Salem First Look: Seth Gabel Declares War Against Witches in WGN America's New Drama

“You. Will. Burn.”

So promises the voice of Seth Gabel (Fringe, Arrow) in the following teaser trailer for WGN America’s first scripted drama series, the 17th century-set Salem.

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Gabel’s Cotton Mather, a local aristocrat who oversees the witch hunts, is filled with fury as the wicked are punished. “If she uses her beauty to tempt the good people of Salem to commit sins of the flesh, she be a witch,” he declares.

Neither heard or seen in the promo — the footage is not from the pilot — but also starring in the series are Shane West (Nikita) as a war veteran who returns to find his native Salem consumed by the hunt frenzy, Janet Montgomery (Made in Jersey) as sorceress Mary Sibley and Ashley Madekwe (Revenge) as Mary’s alluring and ageless right-hand woman.

Salem, from Star Trek vet Brannon Braga, is scheduled to debut in Spring 2014.



Comments (34)

  • Why don’t I get WGN network on cablevision????? This sounds so good! Anybody know if they have a website that will play this show????

    Comment by L – December 19, 2013 10:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I have the same problem, I also have cablevision. I am hoping it will either be available on Hulu or maybe on WGN’s own website for viewing. it would be a nice new year gift if cablevision/optimum were to add WGN to it’s line-up but then I remember how long I had to wait for BBC America to be added their channels.

      Comment by Tori – December 19, 2013 10:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ugh, it figures! I hope it will be on Hulu.

      Comment by mary – December 19, 2013 11:08 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • FiOS has WGN America in it’s mid-priced “Prime” lineup, but only the SD channel. For some reason the HD version is only available in the Ultimate package.

      Comment by Ray – December 19, 2013 02:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Channel 307 on Direct TV if that helps anyone.

      Comment by Stormy – December 20, 2013 09:22 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Looks good!

    Comment by N – December 19, 2013 10:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow! This looks great!

    Comment by Kyle C. – December 19, 2013 10:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Wow of all networks it looks like WGN create a really good show

    Comment by ggny – December 19, 2013 10:26 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • but no witches were burned in salem- they were hung or pressed to death. other than this, looks good!

    Comment by kat – December 19, 2013 10:52 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Thank You!! This drives me crazy and all the TV shows and movies make this mistake. No witches were burned in England or “the Colonies” under English law. They were hanged. Only in Scotland and other parts of Europe did they burn witches. It’s something that takes about a minute of research to find out.

      Comment by Chris – December 19, 2013 11:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • YES. Finally. God, it’s such a basic thing and so easy to fact-check. How can Hollywood keep making this mistake?

        Comment by Annie – December 19, 2013 11:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Probably cause burning witches at the stake is more interesting than hanging?

          Anyways, I hope seth survives this show, his role sounds like a true villain and he might bite it.

          Comment by Pill queen – December 19, 2013 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I hope he dies in the first episode! Seth gabel is a terrible villain! Have you watched Arrow? His portrayal of Vertigo is just awful!!!

            Comment by CBWBDK1 – December 19, 2013 01:55 PM PDT  
        • I’m assuming that its because its more dramatic and/or the fact that they’re betting on the majority of the population not knowing that bit of info.

          Comment by Sasha – December 19, 2013 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I dont think its a mistake though- its just done this way because its more dramatic.

          Comment by Francine – December 19, 2013 06:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Also, they weren’t really witches. They were just ordinary young women murdered by angry mobs.

      Comment by Drew Melbourne – December 19, 2013 11:53 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • This is truly my pet peeve. I don’t know why they persist in talking about burning witches in America. Witches were burned in Europe, yes, but hung here, as you say. And pressed.

      Comment by Twokeets – December 19, 2013 01:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • WGN should bring back Legend of the Seeker!

    Comment by Darken Rahl – December 19, 2013 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The trailer left me lukewarm. It doesn’t feel like anything new, so why should I tune in?

    Also, I hate to be a grammar police, but “Neither heard or seen in the promo” should be “Neither heard NOR seen in the promo…” It’s just a bit of a pet peeve when people who get paid to write mess up very simple things.

    Comment by Ed – December 19, 2013 11:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Well it would help if the teaser had footage from the PILOT ITSELF. Is that the “nothing new” you were referring to?

      Comment by Pill queen – December 19, 2013 12:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I guess this will help soothe my sadness when AHS:coven’s over

    Comment by kevin – December 19, 2013 12:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Especially since Ryan Murphy backtracked on his idea of having a Coven spinoff. That man is so fickle. Not to be trusted.

      Comment by Ray – December 19, 2013 02:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Coven didn’t need a Spinoff.

        Comment by OnceFan316 – December 19, 2013 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • That’s your opinion. And you know what they say about opinions…

          Comment by Ray – December 19, 2013 07:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The teaser for the show looks great. Excited to see Seth Gabel on the show.

    Comment by Joey – December 19, 2013 12:37 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Sounds like they are going to get Salem all wrong again–the burning of witches which didn’t happen in the U.S., and also this idea that you have to show actual sorceresses, when the people killed at Salem were not witches but innocent people of all types–male, female, young, old, poor and pretty well off. Granted–Cotton Mather sounds like a real drama queen and a douche, but I’m afraid they are going to just ignore the facts of the true story which is already so fascinating, it doesn’t require invention on the part of ignorant Hollywood types.

    Comment by Twokeets – December 19, 2013 01:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I didn’t realize Salem was supposed to be a documentary and not a FICTIONAL drama.

      Comment by Pill queen – December 19, 2013 01:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This looks good. I’m excited for Seth Gabel. I enjoyed watching him on Fringe & Arrow.

    Comment by enri – December 19, 2013 01:57 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why are people getting so upset about the historical accuracy of this show? How many countless shows are set in the present day and still aren’t realistic? Yet people don’t complain about them, whenever unrealistic technology pops up or “hacker” characters speak complete gibberish.

    It’s entertainment. If you’re looking for reality, go for a walk.

    Comment by Drew – December 19, 2013 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If you care about Salem, you’d like them to get the basics right anyway–the not burning, mainly. That way they could keep it in the spirit of reality. Otherwise, in my opinion, it seems kind of stupid. I mean, why bother to call it Salem if it doesn’t represent what happened there, even generally? Just my opinion!

    Comment by Twokeets – December 19, 2013 05:50 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Ser I care about Salem- I visit every year- but I see no problem with what they’re doing. I’m sure the producers and writers of the show know burning didnt actually happen, but it does make it more dramatic to watch. It’s a scripted fictional show like any other, and thery’re calling it Salem just for the simple fact that the show is set in the town of Salem. It’s not meant to be historically accurate. If it WAS, then I would be upset by this too. But its purely meant to be fiction. But you’re certainly entitled to your opinion and I’m not judging!

      Comment by Francine – December 19, 2013 06:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • It’s a wonderful place, isn’t it? You can totally feel the history on every corner. Not to harp too much on history! But it is a peeve of mine, about the burning.

        Comment by Twokeets – December 20, 2013 06:37 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Having been born and brought up in Salem, I find it sad that, other than a PBS series done in the 80′s, the trials have never been presented correctly in film. Not making this historically accurate kind of dilutes the importance of the event in my mind. It’s like doing a drama about the Lincoln assassination but having him stabbed instead of shot because it’s more interesting.

    Comment by sloth65 – December 20, 2013 08:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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