Written By: Maggie Friedman
Draft Date: January 9, 2009
Category: Thumbs Up
This is an easy thumbs up for me. The show is based on the classic film The Witches of Eastwick, though the cast won't exactly be Cher, Sarandon, and Pfeiffer. The script stays very true to the story and tone of the movie, though it obviously doesn't end the story of the girls and Darryl Van Horne. Unlike the failed Eastwick project at Fox a few years ago, the series does not pick up later in the story of Alexandra (Cher), Jane (Sarandon), and Sukie (Pfeiffer) and their children. Rather, it follows three new women discovering magical powers and the temptation and threats of the mysterious Mr. Van Horne. This time around, the women are...
- Roxie (Rebecca Romjin), an artist / owner of an art shop (much like Alexandra), dating a much younger man (Matt Dallas) and has a smart-aleck 15-year old daughter.
- Kat (Jamie Ray Newman), who has five children (shades of Lynette Scavo) and a straining relationship with her husband, Raymond.
- Joanna (Lindsay Price), a shy reporter at the local paper (much like Sukie)
Unlike in the movie, the girls do not start out as the best of friends (nor are all of them single). In fact, Roxie is something of an outcast in Eastwick. Roxie also has prophetic dreams in this pilot, not all about the man she and the other two girls unwittingly summon to the town... a man, apparently, is going to try and kill her (oh and she meets him at the end of the pilot... rut ruh!) The families of the witches have a much larger presence in the pilot (and, presumably, the series) than they did in the film.
My argument for why this series is a no-brainer for a pick-up, besides the fact that it's similar to stuff that's been on TV in the past (it's like a cross of Charmed and Desperate Housewives) but also difference enough that it will play fresh and is just plain fun... is the pilot's director: David Nutter. As soon as he signed onto the project, it went from "hm, I'll have to see it" to "where is it going on the fall schedule." The man is 14 for 14 in the last 14 pilot seasons. He directs something, it gets picked up. It may not get picked up and become a massive, long-lasting hit, but it gets picked up (most recent pilots: The Mentalist, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Traveller, Supernatural).
If Eastwick does not get picked up it will, literally, be the biggest surprise of pilot season. As such, I'm eager to see what Nutter does with this material that has been mined before to varying degrees of success.