‘Blackish’ creator Kenya Barris is making an interracial ‘Bewitched’ reboot

Embed from Getty Images

I might be dating myself, but I remember watching Bewitched reruns when I was a little kid. I loved that show, and even when I was little, I thought it was disappointing that a cool, pretty witch ended up with such a dumbass like Darren. If you were a cool, pretty witch like Samantha, you could have any guy you wanted. Why would you choose… DARREN? There’s been talk over the years about doing some kind of reboot, and they even did a Bewitched movie with Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman (which was terrible). But now it looks like it’s really happening, and there will be a modern twist: an interracial couple at the heart of the story.

Just before he recently departed ABC Studios to embark on a rich overall deal at Netflix, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris sold one last high-profile project to ABC: Bewitched, a single camera, interracial blended family comedy based on the popular 1960s sitcom of the same name. It took a little while for all the deals to close, but the network has given a pilot production commitment to the new take on the classic supernatural sitcom, from Barris and Black-ish writer/producer Yamara Taylor. The project hails from ABC Studios; Sony Pictures TV, which has the rights to the title; and Sony-based Davis Entertainment (The Blacklist).

In Bewitched, written by Barris and Taylor, Samantha, a hardworking black single mom who happens to be a witch, marries Darren, a white mortal who happens to be a bit of a slacker. They struggle to navigate their differences as she discovers that even when a black girl is literally magic, she’s still not as powerful as a decently tall white man with a full head of hair in America.

[From Deadline]

Okay, I don’t totally hate this. As long as they’re making this about race AND witchcraft AND sexual politics, I think it might be okay? My hope is that they cast someone really great for Samantha and that they don’t lean too far into the “slacker” thing for Darren, or else everyone will wonder “why is she with him again?” But I also expect ABC to get hate mail about the interracial couple, because people really are that dumb.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Photos courtesy of Getty.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

39 Responses to “‘Blackish’ creator Kenya Barris is making an interracial ‘Bewitched’ reboot”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. notthisagain says:

    I am black and thats a No for me thanks

    • Nancy says:

      I am white and give it a no as well. I guess after all these decades of sitcoms, the writers of tv simply cannot come up with a new concept. All you hear about is reboots, with a big change of an interracial couple. When you keep having been there, done that moments, it’s probably time to get some incentive and come up with something different. Goodbye Roseanne, Designing Women, Will & Grace and ta ta Big Bang Theory…..boom

    • Jan90067 says:

      NOPE. Total no-go from me. Big fan of the original (I couldn’t even take the 2nd Darrin! They had ZERO chemistry, and by then even THEY were recycling old scripts for the show! lol (and yes, I read the PR that the second Darrin was the first choice, but I don’t buy that at all)).

      While I love Blackish, I just don’t think this idea is funny in the least. And personally, I think that any writer who deigns to copy/reboot another’s idea should forfeit all his paycheck to the original writer/creator! These guys are paid BIG $$$ to come up with ideas. NO MORE REBOOTS!!!

    • Prissa says:

      @NOTTHISAGAIN – LOL – I’m mixed and it’s a no for me too.

      And your name really says it all: NOT THIS AGAIN
      SMH

    • kodakay says:

      I’m a black 60-year-old nana and I look forward to seeing the show. Bewitched was always a favorite of mine and I’d like to see what they do with it.

    • JustSayin' says:

      As a black woman I find the concept degrading.
      A black single mother (eye roll) with a white slacker (really) and that’s just one aspect of it.
      They would never do this to any other race of women but people and the media get away with degrading and humiliating black women.
      Won’t be watching and will tell everyone I know to avoid it!

  2. RBC says:

    Okay, I want to know who they will cast as Endora and Uncle Arthur
    The Endora put downs of Darren were classic
    She never got his name right!

  3. Iknow says:

    I really like this. The casting will be key here. As a fan of supernatural shows and books, I’m all for it. But, many in the black community, especially older people, do not like anything with a supernatural lean. I can hear my mother already saying she can’t watch this show.

  4. Sayrah says:

    In fairness changing Dick York to Dick Sargeant made Darren a bit less goofy.

  5. Lala11_7 says:

    I barely made it through “Bewitched” as a little girl…and I KNOW I have no time for a remake as a middle-aged woman….

  6. Lightpurple says:

    My colleague is named after the daughter Tabitha. Almost every episode of Bewitched was based on Darren having a major work project hitting a deadline that is interferes with by one of Samantha’s witch relatives, either accidentally or deliberately, and Samantha having to fix it. It relied on guest stars. Don’t see that working

    • Nancy says:

      I knew a women named Tabitha as well, who claims she was named after the daughter. I never saw the show but can’t imagine something from the 60′s would work now. Writers are so lazy.

    • Sayrah says:

      I thought Paul Lynde was hilarious as a child watching reruns.

      • Nancy says:

        I remember Paul Lynde. He made funny faces. I’m going to have to go on my firestick and look for some of these oldies and see what I missed!!

    • kodakay says:

      The show’s premise is a witch married to a moral. Beyond that, they don’t have to duplicate Darren’s job or Samantha’s involvement. They could focus on something else. Maybe the kids are teenagers or something. I’m hopeful.

  7. Bea says:

    I know there are some really talented writers and creative people out there in the world, so what’s with all these “revivals?” Enough.

    • Algernon says:

      Same thing as with movies, it’s all people will watch. For all of Netflix’s quality original shows, Fuller House is the most-watch series on the platform. These revival series are like the airport novels propping up the whole industry. They bring in the viewers/ money so that the good stuff can survive.

      • Lynnie says:

        Yup Nostalgia as a trend is hugeeeeeee right now in everything from food, to clothes, to entertainment. As long as the current climate is bleak and uncertain people will continue to go back to the things that make them warm and fuzzy.

  8. Jane says:

    Depends on the casting

  9. tealily says:

    I loved Bewitched as a kid, but I have less than zero interest as an adult. No thanks. (I think in retrospect is was just in to the 60s styling.)

  10. Carnivalbaby says:

    .

  11. KK2 says:

    I think there is a theme here…with the Sabrina reboot (so excited for that), the Charmed reboot (meh), and now Bewitched. I don’t hate the idea. Kenya Barris has a pretty good track record and has earned some benefit of the doubt, in my opinion. From the synopsis, I think they just have to be able to explain how tf these people ended up together to begin with. I trust that they will. And casting/chemistry is key. Darren can be a slacker, but they have to make sure he is not an ahole or the whole thing won’t work. I’m thinking something like the Phil/Claire dynamic in modern family… Phil’s a doofus but he is sweet, and she is not perfect either, so you are never like “what is she doing with him?”

  12. Citresse says:

    Bewitched was a great show! Viewers may have noted that by the early 70s, Samantha grew her hair and began wearing pants more often. Yes!!!!!!!!! Montgomery was a beautiful woman.
    There shouldn’t be any kind of reboot. Bewitched is a classic and should be preserved as such.

  13. Jess says:

    I like this idea. I loved Bewitched as a kid – everyone but Darren. I hated him and how he treated Samantha. Same story for I dream of Jeannie.

  14. holly hobby says:

    Ok again, they can write and cast whatever they want but why must they recycle the show names? That is annoying.

    Also, the slacker, go getter theme has been done before. I don’t find it really that funny.

  15. Agenbiter says:

    I loved the show as well. But the message of Bewitched was that no matter how capable, independent and cool a woman was she could only find “satisfaction” subjugated to a mediocre man she “loved” who would “order her” not to use her powers to 1) relieve the tedium of housework (which was somehow essential to her womanly nature) or 2) help him out of problems at work (which might hurt his “male ego”). It was a continuation of post-war propaganda to get and keep women out of the workforce for the sake of making returning GIs happy.

    A woke variant might possible but the above description does not sound like enough. Why would anyone voluntarily give up their powers and settle? I can’t think of any situation where that would be the basis for comedy.

  16. Rebecca says:

    This will be another big fat flop.

  17. SJF says:

    The original Bewitched *was* a subtle commentary on racism at the time. Remember it debuted in 1964 and overt dissection of racial politics was not something you would ever see on a network sitcom at that time.

    But the show — on the surface a wonderful sitcom with one of the most memorable and delightful casts in TV history — was also about dominance and sublimating oneself to achieve absolute assimilation into the “norm.”

    Take that, Mrs. Kravitz!

    As such, this idea touches on an appropriate theme to run with.

    While I couldn’t be more bored with Hollywood’s cowardly inability to embrace new ideas (stop remaking old content!!!!) this is at least an original take on an old format.

    That said, NO ONE will ever top Agnes Moorhead as Endora. Feminist, smart, radical, stylish, loyal, loving, take-no-prisoners wonderful.

    • Lilly says:

      I’m interested. I went to a Gary Owen show recently and there were so many interracial couples, just like Gary and his wife. He’s hilarious and it was great. It happened to be his last show of the night, so he just riffed and took audience questions. It was clear that these couples faced a lot of biases and were happy to have a high profile example. Seriously, some real hurt came through the questions of handling ignorance just by being a couple. He handled it so well and with tons of humor. So I’d say the audience may be there, they have to be funny, though. I think Jenifer Lewis from Blackish would be the best Endora. Every year I celebrate Jackie Washington Day. And if you don’t know Gary Owen look him up.

  18. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Aisha Tyler as Samantha
    Joel what’s his name? from Talk Soup & Community for Darren/Derwood
    Joel McHale?