Julia Ormond made a strong impression as Marie Calvet, the flirty, dissatisfied Québécois mother-in-law Don Draper (Jon Hamm) when he married Megan (Jessica Paré) in the last season of “Mad Men.” Now the actress is due for a return to the small screen in “Witches of East End,” a new Lifetime series that’s just been given a 10-episode order.
Ormond will star in the series as Joanna Beauchamp, who lives in the Long Island seaside town of East Haven with her two grown daughters, Freya (Channing Tatum spouse Jenna Dewan-Tatum) and Rachel Boston (“In Plain Sight”). Freya’s engagement to a wealthy newcomers forces Joanna to admit to her children that they come from a line of immortal witches, one that includes her sister Wendy (“Twin Peaks” star Mädchen Amick).
The show, which is based on Melissa de la Cruz’s novel of the same name, is due to launch this year. Maggie Friedman (creator of, incidentally, ABC’s short-lived 2009 “Witches of Eastwick” TV adaptation “Eastwick”) wrote the pilot, which was directed by Mark Waters (“Mean Girls”). Friedman will executive produce the series with Erwin Stoff of 3 Arts Entertainment.
“Witches of East End” is the latest adaptation to Lifetime’s scripted slate, which also includes Jennifer Love Hewitt massage parlor drama “The Client List” (soon to start its second season), “Army Wives,” now in its seventh, and the upcoming “Devious Maids,” from “Desperate Housewives” creator Marc Cherry.