Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Evidently inspired by such stage and screen comedy-fantasies as I Married a Witch and Bell, Book and Candle, the long-running ABC sitcom Bewitched starred Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha Stephens, a pert, perky, suburban housewife who happened to be a genuine witch, with all the usual magical powers. Samantha was married to Darrin Stephens (played during the first five seasons by Dick York, and in the final three seasons by Dick Sargent), a rising young advertising executive who worked at the New York firm of McMahon and Tate. A mere mortal, Darrin insisted that Samantha -- or "Sam," as he called her -- behave like an ordinary human being, and that she keep her witchcraft under wraps at all times. Sam tried her best to oblige, but the situations occurring in the course of the series invariably required her to cast a few spells and chant a few incantations to get her husband or herself out of jams. Also in the cast on a regular and semi-regular basis were Agnes Moorehead as Samantha's sophisticated witch mother, Endora, who bore an intense dislike for Darrin, forever misidentifying him as "Dagwood," "Darwin," or some such; David White as Darrin's bombastic boss, Larry Tate, who never suspected that Sam was a witch and was thus always at a loss to explain the miraculous ways that things inevitably turned out right at the end of each episode; Irene Vernon and Kasey Rogers as Larry's level-headed wife, Louise; Alice Pearce and Sandra Gould as the Stephens' snoopy next-door neighbor Gladys Kravitz, who always suspected that something was amiss with Sam but was never able to prove it; George Tobias as Gladys' phlegmatic husband, Abner Kravitz; Maurice Evans as Sam's father and Endora's husband, Maurice, an elegant warlock; Paul Lynde as Sam's prankish warlock uncle Arthur; Marion Lorne as Sam's befuddled witch aunt Clara; Alice Ghostley as the equally birdbrained (and equally magical) Esmerelda, the Stephens' housekeeper-witch; and Bernard Fox as Dr. Bombay, warlock physician who popped in and out with zany remedies for various witch maladies. During the second season, Samantha gave birth to a daughter named Tabitha (generally played by Erin Murphy), who had obviously inherited some of her mom's powers. Likewise "gifted," though on a lesser scale, was Sam and Darrin's son, Adam (a role shared by David Lawrence andGreg Lawrence), who was born during season six. Also, the Stephens household was occasionally visited by Sam's mischievous, hippie-like identical cousin, Serena, who was played by "Pandora Spocks" (actually a pseudonym for Elizabeth Montgomery). Produced by Elizabeth Montgomery's then-husband, William Asher, and debuting September 17, 1964, Bewitched lasted eight seasons and 252 half-hour episodes (180 in color), finally leaving the air on July 1, 1972. Five years later, a spin-off of sorts, Tabitha, was seen on ABC. In 2005, a theatrical film version of Bewitched appeared, starring Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell.
witch, supernatural-powers, witchcraft