Witchcraft. Wild accusations. Shane West’s wig.
There’s a lot to look at in the following new trailer for WGN America’s first original series Salem, a new scripted show set against the backdrop of 17th-century Massachusetts’s infamous witch trials. The twist: In this version of the story, the witches are real. (Think Hocus Pocus, but not actually anything like Hocus Pocus.)
West stars as John Alden, a soldier who returns home only to find his village whipped into a witch-hunting frenzy. He also happens to be an old flame of Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) – a member of Salem’s elite who, oh yeah, also happens to be a powerful sorceress. Both characters are based on actual historical figures; any Salem scholar who examines the show’s cast list will find more familiar names, including Tituba (played here by Revenge’s Ashley Madekwe) and Cotton Mather (Fringe’s Seth Gabel).
Start prepping your eye of newt: Salem, created and written by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon, premieres on WGN America April 20 at 10 p.m. ET.