Ready to be Charmed again?


Every time I hear of another TV series reboot, I moan bitterly and take to Twitter to talk to others also annoyed by the idea of redoing a popular old TV series. But the thing is as much as I want new shows to dazzle us I end up not hating all the reboots; the new Dallas (pictured above) was entertaining, Hawaii Five-O is fun and I loved that they both used an updated version of their iconic theme songs. And the rebooted Battlestar Galactica was grittier and even better than the original 1970s series while keeping the original characters and their cool swear word “frak”. But then again the reworking of Ironside (based on a 60s detective series) and Charlie’s Angels didn’t work out so well. The trick is to get the story right, which you really think the makers of these shows would understand.

The network planning the new Charmed has said it will be a series about four witches fighting evil.

Now reboots of Charmed and Murder, She Wrote are also in the works. My first response was “noooooo, don’t spoil the memories of good shows”. Charmed (the story of the three Halliwell sisters who were witches and fought evil) in particular was one of my favourites. I just loved, loved that series. Even Alyssa Milano who played one of the sisters, Phoebe, thought it was a bad idea, tweeting, “The thing about them doing a #charmed reboot is . . . it just . . . it feels like yesterday. It feels too close.”

The Charmed sisters Piper, Phoebe and Paige, who took over from Prue.

Which is true, the show ran for eight seasons and ended in 2006 which really was just yesterday. But then I gave it some thought and realised the horrid new Charlie’s Angels didn’t spoil my memories of the old show and the new Battlestar was clever and well done and showed how to do reboots properly, so why not?

The network planning the new Charmed has said it will be a series about four witches fighting evil. Okay, not so different but if they’re related to the old Charmed lot, maybe cousins of the witchy sisters Piper, Phoebe and Prue (who was later replaced by half-sister Paige), and they fit into the original storyline, taking the whole mythology further then I would watch it. Dallas sort of did that, focusing on the kids of the original characters and making the old favourites such as Bobby, JR and Sue-Ellen part of the story, and it works. Battlestar was a retelling of the old series but updated (so smart to make the new Starbuck a woman) with new twists added so fans of the old series were still surprised, but I can’t see that kind of treatment working for a show such as Charmed that was on TV so recently.

Now Murder, She Wrote (which ran for an impressive 12 seasons from 1984 to 1996) is actually an easy one, as people love a good crime procedural and that’s what this was, murder and mayhem in a small town in Maine. It wasn’t a new story as the character of mystery writer Jessica Fletcher was pretty much based on Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple though legendary actress Angela Lansbury really made the character her own.

So after initially thinking it was a bad idea, when the powers that be announced The Help’s Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer (pictured above) would play the lead, I was seeing the potential. According to, it’s a “light, contemporary procedural in the vein of BonesorFargo. It follows a hospital administrator and amateur sleuth (Spencer) who self-publishes her first mystery novel . . . her avid fascination with true crime leads her to become an active participant in the investigations”. And there’s talk of Angela (she’s now 88 years old!) having some kind of role. Now we all know there could only ever be one Jessica Fletcher but this idea has potential.

Of course just because a script or pilot has been ordered, it doesn’t mean it will become a TV series but I’m rooting for these two to make it, especially Murder, She Wrote, and I hope they follow the examples set by Dallas and Hawaii Five-O and keep the lovely theme songs of both shows. Remember these?

The Charmed opening credits and theme song:

Murder, She Wrote theme song

-Natalie Cavernelis

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