Salem (TV series)
|Created by||Brannon Braga|
|Theme music composer||Marilyn Manson|
|Opening theme||"Cupid Carries a Gun"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producers||Brannon Braga|
David Von Ancken
Josh S. Barry
Jon Harmon Feldman
Brian Wayne Peterson
Josh S. Barry
David Von Ancken
|Production locations||Shreveport, Louisiana|
Carole Kravitz Aykanian
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Production companies||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
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 stars Janet Montgomery as Mary Sibley, a powerful witch who controls the Salem witch trials by exacerbating 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.
Cast and characters
|Janet Montgomery||Mary Walcott/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 (Samael)||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 Palatine Ingrid Von Marburg||Recurring|
|Stuart Townsend||Dr. Samuel Wainwright||Recurring|
|Samuel Roukin||The Sentinel / Beelzebub||Recurring|
|Marilyn Manson||Thomas Dinley||Recurring|
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. On May 15, 2014, Salem was renewed for a 13-episode second season by WGN America. On July 11, 2015, Salem was renewed for a 10-episode third season by WGN America. It began production on January 21, 2016. In December 2016, a month after the third season premiere, it was announced that the series had been cancelled. Its series finale aired on January 25, 2017.
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.
For the second season, Lucy Lawless and Stuart Townsend joined Salem in the recurring roles of Countess Marburg and Samuel Wainwright, respectively. Joe Doyle and Oliver Bell also joined the second season in regular roles of Baron Sebastian Marburg and Mary's lost son, respectively. During the third season, singer Marilyn Manson joined the cast in a recurring role as barber and all-around problem solver Thomas Dinley.
The majority of Salem's score was composed by Tyler Bates. Bates selected "Cupid Carries a Gun", a song he co-wrote with Marilyn Manson and recorded by the band for their album The Pale Emperor, as the show's title track.
|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||0.23||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. The season two premiere rose 150% in adults 18–49 in Live+7 ratings, from 0.2 to 0.5, while it rose to 1.5 million viewers in Live+3. The second episode rose 300% from 0.1 to 0.4.
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||Nominated|
|Best TV Supporting Actor||Seth Gabel||Nominated|
|Best TV Supporting Actress||Tamzin Merchant||Nominated|
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- Bacardi, Francesca (December 19, 2013). "Watch WGN America's 'Salem' Teaser". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
- Eggersten, Chris (May 5, 2014). "Supernatural series is the network's first original scripted drama". HitFix. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
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- "'Salem' Season 3 Premiere Date Revealed — Release Date". Release Date. August 11, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2016.
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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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- Goldberg, Lesley (July 11, 2015). "Comic-Con: 'Salem' Renewed for Third Season". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
- West, Shane (January 21, 2016). "Shane West on Twitter: "First day of work. Season 3."". Twitter. Retrieved January 23, 2016.
- "'Salem' Cancelled: WGN America Show to End After Season 3". Variety. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
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- Genzlinger, Neil (April 27, 2014). "Once Again, Fires Burn and Cauldrons Bubble: 'Salem,' About You-Know-What, on WGN America". New York Times. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
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- "Impressive Gains for WGN America's 'Salem' Season Two in Live + 3 Viewing". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved January 17, 2016.
- "'Better Call Saul' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains, 'Salem' Tops Percentage Increases in Live +7 Cable Ratings for Week 29 Ending April 12". TV By the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 29, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2015.
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