Salem (TV series)
|Created by||Brannon Braga
|Theme music composer||Marilyn Manson
|Opening theme||"Cupid Carries a Gun" by Marilyn Manson|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Brannon Braga
David Von Ancken
Josh S. Barry
Jon Harmon Feldman
Brian Wayne Peterson
Josh S. Barry
David Von Ancken
Carole Kravitz Aykanian
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Beetlecod Productions
Prospect Park (2014–15)
The Firm (2016–17)
Fox 21 (2014)
Fox 21 Television Studios (2015–17)
|Original network||WGN America|
|Original release||April 20, 2014– January 25, 2017|
Salem is an American supernatural horror television series created by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, inspired by the real Salem witch trials in the 17th century. The series stars Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley, a powerful witch who controls the Salem witch trials by exemplifying hysteria among the Puritans while executing her plan of summoning the Devil. Problems arise when her long lost love, John Alden (played by Shane West), returns to Salem, complicating Mary's plans. The show has prominent elements of Gothic romance.
The series premiered on WGN America on April 20, 2014, becoming the network's first original scripted series. As the network's first and highest-rated series, it was renewed for a second season on May 15, 2014. A third season was commissioned on July 11, 2015 and premiered on November 2, 2016. On December 13, 2016, it was announced that WGN had cancelled the show after three seasons, with the final episode airing on January 25, 2017.
The series first appeared as part of WGN America's development slate in July 2012, under the title Malice. On June 4, 2013, WGN America bypassed the pilot stage and placed a series order for 13 episodes, under the new title Salem. On November 8, 2013, filming of the series began in Shreveport, Louisiana, on an expansive set reflecting 17th-century Massachusetts.
Casting announcements began in October 2013, with Ashley Madekwe first cast in the role of Tituba. Seth Gabel was the next actor cast, in the regular role of Cotton Mather. Janet Montgomery and Xander Berkeley were cast in the lead role of Mary Sibley and the role of Magistrate Hale, respectively. Shane West later signed onto the series regular role of John Alden. Also cast was Tamzin Merchant as Anne Hale. Elise Eberle was later cast in the series regular role of Mercy Lewis. On the June 1, 2014 episode, Stephen Lang joined the cast in the recurring role of Increase Mather.
After the first season, Lucy Lawless and Stuart Townsend joined Salem recurring roles of Countess Marburg and Samuel Wainwright, respectively. Joe Doyle and Oliver Bell have also joined the second season in regular roles of Baron Sebastian Marburg and Mary's lost son, respectively.
Cast and characters
|Janet Montgomery||Mary Sibley||Main|
|Shane West||Captain John Alden||Main|
|Seth Gabel||Cotton Mather||Main|
|Tamzin Merchant||Anne Hale||Main|
|Elise Eberle||Mercy Lewis||Main|
|Iddo Goldberg||Isaac Walton||Main|
|Xander Berkeley||Magistrate Hale||Main||Guest|
|Oliver Bell||John / The Devil||Guest||Main|
|Joe Doyle||Baron Sebastian von Marburg||Main|
|Michael Mulheren||George Sibley||Recurring|
|Azure Parsons||Gloriana Embry||Recurring||Recurring|
|Sammi Hanratty||Dollie Trask||Recurring|
|Stephen Lang||Increase Mather||Recurring||Guest|
|Lucy Lawless||Countess Ingrid Palatine von Marburg||Recurring|
|Stuart Townsend||Dr. Samuel Wainwright||Recurring|
|Marilyn Manson||Thomas Dinley||Recurring|
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||April 20, 2014||July 13, 2014|
|2||13||April 5, 2015||June 28, 2015|
|3||10||November 2, 2016||January 25, 2017|
The first season was released on DVD in the United States on October 28, 2014 by Fox Home Entertainment.
The second season was released on DVD on April 5, 2016, and is manufactured by Amazon's CreateSpace MOD Program.
Critical reaction to Salem has been mixed to positive, scoring 49 out of 100, based on 16 critic reviews, on Metacritic. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season scored 54%, with an average rating of 5.5 out of 10 based on 26 critic reviews, although 81% of audiences enjoyed the show. Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times, upon reviewing the first season, said the show is "brash and well executed... perversely entertaining". He went on to say that "when 'Salem' isn’t being deliberately outrageous, it's cultivating a dynamic that could be fruitful as things move along. Here in the 21st century, science and reason rule, but in a world of sorcery, clinging to rationality just makes you stupid." Mark Dawidziak of Plain Dealer gave the first few episodes a positive review, saying "Slowly drawing you into its heightened version of that Puritan community, 'Salem' casts its spell with an opening episode that is a witch's brew of romance, fear, deceit, revenge, hysteria, evil and uncertainty."
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiered||Ended||Average viewers
|Season 1||Sundays 10/9c||13||April 20, 2014||1.52||July 13, 2014||0.43||1.7|
|Season 2||13||April 5, 2015||0.51||June 28, 2015||0.34||1.1|
|Season 3||Wednesdays 9/8c||10||November 2, 2016||0.27||January 18, 2017||TBA||TBA|
The series premiere rose to 3.4 million viewers in Live+7 ratings, and had more than 1.5 million viewers in adults 18–49.
Awards and nominations
|2015||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Favorite Actress on Television||Janet Montgomery||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Syndicated/Cable Television Series||Salem||Nominated|
|2016||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best TV Actress||Janet Montgomery||Nominated|
|Best TV Make-Up/Creature FX||Matthew Mungle, Clinton Wayne||Nominated|
|Best TV Series||Salem||Nominated|
|Best TV Supporting Actor||Seth Gabel||Nominated|
|Best TV Supporting Actress||Lucy Lawless||Nominated|
|2017||Fangoria Chainsaw Awards||Best TV SFX||Matthew Mungle, Clinton Wayne||Pending|
|Best TV Supporting Actor||Seth Gabel||Pending|
|Best TV Supporting Actress||Tamzin Merchant||Pending|
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- "'Salem' Season 3 Spoilers: New Witches, Cotton Is Not The New George Sibley, John Alden Changed — Will Mary Kill Her Son? Plus, The Tunnels Are Important".
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- "Sunday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: "Game of Thrones" Tops Easter Demoss". The Futon Critic. April 22, 2014.
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