It’s not difficult to fall under Good Witch‘s spell.
The W Network show, based on a Hallmark movie franchise and currently one of the top programs on the channel, is returning for its sophomore season to eager audiences yearning for its feel-good vibe. Season 2 promises more of the same family-friendly themes and stories, and it’s a refreshing alternative to the glut of violent, explicit shows filling prime-time’s slate.
Good Witch follows the adventures of Cassie Nightingale (Catherine Bell, Army Wives, JAG), the town of Middleton’s favorite enchantress, and her teenage daughter Grace (Bailee Madison, The Fosters), who shares her mom’s special intuition.
When New York transplants Dr. Sam Radford (James Denton, Desperate Housewives) and his son move in next door to the Grey House, they are immediately spellbound by the mother-daughter duo. But it quickly becomes apparent that Sam and Cassie may not see eye to eye. With her signature charm, Cassie attempts to bring everyone together, ensuring all of Middleton is in for change, big surprises and, of course, a little bit of magic.
Keeping it all in the family
Good Witch prides itself on being family-centred, and not many other networks are focusing on producing a family-based show. There isn’t even minor swearing on Good Witch.
“You say the words ‘wholesome’ or ‘family’ and people cringe,” says Denton. “But it’s kind of nice to have storylines that feature stuff from our everyday lives. Nobody’s been horrible to each other, people find a way to work their stuff out. At the end of it, it’s relaxing. You may even have some insight into how to deal with your own life.”
There is most definitely an appetite for this kind of pure, wholesome show, as evidenced by Good Witch‘s amazing viewership numbers. Currently, it is W Network’s No. 1 scripted program.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love many shows on the air right now, but I also have 10- and 12-year-old kids,” continues Denton. “They don’t always want to watch the Disney channel, they want to watch ‘grown-up TV.’”
It’s a rare show that both kids and adults can watch, without any question of whether it’s appropriate for either audience.
“Good Witch applies to any demographic, any age,” agrees 16-year-old Madison. “For me [and Grace’s storyline], it’s the teenagers. I’m really thankful for the fans and the audience who have followed me through the years. It’s so refreshing to have something family-driven at a time when I think it’s really needed. It’s also nice to know that every week, you’re not going to be emotionally scarred.”
Season 2 is bigger and better
The cast is bigger in Season 2, as is the characters’ orbits. For example, Stephanie, the character who owns the bistro, has more of a role this year; her mom, her boyfriend and the boyfriend’s sister are around to heighten the drama. Abigail opens her own store, and Sam has his own office now, with a receptionist. Things are expanding for the town, and by extension, for the viewer.
“It’s tricky to make a show bigger without losing sight of what you’re doing, or without getting lost in all the new characters,” says Denton. “I think it’s going to hit all the marks fans care about, and that’s important. Any real Good Witch fan will enjoy this season — I think it stays true to the show’s core set of values.”
You can expect more to grow out of Nick and Grace’s love story — so there’s more for the teenager in your life.
“Grace is the same. Well, kind of,” laughs Madison. “She’s growing up and her life is starting to intersect with other characters. She takes on a big, new role with one of her favourite people in Middleton. That’s all I can say about that, but I’m excited to hear what people think about it.”
Love is in the air in Middleton, even more so than Season 1. With Grace entering her early teens, the hormones are raging and things are getting confusing.
“There’s always potential for Grace and Nick,” says Madison. “It’s one of those things when you have a guy friend growing up. You never know. Whether it’s now, or three seasons from now (if we’re still around), it’s something that’s always brewing. See what I did there with my witch pun?”
Of course, there’s romance among the adults, as well.
“We tabled the romance for a while, to not overplay it,” says Denton. “Sam and Cassie decided that it was for the best to not get together right now. But, we’re shooting the end of Season 2 right now and… I’ll just say things are warming up again.”
Bell of the ball
At the very centre of Good Witch is Catherine Bell, who is a lynchpin for the show’s success. Executive producer and director Craig Pryce, who brought the show from its movie roots into TV, believes Bell is absolutely essential to the continuing popularity of Good Witch.
“Catherine, in real life and on the show, is such a magical, warm person,” says Pryce. “The way she looks at problems and the way she deals with family is very unique and her philosophy is different. And, of course, there’s a touch of magic sprinkled within.”
“Also, the supporting cast is incredible, especially Sam [Denton],” he continues. “In Season 1, the audience could sense that there was more chemistry there, [they were] more than just friends. I think they’re going to be hoping for more in Season 2.”
As always, Bell’s Cassie is at the heart of everything and manages to weave her magic in her own special way, leaving a lasting effect on those around her.
“I’m so excited for this season to see where Sam and Cassie end up,” says Bell. “Maybe the new guy from Cassie’s past gets in the way? The viewers are in for lots of romance and some very interesting twists and turns!”
‘Good Witch’ Season 2 premieres on Thursday, April 21 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The W Network.