Jenji Kohan, creator of the popular Showtimes series WEEDS and the red-hot Netflix series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK is now said to be working on a show for HBO about the Salem Witch Trials. (Shout out to Wren Walker, Witches’ Voice co-founder, for sharing this story with me!)
There’s not much information out there yet, and some of it is just frustratingly sensational, like the Verge writer who mentions witches burning in his headline (to be fair it was changed fairly quickly but the URL shows the original faux pas). The Hollywood Reporter says the show will be a true period drama, unlike the anachronistic and all-over-the-place whimsy we’ve been seeing on AMERICAN HORROR STORY: COVEN. Kohan will be developing the show with producers Bruce Miller and Tracy Miller, via Lionsgate Television, the cinema company turned TV mogul which has been producing series for several hot networks, including AMC, Netflix and Showtime.
It’s always exciting to see a period series in the works, even though so many of them are so bad. The recent VIKINGS series is a lot of fun eye candy and has some great production values, though I hear its historical accuracy leaves much to be desired. But we do tune into a dramatic series to have flawless renditions of history? Maybe not, but flagrant flaunting of historical facts is annoying (see Lilith Dorsey and me in our most recent video chat-rant about AHS: COVEN’s blatant disregard for historical accuracy).
Still, there have been some very entertaining (if not entirely historically-accurate) history-based series over the years (like Showtime’s ROBIN OF SHERWOOD, or THE TUDORS); and recent screamingly popular period shows like MAD MEN or GAME OF THRONES suggests viewers want to delve into worlds where characters don’t spend all their time on their cell phones and tablets, like we do when we’re not watching TV (unless that is how we watch TV).
Let’s hope the resulting project is worthy of its grave and far-reaching subject matter. I am sure it will be entertaining, in any case.