1:48pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Salem' Renewed for Second Season at WGN America
WGN America is batting a thousand with its original scripted dramas.
The cable network has renewed witchy drama Salem for a second season, WGN America said Monday.
The pickup comes after the series, from Brannon Braga, Adam Simon and Fox 21, aired three of its 13 episodes. The series debuted with 3.4 million total viewers and 1.5 million among the key adults 18-49 demographic when factoring in seven days of DVR. Through its first two telecasts, it's averaged 1.7 million total viewers and 806,000 adults 18-49 when including three days of DVR.
The 13-episode second season will begin production later this year for a 2015 debut.
"At WGN America, we are committed to delivering compelling, brand-defining programming rich with fascinating characters and ‘Salem’ has done just that,” said Matt Cherniss, president and general manager at WGN America and Tribune Studios. "Brannon Braga, Adam Simon, the talented cast and our great partners at Fox 21 have opened up an intriguing world that has captivated viewers.”
Added Braga: "The fans have been fantastic and we plan to continue keeping them on the edge of their seats."
The series, WGN America's first original scripted drama, reimagines the infamous witch trials in the 17th century Massachusetts town, following Captain John Alden (Shane West) returning from war to his hometown of Salem, where he finds it in the grip of a witch panic. Crushed that his lost love, Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), is now married to his old nemesis, John is unaware she is also secretly the ruling witch of Salem, and her witches are running the witch trials.
Braga and Simon also serve as executive producers with Jeff Kwatinetz and Josh Barry of Prospect Park and David Von Ancken.
Salem joins a rapidly growing slate of originals at WGN including atomic bomb drama Manhattan as well as its upcoming 10 Commandments miniseries.