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Charmed is an American television series that originally aired from October 7, 1998, until May 21, 2006, on The WB Television Network. The series was created in 1998 by writer Constance M. Burge and was produced by Aaron Spelling and his Spelling Television company, with the show runner being writer-director Brad Kern.The series narrative follows the four Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper, Phoebe and, later, Paige, the culmination of the long Warren line of powerful, good witches. The sisters, despite being perceived as normal by the non-supernatural community, are known as The Charmed Ones in the magical community, whose prophesied destiny is to battle against evil beings, such as demons and warlocks, in order to protect innocent lives from being endangered. Each sister possesses unique magical powers that grow and evolve, while they attempt to hold normal working lives in San Franciscomarker. Keeping their paranormal identities separate and secret from their ordinary lives forms part of the series' tension and challenges, with the exposure of magic having far-reaching consequences on relationships, and having resulted in a number of police and FBImarker investigations throughout the series.

The first episode, "Something Wicca This Way Comes", garnered 7.70 million viewers, breaking the record for the highest rated debut for the Warner Brothers Network. In January 2006, producer Brad Kern declared that Charmed was the longest running hour-long series featuring all female leads (Murder She Wrote having only a singular lead, and The Facts of Life being a 30 minute sitcom). The series finale, "Forever Charmed", ended with a season high of 4.49 million viewers.

Production

Development

In 1998, the Warner Brothers Television Network began searching for a drama series, and looked to Spelling Television, which had produced the network's most successful series 7th Heaven, to create it. Expanding on the popularity of supernatural themed dramas, the production company explored forms of mythology to find mythological characters they could realize with contemporary storytelling.In order to create the series, Burge was hired as the creator as she was under contract with Spelling Television after conceiving the drama 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, Massachusettsmarker 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 Franciscomarker) descended from a line of witches, it was pitched to the Warner Brothers's Susanne Daniels, who liked it, allowing the series to begin development.

Shannen Doherty, having worked with Spelling on Beverly Hills 90210, auditioned for the role of Piper Halliwell but won the role of Prue Halliwell. After the third season, Doherty left the series. As of September 14, 2009 it is still unclear whether she left the series because of differences with Alyssa Milano or was fired.

Doherty's best friend, Holly Marie Combs, known as Kimberly Brock from the series Picket Fences, became interested in the script and won the role of middle sister Piper Halliwell, although she auditioned for the role of Prue Halliwell.

The series was titled Charmed after Spelling's suggestion of House of Sisters was dropped, and the three lead roles were cast to Doherty, Combs, and Lori Rom. 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. The majority of the pilot had to be re-filmed after Rom quit and Alyssa Milano took her role.

Upon its debut, Charmed received the largest audience for a series premiere in the network’s history. The first season of twenty-two episodes was picked up by Warner Brothers after two shows aired.

Executive producers

The two executive producers from Spelling Television were its creator Spelling, and Vincent, who maintained their roles until the series ended. 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, 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. 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. 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.

However, as 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. Burge 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 is 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, Warner Brothers 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.

Logo and symbols

During the show's run, the Warner Brothers Television Network used two official logos to represent the series. The first was used during the first and second seasons and featured the name Charmed underlined and with a triple-aspect symbol above it. The second logo was introduced at the start of the third season and remained until the series ended. It was written in a different font and is still underlined and sometimes featured a triquetra above the name. This logo was designed by Margo Chase. Although the second logo replaced the first in all promotional material by the Warner Brothers, such as posters and television adverts, the first remained to be used on official merchandise after the third season, including on the covers of the novel series, the DVDs and the official Charmed magazine.

Music

Charmed shares the theme song "How Soon Is Now?" with the 1996 Columbia Pictures feature film, The Craft, appearing under the opening credits in a cover by Psychedelic Furs frontman Richard Butler's hiatus band, Love Spit Love. The song was originally popularized by The Smiths. In stripped (daily) reruns on US cable tier TNT, the same music appears in a 5-second abbreviated 'tag' form to accommodate additional advertising; no music appears under closing credits as they are 'stacked' under an ad or over the succeeding show's opening tag.

The song appeared on the soundtrack album TV Themes: Popular Favorites, released by the St. Clair record label on September 6, 2005, as well as its follow-up TV Themes: Sex and the City and Other Favorites, on August 30, 2005. It also appeared on Your Favorite Television Themes, released by Artemis Strategic on June 7, 2005. The song always appeared on the compilations in its full-length version of 4 minutes and 20 seconds.

The song's license expired before the Season 8 DVDs went into production. After efforts to get it back for the Region 1 release failed, it was replaced by a generic hard-rock instrumental theme.

Plot synopsis

Overall

Charmed is the story of the three Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper and Phoebe, discovering that they are the world's most powerful good witches, The Charmed Ones; each gifted with innate magical powers they must collectively use to defend the "innocents" of San Francisco from demons, warlocks and other evil beings. Prue has the power of telekinesis and astral projection, Piper the power to freeze time and blow things up and Phoebe the power to see the future and the past,levitation and empathy. During their fight against the forces of evil, the Source of all Evil's assassin, Shax, kills eldest sister Prue, breaking the united Power of Three. However, the Charmed triple-destiny is restored with the introduction of a long-lost fourth half-sister, Paige Matthews, who is half-witch and half-whitelighter Paige is a telekinetic like Prue, but due to her whitelighter ancestry has the ability to call for objects to move where she wants them. During Seasons One to Four, the sisters' combined destiny was to vanquish the Source of All Evil, the ruler of the Underworld, and his demonic minions. Upon fulfilling their primary destiny, the Charmed Ones engaged in the Ultimate Battle; and ushered in the next generation of good witches. The Charmed Ones were also the guardians of the Nexus and in order to vanquish the demon Zankou they had to destroy the Nexus where Zankou had taken refuge. On top of their supernatural lives, the four sisters must also contend with serious issues in the real world (such as relationships, careers, marriage, childbirth, illness and death), as well as preventing the exposure of magic, the subject of several police investigations throughout the series.

The Power of Three

The story of Charmed begins with the three Halliwell sisters coming together six months after the death of their grandmother, Penny Halliwell, because the disrespected and picked upon youngest, Phoebe, is moving back (unannounced) into the family Manor in San Francisco. When the lights suddenly go out during an evening storm, the two elder sisters head for the fuse box, but the youngest sister, stimulated by the family spirit board, goes to the attic instead and discovers an ancient book bathed in an ethereal light — the Book of Shadows. Reading an incantation from it to herself out loud in the dim light, she unwittingly sets in motion events that fulfill an ancient prophecy. Strange and harrowing occurrences begin which eventually lead the sisters to realize that they are witches.

The Charmed Ones

discover that they not only possess supernatural powers, but also come from a long line of powerful witches. The first in the line, Melinda Warren, possessed the power to freeze moving objects, move objects with her mind and see the future. Melinda was burned at the stake in the Salem Witch Trials. However, before she died, Melinda prophesied that each coming generation of Warren (later Halliwell) witches would grow stronger and stronger, culminating in the arrival of three sisters who would be the most powerful good witches ever to walk the Earth. These three sisters would form The Power of Three, the most powerful magical force ever. When Phoebe reads out aloud the incantation from the Book of Shadows, she causes the prophecy to be fulfilled, and each sister's abilities are activated - Prue could move things with her mind through telekinesis, Piper could freeze objects and people, and Phoebe was granted the power of premonition. Later, when Prue died, Piper and Phoebe discovered their half-sister, Paige, who once again reconstituted the Power of Three.

A central theme throughout the show's run is the sisters' struggle to balance their normal lives with their supernatural responsibilities. The burden of keeping their destinies a secret from the outside world repeatedly creates tensions in their friendships, workplaces, and romantic relationships. Only a few know their secret and help them on a regular basis. The most important is Leo Wyatt, a Whitelighter assigned by the Elders to guide and protect the sisters. Leo means a great deal to the sisters both professionally and personally: he heals their wounds, advises them collectively and individually, and mediates between them and the enigmatic Elders. He also becomes the love of Piper's life, despite a long-standing rule against witches and whitelighters falling in love. However, Piper and Leo ultimately persuade the Elders to let them marry, and they eventually have three children, Wyatt, Chris and Melinda.

Others who keep the Charmed Ones' secret over the years include police inspectors Andy Trudeau and Darryl Morris, tormented half-demon Cole Turner, the mysterious time-traveler Chris Perry, apprentice witch Billie Jenkins, Paige's husband Henry Mitchell, a Cupid (Coop) assigned to Phoebe, who eventually married him, and the many other creatures in the magical community.

Characters

Main protagonists

Born October 28, 1970, Prue is the eldest sister. Born with telekinesis, she later manifests the astral projection ability. Prue handles her power of telekinesis so well that she is often referred to as a super-witch. Strong-willed, feisty and intelligent, she often takes charge of situations and has always been overprotective of her two sisters, Piper and Phoebe. Having spent her childhood taking care of her two younger sisters after the death of their mother, she feels responsible for them and shows a fierce determination at whatever she does, including fighting demons. This sense of responsibility occasionally leads to clashes with the more free-willed Phoebe, but the two grow closer as the series progresses. Though at times Prue lets pride dictate how she handles things, she never lets her personal life interfere with her work life. On May 17, 2001, three years into the craft, she is killed by Shax, a powerful demonic assassin sent by the Source of All Evil. While in the episode "Death Takes a Halliwell" the Angel of Death foreshadows Prue's death, the season-three finale, "All Hell Breaks Loose", remains as a cliffhanger. Prue's death is not established until the premiere episode of the fourth season, "Charmed Again". Prue was reunited with Andy Trudeau when she died, Andy was her lover who has killed by Rodriguez (a demon). Doherty never appears as Prue again. In the fifth season episode "Cat House", during the "flashbacks" that the girls visit, only her back is shown. Even in the afterlife Prue still helps her sisters; it has been suggested that she sometimes turns the pages of the Book of Shadows, and in the season-seven finale Prue lends her astral projection power to the sisters. This is indicated when Piper says, "Thank you, Prue," after the spell's effect is over. Also, in the later seasons Prue's telekinetic 'jingle' can be heard whenever the front door of the manor closes by itself the same way it was heard when Prue herself would close the door with a wave of her finger in the first- and second-season finales.


Born August 7, 1973, Piper is the middle child. Upon Prue's death, she assumes the role as the eldest. Her powers include the ability to freeze objects, and blow up objects at will (molecular combustion). She is concerned with having a normal life, and always has reservations about her life as a Charmed One. When she becomes a Charmed One, she is quiet and reserved, often having to mediate between Prue and Phoebe. As the show progresses, she gains a stronger persona and takes more authority after Prue dies. She eventually becomes the mother of two sons Wyatt and Chris, with her husband Leo Wyatt, and goes to great lengths to protect her children, as Wyatt is believed to be the chosen child and many demons, warlocks and witches are after him. In the series finale, the final montage shows her with a granddaughter. Her love of food steers her to a culinary career, which leads her to open her own club, and as revealed in the last episode, her own restaurant. She is the best potion-maker among the Charmed Ones, an outgrowth of her abilities as a cook. Throughout the series (4-8) Piper is the most powerful witch of all. Holly Marie Combs, portraying Piper, is the only cast member who appears in every episode of Charmed, including the original unaired pilot.


Phoebe, born November 2, 1975 is the baby of the family and is a spontaneous, free-spirited young woman. She was born as a witch with the power of premonition, which enabled her to see into the past as well as the future. This later allows her to project herself into the future and the past. She later gains the powers of levitation, which she often combines with her martial arts skills, and the power of empathy but later loses them due to misusing them for personal gain, only to get back the power of premonition later on. She is a romantic, and later becomes a successful columnist and author. Early on, she often had a turbulent relationship with her older sister, Prue; later she mediates between Piper and Paige. Her longest relationships are with Cole Turner for over 2 years and had a son with him but The Seer steals him (to her own demise), and with Coop. In 2006, the Angel of Destiny marries Halliwell and Coop, as seen in the series finale, and they eventually have three daughters. She continues to work at the Bay Mirror and writes a book on finding love. When the property was green lighted to go to series, actress Rom was unavailable. Producer Aaron Spelling called Milano, fresh off her short-term guest appearance on Melrose Place to fill the role. Major portions of the first episode were re-shot, some scenes rewritten and new scenes added to create a full one-hour debut episode titled "Something Wicca This Way Comes". Phoebe has been told by some demons (like the Source) that she was the weakest Charmed One because of her powers being the weakest out of the four. She is also the best at writing and casting spells. Alyssa Milano is one of two main cast members (along with Holly Marie Combs) to have appeared in all the episodes, with the exception of the unaired pilot.


Born on August 2, 1977. After a secret love affair with her Whitelighter Samuel Wilder, the Charmed Ones' mother, Patty Halliwell, gave birth to a fourth daughter. In fear of their daughter's safety and the other sisters' legacy, Paige was orbed to a church and entrusted to the arms of a nun named Sister Agnes, who was told she'd be in great danger otherwise. Sister Agnes later in "Charmed Again " described Paige— to the troubled Paige further investigating her origin while being manipulated by the Source of All Evil— as having come from angels because she had witnessed the parents appear in an orb of lights. As a baby, she was adopted by the Matthews family, and grew up as an only child unaware of her magical roots. While in school, Paige often got into trouble. Her parents died in a car accident, Paige was in the car. However, she orbed out, saving herself but not her parents. Paige found out that she orbed in the Season 4 episode "A Paige from the Past". Her personality is bold and vibrant, adding a new dynamic to the show from Season 4 onwards. Paige is a telekinetic, just like her elder sister Prue. However, Paige's telekinesis works differently than Prue's because of her whitelighter roots. Firstly, Matthews cannot sometimes simply wave her hand at an object and expect it to move; she must "call" for the object, although in some episodes she has waved her hand and the object has moved. Secondly, the object simply does not move alone. Whenever Paige "calls" for an object to move, it is surrounded by orbs and moves where she wants it. Paige can also use this power to orb objects to other locations. She comes into the craft quickly, aiding in the vanquish of The Source of All Evil. In Season 8, she gains the ability to heal those she loves, starting with Henry, She later finds out that its not a long lasting power. She is driven to become a "full-time witch", and has a hard time finding a career. After the death of Gideon, Paige begs the Elders to keep the Magic School open. They agree only if Paige becomes the headmistress and runs the school to guarantee the students' safety. Eventually, she resigns; handing the role onto her brother-in-law Leo Wyatt. Paige marries mortal parole officer Henry Mitchell and they have twin daughters and a son, Henry Jr. She also possesses for a little while the power of orbing and glamouring (changing appearance).

Supporting

Leo Wyatt is the sisters' Whitelighter in the beginning, and soon becomes romantically involved with Piper but due to the fact that he is a Whitelighter and Piper a witch their relationship is rocky. Leo's magical promotions provide the show's portrayal of a supernatural ladder of success and struggle between career and family. His relationship with Piper is the first of many conflicts between the Halliwells and the Elders. In the later series Leo becomes an Avatar until he is made human again.
Trudeau is the sisters' childhood friend and Prue's love interest for years. In the episode "that 70s episode" a young Piper uses her powers to freeze a young Trudeau. He serves as the sisters' initial connection to the police force once he learns of the girls' activities, as well as the first conflict between the girls' secret and normal lives. The demon Rodriguez kills Trudeau while he is trying to protect the girls in the finale of season one. Two years later, in the finale of season 3, Prue is killed by the demon Shax, and is assumingly reunited with Andy. In the unaired pilot, this character was portrayed by actor Chris Boyd.
Morris, who is Trudeau's partner, takes over the role as the Halliwells' police connection after Trudeau's tragic death. He continues to cover up for the sisters once he learns their secret, even after the events which lead to him almost being executed through a lethal injection, if reluctantly, until his wife later forces him to move to the east coast. After almost being executed, he expresses his desired uninvolvement with the sisters angrily and refuses to talk to them, answer calls or help them get police files. However, he finds out the Charmed Ones were willing to give up their powers to save him and realizing how much good the sisters do for the community, Morris forgives them and he still considers them family.
Turner is Phoebe's first husband; he is a half-demon, creating situations over which the sisters clash. He is originally a powerful villain, later taking other forms and roles throughout his character's history including the Source of all evil. After his final vanquish at the hands of the sisters, he continues to watch over Phoebe, silently and unseen.
Dan moves into the house next door with his niece, Jenny, and instantly falls in love with Piper. They temporarily date, but Dan cannot take the place of Piper's first love, Leo. He later moves away, at the end of season two.
Jenny is Dan's niece. Jenny disappeared at the episode 9, Ms. Hellfire, where Dan said that Jenny returned to her parents.
Piper and Leo's unborn son, Chris Halliwell, commonly known as Chris Perry for the year and a half of his time with the sisters, came from the future to help defeat the Titans and save young Wyatt from turning evil. His adult form dies at the hands of Gideon just before he is born. He later reappears twice, once in Someone to Witch Over Me and again in the series finale. Phoebe finds out Chris is actually Leo and Piper's younger son in The Legend of Sleepy Halliwell.
Billie is Paige's charge. While at first over-confident in her abilities, she eventually becomes a student of the sisters, helping them to maintain their normal lives. After being swayed by her sister Christy to betray the Halliwells, Billie eventually sides with them in the series finale and is forced to kill her sister in self-defense. Billie also become the charmed ones babysitter and took care of the charmed ones kids while they worked.
Barbas, the demon of fear, is a reoccurring character in Charmed. Even when he has been killed and killed again, he finds ways to keeping coming back. In season six Barbas goes against the Charmed Ones in a trial before the tribunal, trying to take away the sisters powers in order to keep the exposure of magic down to a minimum. In the end Phoebe is stripped of her active powers.


Recurring



Notes

 Actor Anthony Denison originally played the Halliwells' father in the first season episode "Thank You for Not Morphing" in which he was named Victor Halliwell. This was later retconned by the end of the first season when, in "That 70's Episode", it is stated that Halliwell is Patricia's maiden name. Victor's surname was changed to Jones in the second season episode "Pardon My Past" (where it is listed in a family tree) and then finally to Bennett, in season three, when James Read assumed the role.


 Rebecca Balding had a guest role in the first season episode "The Fourth Sister" in which she played a woman named Jackie. The actress later returned in the fourth season as a new character, Elise Rothman, Phoebe's boss at The Bay Mirror.


 The Simmons twins were only officially credited in one season seven episode, "Imaginary Fiends", and from the eighth season episode "12 Angry Zen" onwards.


Guest artists

Many popular artists have guest-starred on the show, the majority playing at Piper'snightclub, "P3", which was introduced in the second season.







Guest stars

Many famous or soon-to-be-famous actors have had guest spots on episodes of Charmed.

These include Agim Kaba, Amy Adams, Tobin Bell, Zachary Quinto, Ashley Tisdale, David Carradine, Billy Zane, Oded Fehr, Michael Weatherly, Bethany Joy Galeotti, Dax Griffin, Kathryn Joosten, Cheryl Ladd, Bruce Campbell, Eric Dane, Charisma Carpenter, Kerr Smith, Robert Englund, Scout Taylor-Compton, Coolio, Melissa George, Marisol Nichols, John Cho, Nick Lachey, Jenny McCarthy, Antonio Sabato Jr., Ron Perlman, Misha Collins, Rachelle Lefevre, Greg Estle

Episodes

The series began its first season on October 7, 1998 and aired for eight years until its finale on May 21, 2006. During its eight seasons, 178 episodes were aired, making Charmed the longest running hour-long television series with all female leads. The series ended when its American network was shut down to merge into a new network station. Each season consists of 22 episodes with the exclusion of the fifth and sixth seasons which contain 23 episodes including their double-episode premiers and double-episode finales.

Specific Charmed episodes are detailed in the following by-season articles:









Reception

Critical reception

Critical reception of Charmed has been generally favorable.The Entertainment Weekly critic Karyn L. Barr, in her retrospective review of the first season, argued that "for seven seasons, the Halliwell sisters have charmed the pants off audiences with their wonderful Wiccan ways", labelling it as a "crafty cult classic":

During the first season, EW 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 notes that the series "plays up the stars' separate-but-equal charms" and admires both its "casting and pop-culture timing". The Guardian agrees 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". EW critic Gillian Flynn states 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".

During the third season, PopMatters' Michael Abernethy credited it as "more enjoyable than most shows in the good vs evil genre, in large part because of the strength of the performers". He also recognised the use of humour 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 states that, despite this, "the writers tend to explore the sibling dynamics to keep the show from growing redundant". Christel Loar, also of PopMatters, agrees 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 claims 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". Leigh H. Edwards, during the fourth season, asserts 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".

Reviewing the final season, EW's Aubry D'Arminio 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". In PopMatter's conclusion of the last season, Jon Langmead argued that the series' run had many appealing elements including "smart casting", and "an attention to relationship drama that was smarter and more nuanced than it ever received credit for":

U.S. ratings

Charmed proved to be a success early on, the shows' premiere episode "Something Wicca This Way Comes" pulled in more than 7.7 million viewers; and the show was ranked the #1 rated show on The WB network (tied with Dawson's Creekmarker and Buffy the Vampire Slayer) with an average of 5.5 million viewers per episode. The show also was extremely successful during its second season with an average of 4.8 million per episode and again tying with Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the #2 slot; during the shows 3rd season again placed 3rd with an average of 4.9 million per episode.

Season Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Viewer Rank (#) Network Rank (#) Viewers (in millions)
1st October 7, 1998 May 26, 1999 1998-1999 118 2 5.5
2nd September 30, 1999 May 18, 2000 1999-2000 120 2 4.8
3rd October 5, 2000 May 17, 2001 2000-2001 117 2 4.9
4th October 4, 2001 May 16, 2002 2001-2002 129 6 4.2
5th September 22, 2002 May 11, 2003 2002-2003 128 4 4.5
6th September 28, 2003 May 16, 2004 2003-2004 154 5 4.3
7th September 12, 2004 May 22, 2005 2004-2005 132 7 3.5
8th September 25, 2005 May 21, 2006 2005-2006 132 7 3.5
1st-8th (average) October 7, 1998 May 21, 2006 1998-2006 128 4 4.4


Distribution

Initial broadcast

The series was originally shown on the WB television network in the United Statesmarker and on CTV in Canadamarker, with independent station SunTVmarker (originally Toronto 1) picking up the show's 8th season after CTV decided against continuing its broadcast.

Currently, the show is licensed to a number of networks in North America, with the major carriers being TNT and for a while on Canada's Showcase Diva. TNT use to air four different episodes each weekday at 8:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 10:00 a.m. EST. TNT now only airs charmed in Morning slots, as of July 1, 2009, and the afternoon slots have been filled by Cold Case, and Law and Order respectively. Charmed is also shown in Canada on Cosmopolitan TV, every day, different times each day.

Timeslot changes
The show witnessed multiple changes in its timeslot. From its initial Wednesday night, Charmed moved to Thursday nights in Season Two, and starting with Season Five it moved again, this time to Sunday nights, to anchor "The WB's Big Sunday" event. The change in broadcast day played a central role in the show's change of ratings, as from the moment Charmed moved to Sunday, its episodes had to continually compete with other strong-rated shows such as Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and The Simpsons, as well as events such as the Golden Globes.

Multimedia

Main articles: Charmed multimedia and List of Charmed books.

Online

TNT has released full episodes of Charmed for viewing with their "DramaVision" video player on the network website. As of February 14, 2009, the new TheWB.com website (Web streaming successor to Warner Brothers or "The WB") TheWB.com did not offer the shows.

International syndication

Outside of North America, Charmed is broadcast in a high number of other countries and television networks, each with their own schedule for the series, and sometimes with their own title for the series. In the United Kingdom, the entire series aired on the digital network Living TV and on the terrestrial channel Five from 2000 until 2006, when Channel 4 purchased the rights to air the final season on its T4 scheduling slot. Charmed was also broadcast for a short time in the UK on the Digital Network Trouble. It showed re-runs of all 8 seasons and then ended the show.

Other countries where Charmed airs include the following:



Spin-offs

Mermaid

Charmed's executive producers Brad Kern, Aaron Spelling and E. Duke Vincent developed a one-hour pilot episode for The WB Television Network in early 2005, entitled Mermaid. It was written by Kern and filmed in Miamimarker during Charmed's seventh season, at the same time as "Something Wicca This Way Goes?".

As work progressed on the fifth season's double-episode premier, "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 is centred on a mermaid, Nikki, who is rescued by a young man when she washes ashore in Miami. Her savior, Matt Johnson, is a lawyer living with a roommate and engaged to the daughter of his boss, and he is in utter disbelief of Nikki's true nature. She does prove to him that she is a mermaid, a race of creatures whose evolution took place in the water. The mermaids come from a sunken city and have supernatural abilities, including superhuman strength and agility, can see in the dark, read emotions and have a connection with other sea creatures, among other possible powers. However, there is another race of creatures who evolved underwater as well, but their evolutionary path has taken them onto dry land, and one of these creatures, Luger, is on the hunt for Nikki. Nikki, meanwhile, takes a job as a waitress at a nearby restaurant and stays with Matt and his roommate while trying to adjust to her life, and help Matt in his attempts to help people; as her would-be hunter Luger assesses, mermaids are drawn to protecting the innocent, it's "in their blood".

During the casting process, Kern "looked in Londonmarker and New Yorkmarker and New Zealandmarker, Hollywoodmarker, Floridamarker, Melbournemarker and Sydneymarker" and, after interviewing around 300 people, discovered "a fresh new face" in Australian Nathalie Kelley who played the lead role of Nikki. Geoff Stults was then cast as Matt, and Roger Daltrey as principal antagonist Eric Luger. Brandon Quinn, who later went on to play Homeland Security Agent Murphy in Charmed's eighth season, played Matt's "goofy best friend" in Mermaid. He spoke of his roles in both series:

Additionally cast in main roles were Ana Ortiz (who went on to star in Ugly Betty) and Beatrice Rosen who, along with Quinn, developed a recurring role in Charmed's eighth season as Maya Holmes, an innocent whose image Piper Halliwell inadvertently uses as her false identity 'Jenny Bennett'.

The pilot was considered to have a good chance of being picked up, but when The WB and UPN merged into The CW, the resulting network passed on the show. Speaking on the failure of the series to be picked up, Kern also revealed that the studio Paramount/CBS "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".

References

  1. http://www.cnn.com/SHOWBIZ/TV/9810/23/charmed/index.html
  2. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-15634905_ITM
  3. "Genesis" Documentary, Charmed: The Complete Final Season Region 1 DVD
  4. Gross, Edward, " Interview with Constance M. Burge," TV Zone Magazine, Issue #126, 2000
  5. Various authors, " Charmed Full cast and crew, Internet Movie Database
  6. The Women of Charmed, E!: Entertainment Television, April 19, 2000
  7. " Discography - TV Themes: Popular Favorites", Billboard
  8. " Discography - TV Themes: Sex and the City and Other Favorites", Billboard
  9. " Discography - Your Favorite Television Themes", Billboard
  10. Shooting scripts released prior to the airing of the episode referred to the character as Piper's daughter, and even named her Melinda. The scene was not altered; these notes were part of the directions. Furthermore, the actresses playing Phoebe's eldest two daughters are in fact different actresses to the one shown in this scene.
  11. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1037343/
  12. Barr, Karyn L., " DVD Review: Charmed: The Complete First Season", Entertainment Weekly, January 31, 2005
  13. Tucker, Ken, " TV Review: Charmed", Entertainment Weekly, November 06, 1998
  14. Thorpe, Vanessa, " Tweenie power", The Guardian, March 21, 1999
  15. Flynn, Gillian, " TV Review: Charmed, Entertainment Weekly, April 09, 2004
  16. Abernethy, Michael, " Demonic Drive-Bys", PopMatters, 2000
  17. Loar, Christel, " Charmed: The Complete Series", PopMatters, 2007
  18. Edwards, Leigh H., " Charmed: The Complete Fourth Season", PopMatters, March 06, 2006
  19. D'Arminio, Aubry, " DVD Review: Charmed: Season 8, Entertainment Weekly, September 14, 2007
  20. Langmead, Jon, " Charmed: The Final Season", PopMatters, December 4, 2007
  21. Cyprus-TV
  22. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A1_TV_channel_(Macedonia)#Series
  23. http://www.axn.pt/series/index.php?nCod=44
  24. " Kern Immersed In Mermaid Show", Sci Fi Wire, March 31, 2005
  25. Schneider, Michael, " Lemons & mermaids", Variety, February 6, 2005
  26. Gallagher, Diana G., Ruditis, Paul, and Ungerleider, Phyllis, "Closing the Door on Charmed with Executive Producer Brad Kern", The Book of Three, Volume II, November 28, 2006
  27. Pyle, Marx, " Upcoming TV Shows: Mermaid", Scifi 411, May 11, 2005
  28. See also, " Mermaid" at TV.com
  29. Staff, " Development Update", The Futon Critic, March 15, 2005
  30. Waldon, David, " The Mighty Quinn", Charmed Magazine Issue 10 (link provided by Living TV), April, 2006
  31. Lisotta, Christopher, " The WB: Time to Grow Up", TelevisionWeek, May 16, 2005
  32. Chang, Justin, " Beatrice Rosen", Variety, April 13, 2005
  33. Moore, Anne, " Charmed Creator Brad Kern Bids Farewell to his Witchy, Witchy Ways", IF Magazine, March 21, 2006


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