phoebe seventh, Prue ninth and Paige twelfth. In 2010, HuffPost TV and AOL TV ranked Charmed at number ten on their joint list of "The Top 20 Magic/Supernatural Shows of All Time" and in 2013, TV Guide placed the series on its list of "The 60 Greatest Sci-Fi Shows of All Time".
After Charmed ended, there had never been another long-running show about witches to rival shows about vampires and zombies. However, the 2013 fall season saw a resurgence of witches in new shows The Originals and Witches of East End, and in the third season of American Horror Story, entitled Coven. In an interview with E! Online, cast member Alyssa Milano stated that she believes Charmed helped pave the way for these witch-themed shows, saying: "I think, really, it's due to the success of Charmed and the fact that it had so much success even after it was done, meaning that people looked for it, people searched it out and watched those episodes over and over. The Charmed fans are the greatest fans on the planet and the most loyal fans on the planet. I feel like networks are trying to replicate that." The growing trend of witches on television that year led CBS to develop a reboot of Charmed.
Witches of East End was noted by critics for its strong resemblance to Charmed, as both shows are about families of witches and have similar houses, which its executive producer Maggie Friedman has acknowledged. Other witch-themed shows that have been compared to Charmed include Hex, Eastwick and The Secret Circle. The season four episode "Spell" of Smallville also received comparisons to Charmed as it focused on a trio of witches.
Charmed in popular culture
The depiction of witchcraft in Charmed has had a significant impact on popular culture. In 2008, the religious organisation Beliefnet ranked The Charmed Ones at number eight on their list of the "Top 10 Witches in Pop Culture". Beliefnet praised the cultural image of Charmed for its female empowerment, mythology and how the sisters "managed to solve their cases" week-on-week. In 2011, Seventeen magazine named The Charmed Ones the ninth most fictional witches of all time, while E! Online ranked Piper at number six on their list of "Pop Culture's Top 10 Most Bitchin' Witches". In 2012, the Chicago Tribune placed The Charmed Ones at number seven on their list of "The Top Pop Culture Witches of All Time". In 2014, The Charmed Ones were ranked at number six on the "Pop Culture's Favorite Witches" list by MSN's Wonderwall.
Charmed has also become a pop culture reference in television shows and films. In the 2000 parody film, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the Thirteenth, Barbara Primesuspect (Julie Benz) is seen yelling at Shannen Doherty, who does not appear on-screen, and says "Charmed my ass!" The series is also mentioned in the episode "Ur-ine Trouble" of teen comedy-drama series Popular, when Josh Ford (Bryce Johnson) tells Brooke McQueen (Leslie Bibb) to go home and watch Charmed. In another episode of Popular, entitled "The Shocking Possession of Harrison John", Josh asks George Austin (Anthony Montgomery) who is Michael Bernardino's (Ron Lester) "favorite hottie witch" on Charmed and George says it is Prue. In the episode "Faith" of Third Watch, Fred Yokas (Chris Bauer) mentions to his wife Faith (Molly Price) that their daughter was upset she could not watch Charmed. In the 2002 teen comedy film Big Fat Liar, Kaylee (Amanda Bynes) recalls watching an episode of Charmed on The WB where Alyssa Milano's character Phoebe was about to put a spell on her demon boyfriend.
In a 2003 episode of the Australian soap opera Neighbours, Serena Bishop (Lara Sacher) and Erin Perry (Talia Zucker) find out they have a lot in common like their love for Charmed and discuss whether they prefer Prue or Paige. In a 2005 episode of Neighbours, Bree Timmins (Sianoa Smit-McPhee) mentions that The O.C. is the best show on television since Charmed. In the episode "Plucky" of sitcom So Notorious, Aaron Spelling tells his daughter Tori Spelling that "there's always room for another witch on Charmed", after hearing of her latest cable telemovie role. In another episode of So Notorious, entitled "Cursed", Tori and Sasan (Zachary Quinto) discuss who has put a curse on her and Sasan says, "It's Shannen [Doherty]! She knows all that witchcraft from Charmed." In the season four episode "Me and the Devil" of True Blood, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin) tells a witch named Marnie Stonebrook (Fiona Shaw) that one of her favorite television shows she watched as a child was Charmed. In the episode "Boy Parts" of American Horror Story: Coven, a witch named Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) mentions that she grew up watching Charmed.
The Charmed novels are a series of books that accompany the television series, but follow no strict continuity with the series or each other. The first novel, The Power of Three, was released in November 1999 and is a novelization of the series premiere episode "Something Wicca This Way Comes". All other novels, apart from Charmed Again which documents the events of the two-part episode of the same name, are original stories revolving around the four Charmed Ones and their allies. A total of forty-three novels were written. Ten include Prue and the original line-up of Charmed Ones, whilst the remaining thirty-three feature Piper, Phoebe and Paige. Two other novels, Seasons of the Witch and The Warren Witches, are anthologies of short stories. The final novel, Trickery Treat, was released in January 2008.
The Charmed comic books serve as a continuation of the television series and are published by Zenescope Entertainment. The first comic book series, Charmed: Season 9, was released in June 2010 and is set eighteen months after the events of the televised show's final episode, "Forever Charmed". Author Paul Ruditis was the lead writer of the first series and Raven Gregory helped him co-write the first three issues. The final issue of Charmed: Season 9, entitled The Power of 300, was released in October 2012. The second comic book series, Charmed: Season 10, will debut at the New York Comic Con during the weekend of October 9, 2014. Pat Shand is the lead writer of the second series.
Ever since Charmed ended in 2006, academics have appropriated its content and released essays and articles pointing out to the fact that Charmed is again more than meets the eye. It has been the subject of several collective books such as Investigating Charmed: The Magic Power of TV edited by Karin and Stan Beeler, which adopts a gender perspective to carry out an in-depth analysis of third-wave feminism as shown in the series. In 2012, French professor and essayist Alexis Pichard delivered a lecture about intersexuality and postmodernism in Charmed at the Université de Rouen (France).
In February 2005, it was announced that Brad Kern, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent had executive produced a one-hour pilot episode for The WB's 2005–06 season. The pilot was written by Kern about a mermaid who attempts to live on dry land in Miami. As work progressed on Charmed's fifth season double-episode premiere, "A Witch's Tail", the theme of mermaids was recognized to have potential for its own series, even though the episode was never meant to be a backdoor pilot for a television spin-off. The series plot was going to be centered on a mermaid named Nikki, who is rescued by a young man when she washes ashore in Miami. Her savior, Matt Johnson, is initially in utter disbelief of Nikki's supernatural nature, until it is proven true. The mermaids originated from a sunken city and had supernatural abilities, including superhuman strength and agility, as well as being able to see in the dark, read emotions and had a connection with other sea creatures. However, another race of creatures were hunting for Nikki.
During the casting process, Kern "looked in London and New York and New Zealand, Hollywood, Florida, Melbourne and Sydney" and, after interviewing around 300 people, discovered "a fresh new face" in Australian actress Nathalie Kelley, who played the lead role of Nikki. Geoff Stults was then cast as Matt and Brandon Quinn was cast as Matt's "goofy best friend". Additionally cast in main roles were Roger Daltrey, Ana Ortiz and Beatrice Rosen. The pilot was not picked up by The WB. Speaking on the failure of the series to be picked up, Kern revealed that CBS and Paramount Television "decided at the last second to cut the budget in half", which resulted in the number of shooting days to be reduced, thus decreasing the quality of the pilot in being able to "'sell' the concept". Quinn later went on to play Homeland Security Agent Murphy in Charmed's eighth season. Rosen also starred in Charmed's eighth season as Maya Holmes, an innocent whose image Piper inadvertently uses as her false identity Jenny Bennett.
On October 25, 2013, it was announced that a reboot of Charmed was in development at CBS (who own all of Spelling Television's properties). Party of Five co-creator Christopher Keyser and Sydney Sidner were reportedly writing the script for CBS Television Studios and The Tannenbaum Company, who were going to executive produce the reboot alongside Keyser and Sidner. The reboot was described as a "re-imagining of the original series centered around four sisters who discover their destiny – to battle against the forces of evil using their witchcraft." CBS only ordered a script for a pilot, however; no commitment to filming was made.
Following the announcement, the original cast of Charmed shared their opinions of the reboot through Twitter. Rose McGowan tweeted, "They really are running out of ideas in Hollywood," followed up by another tweet, "lame lame lame lamertons." Alyssa Milano tweeted, "The thing about them doing a #charmed reboot is ... it just ... it feels like yesterday. It feels too close." Holly Marie Combs tweeted, "Here's the thing. Everything is a reboot. If you think otherwise you haven't read enough Shakespeare yet. At least they had the decency to call it what it is. Instead of ripping it off and then pretending to not be ripping it off." She then tweeted that fans should "reserve judgement" on the reboot, "Watch it. Or don't. Then if you don't have anything nice to say ... Come sit by me. ;)." Shannen Doherty tweeted to a fan, "I don't know yet. It's strange to think about a reboot. I guess I'm still processing the idea." However, on August 12, 2014, TVLine's Michael Ausiello revealed that CBS were not going ahead with the reboot.
Several official board games of Charmed have been published by Clash of Arms and Tilsit. The show's first board game, Charmed: The Book of Shadows, was released in 2001 and the second board game, Charmed: The Source, was released in 2003. Other board games include Charmed: The Power of Three and Charmed: The Prophecy, both of which were released in 2005. An action, platform video game of Charmed was developed by DC Studios and published by In-Fusio. The game was released for mobile phones in Europe in 2003 and North America in 2004.
Four soundtrack albums of Charmed have been released and feature music that were used in the show. The first soundtrack album, Charmed: The Soundtrack, was released in September 2003. The second soundtrack, Charmed: The Book of Shadows, was released in January 2005 and the third, Charmed: The Final Chapter, was released in May 2006. The fourth soundtrack, Charmed: Score from the Television Series, was released as a limited edition in June 2013 and featured a selection of cues from the show by composer J. Peter Robinson. In 2004, Titan Magazines began publishing the Charmed Magazine, which was issued bi-monthly and featured interviews with the cast and crew, the latest news and developments, and behind-the-scenes information on the show. The 24th and final issue of Charmed Magazine was released in 2008.
All eight seasons of Charmed were released individually on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4 between February 2005 and September 2007. A new packaging of the Region 4 DVDs for all seasons were released in April 2011. A limited Book of Shadows box set edition was released in Region 4 on November 16, 2006 and featured seasons 1–7. A limited Magic Chest box set edition was released in Region 2 on March 5, 2007 and included all eight seasons. An ultimate box set was released in Region 2 on October 27, 2008 and Region 4 on November 6, 2008. The set includes all seasons, with a cover that features all four Halliwell sisters together. Two complete series box sets were released in Region 1 on November 18, 2008. Both sets are styled after the show's Book of Shadows, with one set being a regular release and the other being a limited deluxe edition. The complete series box set will be re-released in the United States on November 11, 2014 and will feature a brand new cover of all four sisters.
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- Loftus, Johnny. "Charmed". AllMusic. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed – Book of Shadows (Music From and Inspired By the TV Series) by Various Artists". iTunes Store (Australia). Retrieved September 11, 2014.
- "Charmed: The Final Chapter – Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed: Limited Edition (2 CD Set)". La-La Land Records. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed Magazine (2004)". Mycomicshop.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed Magazine First Issue (Charmed TV Series, Issue 1)". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed Magazine #24". AtomicEmpire.com. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
- "Charmed: Season 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed: The Final Season". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- List of Region 4 DVD releases:
- Season 1: "Charmed – The 1st Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
- Season 2: "Charmed – The 2nd Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 3: "Charmed – The 3rd Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 4: "Charmed – The 4th Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 5: "Charmed – The 5th Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 6: "Charmed – The 6th Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 7: "Charmed – The 7th Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- Season 8: "Charmed – The 8th Season (6 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
- "Charmed – Book Of Shadows DVD Collection: Seasons 1–7 (42 Disc Book) (DVD)". Ezydvd.com.au. Archived from the original on September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed: Seasons 1–8 Magic Chest Box Set (48 Discs)". Play.com. Archived from the original on September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed Complete Collection – The Ultimate Box Set Series 1–8 DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed – Seasons 1–8: The Ultimate Box Set (49 Disc Box Set) (DVD)". Ezydvd.com.au. Archived from the original on September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed: The Complete Series". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed: The Complete Series (Limited Deluxe Edition)". Amazon.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
- "Charmed DVD news: Re-release for Charmed". TVshowsondvd.com. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
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