It speaks to how fast the world moves these days that a show which finished airing in 2006 could be considered ripe for a “modern day” reboot. But that’s the aim of The CW’s “Charmed,” which made its San Diego Comic-Con debut Thursday ahead of its upcoming fall premiere.
After screening the full pilot episode for the Ballroom 20 crowd, a swift Q&A followed; one without audience questions, but still geared around fan reaction. Mainly, cast members Sarah Jeffery, Madeleine Mantock, and Melonie Diaz, as well as executive producers Jennie Synder Urman and Jessica O’Toole, discussed how they hope fans of the original show will react to their new version.
There have been rumblings about resistance to rebooting the long-running WB series, which starred Shannen Doherty, Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, and Rose McGowan over the course of its run. Specifically, both Doherty and Combs have come forward with blunt takes on the show being rebooted, while Jeffrey has spoken out in defense of the new show, which also tells the story of three sisters who discover family secrets and secret powers.
When asked during the panel how they hoped fans of the original will react to the new version, it was Mantock who said, “We come in peace. I think the original was so wonderful, and they were really trailblazers and we could not be here without them.”
“I think there’s something in it for you old fans — there are treats in there,” she said, specifically citing a reference to Melinda Warren, a character from the original show’s Book of Shadows.
Jeffrey agreed and said, “There are core similarities with the original show… I hope [fans] embrace it… We want to honor it properly while bringing a modern twist. Just — come with us, see if you like it.”
“We love the original and we’re huge fans of it, so we’re going to be trying to use all the pieces as they fit.” Urman agreed. “It’s deeply rooted in the original.”
For the record, don’t expect any crossovers between “Charmed” and Urman’s currently running drama “Jane the Virgin.” Urman said they exist in different universes, though she couldn’t explain why without “revealing something about Jane.”
The Comic-Con crowd seemed engaged with the pilot, with Rupert Graves as Harry, the sisters’ mysterious guide to witchcraft, eliciting a particularly strong reaction. But whether or not the show manages to charm (sorry) future audiences is a question only a witch who can see the future can answer.