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Trivia / Bewitched

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The TV series:

  • Actor-Inspired Element: The reason Samantha wiggled her nose to cast spells is that Elizabeth Montgomery had the very rare ability to wiggle her nose (or rather wiggle her upper lip). Reportedly it was actually something of a tic of hers; her husband and series producer William Asher noticed it and suggested it to be adapted to her character.
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  • Baby Name Trend Starter: This show increased the popularity of the name Tabitha after one of the characters bore that name, and its popularity continued long after the show ended, well into the '80s.
  • The Character Died With Her: A notable example with Aunt Clara. After the death of her actress, Marion Lorne, the decision was made not to recast her, and while it wasn't outright stated that Aunt Clara died, the character stopped appearing (with Esmerelda, played by Alice Ghostley, serving as a Suspiciously Similar Substitute instead). This was despite (or perhaps because of) her status as one of the show's most popular characters. It's notable in that Bewitched was not shy about replacing actors (notoriously, up to and including its male lead).
  • Completely Different Title:
    • The series is known in Japan as Oku-Sama wa Majo (奥さまは魔女, "The Wife is a Witch").
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    • The Italian title of the series is Vita Da Strega ("Life As A Witch").
    • In France the show is known as Ma Sorcière Bien-Aimèe ("My Beloved Witch").
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: That Dick Sargent was actually the original choice by producer/director William Asher (and to a certain extent, his wife and star of the show Elizabeth Montgomery) for Darrin all along. While it is true that Sargent was considered initially for the show, but was under contract to another studio at the time and thus was unavailable to accept the role, he was considered for the role back when production of the show was under different people and was drastically different (for starters, it was considering Tammy Grimes for the main female role, named Cassandra; Grimes and Sargent starred in The Tammy Grimes Show a couple of years later instead). When that project fell apart and then landed on Asher and Montgomery, Dick York was always their first pick. Reportedly, Sargent and Elizabeth Montgomery had been good friends prior to the show's start, which may have led to the mistaken rumors.
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  • 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 Works:
    • 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 director 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.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Kasey Rogers, the second actress to portray Louise Tate, dyed her naturally red hair dark to more closely resemble the previous actress Irene Vernon. Rogers returned to red during the last few seasons.
  • 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.
  • Inspiration for the Work: It has been noted that two films that share many similarities with the series most likely served as inspiration for it. Both films in fact were properties of Columbia Pictures, which also owned Screen Gems, the company that produced Bewitched.
    • 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 1958 film Bell, Book and Candle, starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak. It's a Romantic Comedy with a supernatural element, as a publishing executive starts dating his Hot Witch neighbor. While Bewitched took the premise of I Married a Witch, it got most of its structure from Bell, Book and Candle, with the world of corporate America meeting a vast underground community of modern witches. Gillian (the blonde female lead witch) has a klutzy aunt, a jokester brother and tangles with a flamboyant older female witch who clearly got expied into Aunt Clara, Uncle Arthur and Endora.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Somewhat. 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 Sargent was brought on; on Sargent's first day on the set for a script reading, in front of the entire cast (including Sargent), Moorehead very slowly but firmly stated, "I don't like change."
  • 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.
  • Playing Their Own Twin: 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 actress. And it wasn't just the viewers. According to an E! True Hollywood Story episode about the series, some of the show's staff members would flirt with Serena, not realizing she was played by the star of the show who was also married to the show's producer. 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."
  • Produced by Cast Member: Although never properly credited as a producer, Elizabeth Montgomery was given a lot more creative control of the series beginning in the sixth season as part of a deal with ABC to renew the series for additional three seasons, after many of the cast and crew felt the show didn't need to continue after wrapping up its fifth season.
  • Recast as a Regular: Paul Lynde appeared in an early episode in a one-shot role that wasn't Uncle Arthur, however, he and Elizabeth Montgomery so loved working together, and the rest of the cast and crew got such a kick out of Paul Lynde and his sense of humor, that the character of Uncle Arthur was created pretty much to bring him back onto the show on a semi-regular basis...
  • 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?". Conversely, the set used as Tony Nelson's kitchen from I Dream of Jeannie became Larry and Louise Tate's kitchen in "Hippie, Hippie, Hooray".
    • The Monkees borrowed the living room once so Davy could introduce their concert tour episode.
    • The Stephens' living room set was itself recycled from the movie Gidget Goes to Rome.
    • The home that Darrin and Samantha rent for the first two episodes before buying the home they would live in for the rest of the series features the exterior and the foyer/living room of the Baxter's home for Hazel.
    • The recycling continued for years after. The exterior of the Taylors' home in Home Improvement was a redecoration of the façade 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.
  • 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". It also named The Original Darrin, though the original Dick never reprised the role.
  • The Production Curse: All three lead actors went on to die in their early 60s, two out of three of them of cancer (they were all heavy smokers). First came the two Darrin actors, Dick York in 1992 from emphysema,note  aged only 63; his replacement Dick Sargent in 1994 from prostate cancer, aged 64; and then Samantha actress Elizabeth Montgomery in 1995 from colon cancer, aged 62.
  • 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.
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  • Throw It In!: In the episode "Art for Sam's sake", Samantha is seen chasing after Tabitha who runs to the kitchen and puts her in the play pen. Erin Murphy, the actress who played Tabitha, said this was actually not part of the script. But the director loved it so much, he decided to leave it in.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Dick Sargent was actually the original choice for Darrin all along... well, technically. He was considered for the role back when the production was considering Tammy Grimes for the role of Samantha (see below), but Sargent was under contract to another studio at the time the show was starting up production, making him unavailable to accept the role. Incidentally, he and Elizabeth Montgomery had been good friends prior to the show's start, which led to some mistaken rumors that she and husband/producer/director William Asher considered him for the role of Darrin first before Dick York (in fact, after the project fell on Montgomery and Asher, York was always their first pick).
    • On the same token, a third Dick was also considered for the role at the beginning of the show: Richard Crenna (who also eerily bears a striking resemblance to Dick York). Reasons as to why he turned it down vary, with some saying that he tired of doing series television after spending six seasons on the series The Real McCoys, although the other reason given, that he was already committed to starring in the (ultimately short-lived) political drama Slattery's People, seems to disprove this.
    • The series was originally conceived as a vehicle for Tammy Grimes. However, she turned it down, reportedly because she didn't "get" the show and thought that as a witch she was going to be able to stop wars and bad traffic(!) It was after Grimes turned it down that the project landed on William Asher and Elizabeth Montgomery.
    • When it became clear that Dick York could not continue with the series, William Asher actually considered taking the opportunity to cancel it, not only because of York's departure, but because he and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to move on. However, the ratings were still high enough that the network wanted the show to go on.
    • When Dick Sargent was brought in to replace York, several ideas were come up with initially to explain why Darrin looked and sounded different. However, Asher thought the viewers understood this was an actor playing a role, so he decided that the best explanation was no explanation.
    • 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 (back when she was conceived with Tammy Grimes in mind) 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 Montgomery 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.
    • Jim Backus was the first choice to play Abner Kravitz, but turned it down, because he was already working on Gilligan's Island.
    • Jodie Foster and Helen Hunt were once considered for Tabitha.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Bewitched Wiki.
  • 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 a clumsy mortal maid (also for the Stephenses) named Naomi in the Season Two episode "Maid to Order." Made all the more confused considering that in that episode, Naomi is asked to help with a dinner at the Tates' home because their own maid was ill that night. The name of the Tates' usual maid? Esmeralda!

The 2005 film

  • Accidentally Correct Writing: More like Accidentally Correct Set Selection. The house that Isabel rents was chosen by writer/director Nora Ephron because it had belonged to a married couple that were friends of her parents, and she visited it many times as a child. By pure coincidence, the wife of said couple turned out to be Sandra Gould, who played the second Gladys Kravitz on the original series. Ephron claims in the DVD commentary that she didn't realize this until after the movie was made.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Kristin Chenoweth's casting was suggested by Nicole Kidman, because Kidman very much enjoyed her performance as Glinda in the Broadway musical Wicked. As a result, her part was written specifically for her.
    • In turn, it was Kristin Chenoweth's recommendation that the role of Aunt Clara was given to Carole Shelley, as she was her co-star in Wicked.
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $85 million. Box office, $63,313,159 (domestic), $131,426,169 (worldwide).
  • Creator Killer: Writer Delia Ephron's career also vanished, and her sister Nora's directing career would disappear for another four years before she directed what became her final film, Julie & Julia.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: Some deleted and alternate footage appears in the movie's trailer:
    • In Bed Bath & Beyond, there's an exchange between Nigel and Isabel, in which he says, "But you're a witch." To which she replies, "I know, but I'm not gonna be one anymore."
    • Footage of Jack in an arctic movie is displayed full screen, not within a television set like in the movie.
    • Footage of the new animated Bewitched opening credits are shown on a television set, not full screen like in the movie.
    • The dialogue between Jack and Isabel outside of the café is different. While in the movie Jack says "Just come and show everybody what you look like when you do it", the trailer features a different line, including an interruption by Isabel:
      Jack: Just come and show everybody what you look like when you...
      Isabel: What?
      Jack: ...wiggle your nose.
    • There's some extra shots during the Bed Bath & Beyond checkout scene: Isabel's hand in her shopping cart, then a close-up of the credit card swiping machine while the cashier pushes a button on the cash register in the background to bring up the total displayed on the machine.
  • Saved from Development Hell: There were attempts to make a film adaptation of Bewitched since The '90s.
    • First, Penny Marshall was attached to direct it and produce it in 1993, and her cast was to include Meryl Streep as Samantha Stephens, Barry Humphries in his Dame Edna persona as Endora, Robin Williams as Uncle Arthur, Shelley Winters as Gladys Kravitz, and Jerry Seinfeld and Billy Crystal alternating scenes as Darrin Stephens, in a nod to the role being re-cast midway through the original series' run.
    • At some point, Marshall dropped out from the director role (although she remained as producer) and the role was given to Ted Bessell instead. His 1996 script reading cast Melanie Griffith as Samantha, and was supposed to be a vehicle to revive Griffith's career. However, this production was halted after Bessell's death from an aortic aneurysm on October of that year.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: A variation. This was the first Nicole Kidman movie that Kidman herself made her two youngest daughters see.note  Due to their young ages, the two girls believed their mother was able to perform magic tricks, and were left confused and disappointed when they realized the truth.
  • What Could Have Been:


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