11:00am PT by Mikey O'Connell
Richard Shepard to Direct WGN America's 'Salem'
WGN America's first scripted original, Salem, has tapped director Richard Shepard to tackle the 13-episode freshman season.
Shepard, whose pilot credits include Criminal Minds, Ugly Betty, Ringer and Golden Boy, most recently has been directing for HBO's Girls. He'll head down to Louisiana in late October when Salem starts filming its straight-to-series order.
His addition marks the series' first big move since WGN America ordered it back in June. The period drama from Brannon Braga (24, Star Trek: TNG, Terra Nova) and Adam Simon (The Haunting in Connecticut) has yet to make any official casting announcements. Shepard joins Braga, Simon and Prospect Park’s Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz as executive producer.
Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, Salem digs deep into the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the town's infamous witch trials -- separating the real witches from who they are perceived to be. The drama also centers on an epic romance wrapped around this explosive revelation.
In addition to his TV credits, Shepard is known for his feature work The Matador, The Hunting Party and the upcoming Dom Hemingway.
Salem, produced by Fox 21, is scheduled for a spring 2014 launch.
Shepard is repped by WME, Rosalie Swedlin at Anonymous Content, and Karl Austen and Alan Wertheimer at Jackoway, Tyerman, Wertheiner, Austin, Mandelbaum, Morris & Klein.