"Witches of East End" goes to series, but production moves to Vancouver
Feb 01, 2013 (Star-News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
The Lifetime TV network has ordered 10 episodes of "Witches of East End," the pilot of which filmed in the Wilmington area last fall. But while the cable channel wants to stay in the witch business, that business won't include any more filming in Wilmington. The series' production will move to Vancouver, according to the network.
The series, based on Melissa de la Cruz's best-selling novel, stars Julia Ormond ("Mad Men"), Jenna Dewan-Tatum ("American Horror Story"), Rachel Boston ("In Plain Sight") and Madchen Amick ("Twin Peaks").
Ormond plays Joanna Beauchamp, a mother who reveals to her adult daughters Freya (Dewan-Tatum) and Ingrid (Boston) that they are actually immortal witches.
The series has more local connections behind the scenes. Maggie Friedman ("Dawson's Creek") wrote the pilot, and the show is produced by Fox 21, which is responsible for the N.C.-based "Homeland" on Showtime.
Rob Sharenow, Executive Vice President, Programming, of Lifetime Networks, had the following to say in a statement released Thursday: "We've been thrilled about 'Witches of East End' and its powerful premise since the moment we bought the property, and our friends at Fox 21 helped develop it for television. This is one of the most exciting ensemble casts we've seen and the whole show is fresh, original and just right for Lifetime."
Producers often make pilots in one place for financial reasons, then move series production somewhere else. ABC's "Revenge" and CW's "Hart of Dixie" both filmed pilots here in 2011 only to relocate to Los Angeles when they went to series. "Revolution," which now films in Wilmington, produced its pilot in Georgia.
Though the series won't film in Southeastern North Carolina moving forward, the series pickup at least means locals who were a part of the pilot episode will get to see the fruits of their labor on screen.
Lifetime said the show will premiere sometime later this year.
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