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‘Bewitched’ Reboot From Kenya Barris Pushed at ABC

The reboot of “Bewitched” is not moving forward at ABC this pilot season.

Variety has learned that the new version of the classic sitcom has been rolled to off cycle at the broadcaster. The project is said to remain in active development.

Kenya Barris and Yamara Taylor were set to write and executive produce the reboot, which would have focused on an black female witch who falls in love with a white mortal man. John Davis and John Fox of Davis Entertainment are also executive producers on the project, which hails from ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television.

“I thought it was an incredibly smart rethink and re-telling of that story,” recently anointed ABC president Karey Burke said during her executive session at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. “Kenya is peerless in the television business as far as I’m concerned…[Kenya and I] decided together that the script wasn’t quite there.”

News of the reboot, which received a pilot production commitment at ABC, broke back in August. The news came shortly after it was announced that Barris would be leaving his overall deal at ABC Studios for a three-year deal at Netflix reportedly worth nine figures.

The original “Bewitched” aired on ABC from 1964 to 1972. It starred Elizabeth Montgomery, a witch with magical powers who marries an ordinary mortal man, Darren, played first by Dick York and later by Dick Sargent. It was created by Sol Saks and produced by Harry Ackerman. Sony Pictures holds the rights to the franchise, which was made into a 2005 feature film starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.

Thus far, ABC has ordered five comedy pilots for the 2019-2020 season. Most recently, the network picked up pilots for multi-cams starring Leslie Odom Jr. and Katey Sagal. 

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