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TCA: 'Salem' stirs new witches' brew for WGN America

"Salem" carries a warning: Witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem to be.

The drama, which will premiere April 20 on WGN America as its first original series, explores what really fueled the town's infamous witch trials while exploring the dark and supernatural truth behind them.

Set in the late 1600s, "Salem" revolves around an epic romance and "bolder new vision of witches," producers said. In this case, the witches are the witch-hunters.

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Brannon Baga, creator and executive producer of the series, described the concept as " 'Wuthering Heights' meets "The Exorcist.' "

"Our take on this show is that witches are real," said Baga ("24"). "What they're up to and what they're doing is what's revealed."

Janet Montgomery ("Human Target") stars as the ruthless but vulerable Mary Sibley, Salem's most powerful enchantress. Shane West ("Nikita") is hardened war veteran John Alden, and Mary's onetime love interest. Also starring are Seth Gabel, Ashley Madekwe and Xander Berkeley.

The series, executives said, launches WGN America's mission to be a "dedicated purveyor of innovative scripted fare."

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