10:31am PT by Lesley Goldberg, Rick Porter
Witch Drama 'Motherland: Fort Salem' Ordered to Series at Freeform
Freeform's latest series order imagines a world where witches are real — and essential to the defense of the United States.
The Disney-owned cable channel has given a 10-episode order to Motherland: Fort Salem, from creator Eliot Laurence (Claws) and Gary Sanchez Productions. The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years before by cutting a deal with the government to fight for their country. Traditional power and gender roles have been flipped, with women on the front lines of defense and threats that seem familiar to our world, but with supernatural weapons and tactics.
Laurence will serve as showrunner and executive produce with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick of Gary Sanchez Productions. Freeform Studios is producing with Gary Sanchez.
"We're so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling and an incredibly creative canon," said Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform. "While set in an alternative universe, Motherland: Fort Salem will continue the authentic and issues-driven storylines that our network is known for, and what our audience has come to expect. We are thrilled to be working with Eliot, Will, Adam and Kevin on this exceptionally creative tale and look forward to bringing this even further to life."
Motherland: Fort Salem will center on three young witches: Raelle (Taylor Hickson, Deadly Class), a reluctant recruit whose mother was killed in the line of duty; Tally (Jessica Sutton, The Kissing Booth), a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted over her mother's objections; and Scylla (Amalia Holm), a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who's not what she appears to be.
Demetria McKinney (Saints & Sinners) also stars as Anacostia, a drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the recruits alive through basic training.
"Will, Adam and I couldn't be more excited about the opportunity to take Eliot's vision to series," said Messick. "Motherland: Fort Salem is bold and original storytelling and Freeform has been incredibly supportive in helping us realize Eliot's alternate version of America. We can't wait to get started on the season."
Motherland: Fort Salem joins the recently ordered Party of Five reboot on Freeform's scripted roster, along with dramas Good Trouble, Cloak and Dagger, The Bold Type, Siren and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, as well as comedies Grown-ish, Besties and Everything's Gonna Be Okay.
Hickson is repped by Trademark Talent and KC Talent. Holm is repped by Megan Silverman Management and Actors in Scandinavia. McKinney is repped by ICM and manager Torri Toran-Rucker.
Below is a preview of the series.