Trivia / Bewitched

Trivia Tropes:

  • Acting for Two: Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha and Serena, though because the characters were so radically different from each other, many viewers were actually convinced that Serena was played by another acress. To further keep the fact that Elizabeth played both characters as vague as possible, starting in season 6, the end titles would list Serena as played by, "Pandora Spocks".
  • Creative Differences: Between first season producer and script consultant Danny Arnold and ABC. Arnold wanted to make the show more realistic, while ABC wanted it to be more farcical.
  • The Danza: Maurice Evans plays Samantha's father, Maurice. Also doubles as It Is Pronounced Tro Pay: in Real Life, Maurice Evans insisted that his name be pronounced in Proper (British) English - "Morris" - however, there was one occasion on the show, in which another warlock refers to him as "Morris", only for him to correct him with "Maurice".
  • Directed by Cast Member: David White (Larry Tate) directed an episode.
  • Dueling Shows
    • I Dream of Jeannie. Though Bewitched lasted much longer, both shows — and their viewers — won. Elizabeth Montgomery reportedly hated Jeannie because she felt it was a shameless knock off of her show, but with all the social commentary replaced with fanservice, and was downright infuriated that Jeannie later had a reunion TV movie in The '80s (directed by her ex-husband William Asher, even), especially after she repeatedly turned-down offers to do the same with Bewitched (though, to be fair, she felt that any form of a reunion special would jeopardize the original series' credibility). Decades later Barbara Eden sort of agreed with her. When NBC hired Sidney Sheldon to create the series for them to compete with the success of ABC's Bewitched, he went to Bewitched directed William Asher for advice, admitting, "I have this, sort of, rip-off of you..." The 2005 film lampshades this, when Isabel is telling her neighbor Maria about being in the new series.
      Maria: Oh, I love that show! Is it the one about the genie?
    • Some would even feel that both shows also were to compete against previously successful monster sitcoms, such as The Addams Family and The Munsters.
  • Edited for Syndication: The opening animated credit sequence usually included a bit with that week's sponsor's logo, such as the Darrin and Samantha characters riding the Chevrolet logo through the sky, or Samantha turning herself into a sheepdog for Ken-L-Ration dog food.
  • Missing Episode: Syndication packages during The '80s left out the black and white seasons, which did not reappear on TV until Nick @ Nite obtained the rights to air them.
  • Recycled Set:
    • Essentially every room in someone else's house was the Stephens' master bedroom with new furniture and different camera angles. The Kravitzes' kitchen was the same as the Stephens'.
    • The Stephens' living room set became Dr and Amanda Bellows' living room in the I Dream Of Jeannie episode "Bottle, Bottle, Whose Got the Bottle?".
    • The Stephens' living room set was itself recycled from the movie Gidget Goes to Rome.
    • The recycling continued for years after. The exterior of the Taylors' home in Home Improvement was a redecoration of the facade of the Stephens' home, and the fountain in the local park is most famous as the place the Friends play around during their theme song.
  • Recycled: The Series:
    • Arguably, Bewitched was suggested by the 1942 film I Married a Witch, which has essentially the same premise. (An uptight mortal discovers that the hot blonde he just married is a centuries-old witch. Hilarity Ensues.) However, in I Married a Witch the 'shadow-horror' element is much closer to the surface than in Bewitched; the witch in question really does have very bad intentions for her husband at first, and her warlock father is much worse. The protagonist comes out ahead in the end, partly by accident, but even then there's a hint that he might not be home free yet. The feel is similar to Bewitched, but a step or two closer to reality and so a step or two scarier and more unnerving amid the comedy.
    • The play Bell, Book and Candle, made into a 1960 film starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, would seem more of an inspiration. Samantha, Darrin, Aunt Clara, and Uncle Arthur are clear expies of the play's main cast, although its two main characters are not married.
  • Relationship Voice Actor: With a dash of Irony as She Is Cast. Darrin and Endora despised each other in the show, but Dick York and Agnes Moorehead were very fond of each other. Reportedly, Moorehead wasn't pleased when Dick Sargeant was brought on.
  • The Other Darrin: Not just Darrin, but Gladys Kravitz, Louise Tate and Darrin's father, not to mention two babies and three different sets of twins playing Tabitha. The trope namer has the bonus of both actors being named Dick, leading fans to affectionately call it "the Dick switch".
  • Reality Subtext: Tabitha and Adam were conceived and born because Elizabeth Montgomery got pregnant.
  • The Red Stapler: The name "Samantha." It actually dates back, quite properly, to the 17th century, and first became a Red Stapler baby name in the Victorian era when feminist humorist Marietta Holley wrote a series of wildly popular stories about Samantha Allen, a middle-aged lady who spoke the plain truth to her husband. It had a modest rise in popularity again in the late 1950s and again in 1964, just before the show premiered.
  • Rerun
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Dick Sargent was actually the original choice for Darrin all along. He and Elizabeth Montgomery had been good friends prior to the show's start, and she and husband/producer/director William Asher felt he was the perfect for the role of Darrin, though Sargent was under contract to another studio at the time the show was starting up production, making him unavailable to accept the role. On the same token, a third Dick was also considered for the role: Richard Crenna (who also eerily bears a striking resemblance to Dick York).
    • In an effort to keep the show on a little while longer, ABC tried negotiating with Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher into continuing the show past its fifth season. While Seasons Six and Seven were eventually set in stone, ABC also gave them the options for Season Eight, Nine, and a partial Season Ten which would have included a Grand Finale TV-movie. Preparations began for a ninth season, but by then, Montgomery wanted out, and there was no question that while Darrin could've been played by other actors (Dick Sargent was also wanting out by then as well), no one could play Samantha like Montgomery.
    • Years later, William Asher attempted to develop a sequel series called Bewitched Again, which would focus on an entirely new couple (formally introduced to viewers in the pilot by Samantha, who would have only appeared in that episode), the only difference is unlike Darrin wanting Samantha wanting to give up her powers, the new husband would actually encourage his witch wife's craft. The new series never materialized.
    • Samantha was originally named Cassandra. Elizabeth Montgomery thought the name made the show seem too macabre; she also vetoed pulling The Danza, since it would make the show come off as if she was promoting herself. Samantha's maiden-name was originally going to be Dobson, as she was implied to be the daughter of John Dobson, a historical figure who had been burned at the stake as a witch. Considering Samantha's father, Maurice, later appeared alive and well later on in the show, fans are divided on how canon it is.
    • Some sources claim that Samantha and Serena were originally intended to be sisters. The idea of making them look-alike cousins was likely a reference to William Asher's previous project, The Patty Duke Show. Elizabeth Montgomerey herself also claimed that the idea of Sam having a long-lost sister that never got mentioned before was too ridiculous, and cousins were more pragmatic. Ironically, I Dream of Jeannie had no problem with sisters.
    • Elizabeth Montgomery wanted her father (respected actor-producer Robert Montgomery) to provide the voice narration for the pilot episode; he declined. Later still, Elizabeth wanted her father to play Maurice, on the grounds that his aristocratic demeanor would be perfect for the character; he declined again - though this time, it was because he was ill at the time he was approached with the role.
  • You Look Familiar:
    • Many of McMann and Tate's clients are played by the same handful of character actors, including Herb Voland, Arthur Julian, and Larry D. Mann, among others.
    • Both Paul Lynde and Bernard Fox played other roles before becoming Uncle Arthur and Dr. Bombay, respectively; Paul Lynde appeared in Season One as an incredibly insecure and high-strung instructor hired to teach Samantha how to drive, likewise, Bernard Fox appeared in Season Two as a witch hunter rather than a witch doctor.
    • Before playing clumsy witch maid Esmeralda, Alice Ghostley played clumsy mortal maid Naomi (also for the Stephenses) in the Season Two episode "Maid to Order."