Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fall TV season: Are witches the new vampires?

Guys with fangs are so last year. This fall, witches are taking over.
You'll find them on HBO's "True Blood," where Sookie will face down a coven this season. They'll be casting spells on their fellow high school students in the CW's "The Secret Circle," a drama from "The Vampire Diaries" creator Kevin Williamson. A particularly wicked one shows up in ABC's "Once Upon a Time" to place a curse on the town of Storybrook. Plus, with NBC's mystery "Grimm" riffing on various fairy tales, Hansel and Gretel's friend with the black pointy hat might soon join the others.

So where did all the soft-hearted, sharp-toothed Edward Cullens go? Since women generally watch more television than men, the networks are greenlighting more female-skewing shows for fall, including ensemble dramas lead by female characters (ABC's "Pan Am," NBC's "The Playboy Club," ABC's "Good Christian Belles") to comedies anchored by actresses (Christina Applegate's "Up All Night" and Whitney Cummings' "Whitney" on NBC, Zoey Deschanel's "The New Girl" on Fox). And viewers seem to like bad girls best: CBS' "2 Broke Girls," starring an insult-slinging Kat Dennings, tested better than any comedy or drama in CBS history, and two of the season's most highly anticipated shows, "Good Christian Belles" and ABC's "Apartment 23," originally had titles that featured a word that rhymes with witch. For networks seeking female viewers and mean girl heroines, witches offer the perfect double threat.

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