The project will take the foundation of the classic '60s TV series and modernize it. Written by Barris with Black-ish writer Yamara Taylor, the new series will be about a black single mother who is also a witch. She marries Darren, a white mortal and a slacker and soon learns that even though she is a witch, she still is not as powerful as a white man in America.
According to Deadline, which first reported on the project, ABC gave a pilot production commitment. The project will be produced by ABC TV Studios with Sony Pictures TV, the rights holder of the Bewitched property. Barris is an executive producer, along with Taylor, John Davis and John Fox.
The original Bewitched ran on ABC from 1964 to 1972 and starred Elizabeth Montgomery as the witch married to a normal man played by Dick York. It was created by Sol Saks and later inspired foreign versions in Russia, Japan, India and Argentina. Unlike many other classic series considered for reboots, the show is available to stream on Hulu.
Sony has been spent considerable resources trying to reboot Bewitched. In 2014, a sequel series was considered at NBC. After the network dropped it, ABC and other networks were considered, but it never moved forward. In 2011, CBS developed a remake, but it also never came to fruition.
The only successful remake was the 2005 Columbia Pictures movie with Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Directed by Nora Ephron, the film was a big disappointment, earning negative reviews and flopping at the box office.
Barris sold the idea for his Bewitched remake to ABC before he left the network. He signed a three-year deal to develop projects at Netflix, estimated to be worth $100 million, reports Variety. Barris and ABC's relationship began to deteriorate when ABC shelved a Black-ish episode that commented on several current events, including the protests by athletes during the national anthem.
Despite leaving ABC, he will remain an executive producer on Black-ish and its spin-off Grown-ish, which airs on Disney's Freeform. Barris is also an executive producer on Freeform's Besties and co-wrote the hit movie Girls Trip.
Barris has been nominated for two Emmys as a producer on Black-ish and the series received a Peabody Award in 2016.
As for Taylor, she was also a writer on The Boondocks and Nickelodeon's Instant Mom. She also co-wrote the upcoming comedy #Twomuinutesoffame starring Keke Palmer, Jay Pharoah and Katt Williams.
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