The first original scripted series from WGN America has at last cast its leading man.
Shane West will follow up his four seasons on the CW action drama 'Nikita' with 13 episodes of ‘Salem.’
The period drama is set in 17th century Massachusetts in the infamous town known best for its witch trials, and will blend both history and fiction. West’s character, John Alden, is described as a more logical, world-weary man, returning home to a chaotic and frenzied Salem after years of wartime captivity. Perhaps witches will be television's new favorite fare, as ‘American Horror Story: Coven,’ has already found success on the dark and supernatural material.
West will join actress Janet Montgomery, who has been already selected to play Mary Shibley, Seth Gabel from ‘Fringe’ will portray the rather famous Cotton Mather, and Tamzin Merchant as Anna Hale.
While certainly mystic and tense, a love story will emerge rather quickly. Shibley and Alden have a history together, but the young and beautiful Hale becomes enamoured with the tall, dark, and handsome stranger.
Originally developed for FX, ‘Salem’ was greenlit over the summer as the network makes inroads into scripted television. ‘Salem’ is the first of what is hoped to be four series for the superstation over the next year, with ‘Manhattan,’ a drama about the Manhattan Project, next up.
‘Salem’ is created by ‘24’ and ‘Terra Nova’ writer Brannon Braga, who will team up with Adam Simon to pen the script. Richard Shepherd will direct the pilot.