Charmed Anniversary Interview

Charmed 10 Years Later: Showrunner Talks Prue's Death, Phoebe's Tragic Love, Billie's Rumored Spinoff and More

From 1998 to 2006, Charmed reigned supreme on The WB. And while the latter is but a distant memory (R.I.P., Michigan J!), the former lives on in syndication, Netflix and the hearts of commuters who wish they could just orb home instead of having to sit in traffic.

Charmed has sustained itself for over a decade, which I don’t think anyone expected, even though it makes perfect sense,” showrunner Brad Kern remarks. “It’s a timeless show about family, sisters and magic. Our daily mantra was: ‘This is a show about three sisters who happen to be witches, not three witches who happen to be sisters.'”

On the eve of the series finale’s tenth anniversary — “Forever Charmed” aired on May 21, 2006 — TVLine invited Kern to reflect on the drama’s storied history, from the Halliwell sisters’ first spell to their time-bending farewell. (Sorry, rhyming just sort of happens when you’re writing about Charmed.)

In addition to sharing behind-the-scenes stories about several Charmed institutions (Cole, Magic School, etc.), Kern candidly addresses a handful of lingering fan questions, including: Was Drew Fuller originally meant to play grown-up Wyatt? Was Kaley Cuoco hired in the hopes of spinning off Billie? And, most importantly, why weren’t there any photos of Prue in the manor after her death?

As for Charmed‘s future, Kern believes it’s still “too soon” for a reboot — he had no involvement with the pilot script CBS ordered in 2013 — but says he would love to see the Halliwells’ story continue on the small screen when the time is right.

“It was a terrific series, and the girls’ kids would certainly be coming of age soon,” he acknowledges. “I can definitely see it. They’re bringing back everything else, why not bring back a hit?”

Click through the gallery below for all of Kern’s reflections, then drop a comment with your own: Which episodes do you find yourself re-watching? Are you hoping for a reboot or revival someday? Whatever’s on your mind, let’s hear it.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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86 Comments
  1. Cheryl says:

    Loved Charmed! I still miss it. It would be great if they could reboot it while honoring the original cast too. It could be the next generation but with appearances from the originals and flashbacks.

  2. I liked and miss this show.Missed Prue.I Liked Billie and probably would’ve watched a spinoff with her.Forever Charmed was a great serires finale.I Feel old now seeing it’s been off for 10 years .10 years already ? Wow time flies.

  3. Steven says:

    Thank you so much for this Andy! Charmed is what got me into TV. I so agree with slide 4. That was always a huge problem. Death Becomes Them was one of the best episodes of the 7th season and The WB promoted it as “I SLEPT WITH A ZOMBIE”. The thing is in Phoebe’s bed for 5 seconds to scare her and they centered the entire promo around that. it still irks me to this day.

    • Steven says:

      If Slide 16 is correct then that just shows how badly Brad messed up that story arc. It makes no sense if it he was meant to be Chris in the beginning. He sent Leo to Valhalla and broke up his parents just to scramble and try to get them back together so he could be conceived. it made no sense.

      • Ari says:

        I think the prevailing theory that still may apply is the Chris that originally travelled back in time wasn’t the same one that dealt with the consequences…remember, season 5 Chris made Leo an elder, something that he said was a drastic change…so even his mission got retconned (stop the Titans vs save Wyatt) because he’s from a different timeline.

        • Andy Swift says:

          I didn’t bring this up in the interview, but it always bugged me that Chris tells Paige that he borrows money from her in the future… even though, according to him, Paige was killed by the Titans in his timeline (before he was even born).

          • Steven says:

            Time travel was never Charmed’s strong point. It gets so messed up and confusing. But I still love it.

      • Diana Lynne says:

        According to Chris in his time, the Charmed ones were killed the day the Titans were erected. Chris saved the sisters but he had to make Leo an Elder to do it which would break up the marriage. Then he had to get them back together so he could be born. I wonder about the Valhala thing too. Chris said he had to get rid of Leo for awhile so the sisters would come to trust him more.

        • Steven says:

          But then how did Chris get conceived to begin with if they had died that day? None of it makes sense and it gives me a headache thinking about it.

          • Riad says:

            If you rewatch the Titans episode that’s when Paige was about to die, then in Season 6 that episode with Bianca it’s explained that Piper died when he was about 14

    • Steven says:

      And I will never forgive Brad Kern for not even TRYING to get Shannen back when he knew how much the fans wanted it.

      • K says:

        Did you not read his comments though? He tried “like crazy” but there was too much water on the bridge and he couldn’t even afford/get a photo, let alone a physical cameo.

        • Steven says:

          He also said “there was no talk about bringing [Shannen Doherty] back physically”. He didn’t even ask her. Shannen had said if she were asked she would have agreed. So he didn’t even reach out to her to see if she’d be willing and how much money she’d ask for.

          • CMG says:

            It sounds like he didn’t bother, because it had previously (likely on many occasions) been made perfectly clear to him that having her appear in any form wasn’t going to happen. There’s only so many times that Brad can be expected to beat his head against that brick wall before he gives up and doesn’t bother even asking anymore.

          • Gail says:

            It sounded more like the producers and/or the WB Network were unwilling to have Shannen back. He says he was told things like he would have to pay her full per episode salary just to use a picture or a clip for a flashback. It’s clear that whatever went down when she left any bridge for her return was burned.

        • Steven says:

          You can’t try like crazy by doing nothing.

          • Patrick says:

            If your bosses tell you a thing will never happen, then its pointless to try and do that thing.

  4. Jamie says:

    Brad, you ran the show into the ground after Constance left.

  5. Maria says:

    I love watching all the shows that have Shannon in them don’t have anything against the shows after but never watched the new ones have watched after Shannon ones in reruns but I still say that the ones with Shannon were better.

  6. LE says:

    I binge watch Charmed on Netflix a couple of years ago, and really enjoyed the show so much.

  7. a says:

    Oh just be honest Kern and admit that Alyssa basically threatened that either Shannen would leave or she would.

    • Sammy says:

      Actually it was Shannen who gave Aaron Spelling the EP an ultimatum that either Alyssa goes or she does. Aaron gave her the boot. I think Brad did not wanna say that because in recent years Alyssa and Shannen have made up, sortof. So rather than dredge the past, he was classy and just alluded to it. Alyssa never struck me as a haughty person. Shannen wad the Diva.

  8. Cas says:

    I love Charmed. Still watch it every morning on TNT. But I will admit I have often wondered what it would be like if Shannen had been in all seasons instead of Paige. Paige was okay but never my fave. And I love Cole!!! Also, they take away Leo but replace him with Billee? Was he really that much per episode? Funny how Billee has become the most successful after Charmed.

  9. Charmed will forever be my all time favorite show, the show that I watched when I was a kid and shaped me tremendously. However, Brad Kern ruined the show with his ridiculous “costume of the week” concept that started around Season 5. In the long run, the show did fall apart when Shannen Doherty left.

    • Sammy says:

      I think sone times there was a bit of kooky amd whacky things that never made total sense but to say that because an actress left the quality of the writing diminished is completley wrong. Especially since at that time- none of them had a say in much. They just did as they were told. Only now, bigger name actors have input because they are producers or the ones who have helped get the show to air and habe a stake in the show.

      • Shannen really held the show together, as evidenced by the numerous accounts in recent years where some of her co-stars claimed that she did a lot of overtime on the show, always there to try and make Charmed as great as possible.

  10. Sammy says:

    The charmed series finale is EXACTLY how you do a finale
    All the feels, the drama, the suspense and humor. The best show ever for me…. *sigh* I miss it so…. *goes to get the DVDs out*

  11. Paula Oakes says:

    Would love to see a charmed roboot, even tie up some questions.Maybe bring in a little secret circle storyline with a lost member of family bringing it all back together. Wyatt as the first male Halliwell offspring should have had a twin sister to balance his powers. Prue could have been used to raise the girl in hiding and re-emerge when time was right for reunion.

  12. autumnd23 says:

    Thanks for the nice interview. Still upset about what he did to Cole…

  13. thecountess1 says:

    i think this is the perfect time for a reboot, you dont want the mainstays to be too old to do the stunts, get with it and start writing and give us our charmed back

  14. katie says:

    I’m so excited about this article! I loved Charmed so much (I own the series and still DVR some of the episodes) and always wondered about some of the stuff, like the Chris vs Wyatt thing and about Billie’s appearance. I definitely felt like the series changed after Prue’s death, though I appreciated both versions of the show. They definitely felt way more like sisters with Prue on the show but Paige brought something special to the show as well, by looking at the magic with fresh eyes. I don’t think they should do a reboot – i feel like, these days, people are more likely to sexualize the show, and I don’t think Charmed really needs that.

  15. Chloe says:

    Charmed is my all time favorite show. I loved the first few seasons the most, because the details of their sisterhood relationships was so real and well done. The stories were also made to be more believable/realistic, like with Andy/the law, their job struggles, starting p3… I feel the last seasons, it was more fake, more unrealistic, and less focus on them as sisters, and less focus on the initial emotional & good nature of the show. In the end, they came off as selfish/mean/not about protecting the innocents. I still enjoyed it thoroughly, some of the later story arcs were awesome (with Chris!), and the comedy and sense of family has always been a huge asset of the show, but those first few seasons, to me, will always be the true essence of charmed :)
    So revival or reboot, I love the original cast, but I’d be down either way as long as it keeps that original essence as opposed to the theatrics of the last few seasons.

  16. lori says:

    I think I am in the minority, but I really enjoyed the show with Paige. I enjoyed the drama with bits of comedy. It was fun. Also appreciate Prue, but the Paige years are my favorite. Still love that show!

  17. Ian says:

    Loved Charmed, and it’ll always have a place in my heart
    That said though, I wish the show had retained the grit of the earlier seasons. As much as I loved Paige and Rose, it did feel like the show shifted into a far campier tone than it should have around when Paige came in. I remember reading somewhere that it was a very clique-y set and Alyssa felt excluded because Shannen and Holly were old friends and because she was pretty and a child star. I believe it lol. But glad to hear there probably aren’t hard feelings anymore.
    And Brad was wrong about Cole. To this day, I haven’t seen better chemistry between 2 actors more than Julian and Alyssa (Kerry and Tony may be the exception). Cole was Phoebe’s soulmate. End of.

    • Erin says:

      They did have amazing chemistry didn’t they? I’m not a shipper but that was one of the rare few couples I’ve shipped in my many years of being a Tv addict – they had off the charts chemistry and yes their story was tragic but all those different dimensions, heh, added to it. Wasn’t a fan of the direction that the show went in the last seasons but that was the worst choice in terms of phoebes love life.

  18. Andraia says:

    I believe a remake of the charmed ones children would be great! I love the show is one of my favorites and would definitely watch the remake!!!

  19. Eran says:

    If I could write a letter to my past self after reading this, I would tell him to just quit after season 4. To give up hope that some believable chemistry between the new trio could come into being and that there is no chance in hell we would ever see Prue again. Reading this just really makes me wish I had never wasted three years and so many hours of my life watching the utter sh*t fest that was seasons 5-8.

  20. Sabrina says:

    Great article. I used to love watching this show and I’m glad it got to have a proper series finale. I hope that the site will be doing more of these type of articles especially during the summer hiatus.

  21. Allison says:

    The reason I started watching Charmed was because someone had made a reference about the fashion choices of Phoebe Halliwell. At the time, I had no idea what the person was talking about so off to Google I went and from there straight to Netflix. I fell in love with the show and immediately with Grams. She reminded me so much of my aunts it is ridiculous. Leo for whatever reason became a favorite of mine after just his first appearance. I have several favorite episodes, but the series finale, Forever Charmed, tops the list. I watch it over and over and cry over and over. I also re-watch the pilot, Something Wicca This Way Comes, Oh My Goddess (parts 1 and 2), and It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World (parts 1 and 2). I liked the addition of Billie and I liked the story of her sister, Christy’s connection with the triad (not sure if that be capitalized) and how ballistic Christy went when she learned the truth about who murdered her parents. I wish the sister could have been redeemed, but instead she went the way of Cole and had to be vanquished by the person that loved her most. It was so sad because here Billie is wanting to save her sister and she makes this tearful plea and all she gets for her efforts is a fireball hurled at her. She had to defend herself and as a result no more Christy. It was so sad because she wasn’t able to save her sister but the bright side was she was able to repair the damage she had done. She realized her mistake(s) and set towards earning the sisters’ forgiveness. Do we still have character’s like this anymore on television? In real life, even? Anyway, I hope no one would be foolish enough to do a reboot of Charmed because it just wouldn’t be the same. The show wouldn’t be given much of a chance. There would be too many comparisons to this and that or how x wouldn’t happen or how y would have happened if z would/wouldn’t have done to a what b did/didn’t do to c and so on and so forth. In my opinion, a reboot is necessary if a series needs to be rewritten in an entirely different way or to wrap up a story that didn’t get a proper finale and to me Charmed had that so please just leave well enough alone. Anyway, thanks for the fun article and the walk down memory lane.

  22. Treesa Martin says:

    I would love to see a revival of Charmed but with the kids grown and fighting their own evil. And of course it never hurts to have a little help family either…

  23. Carrie says:

    Sounds like he was jealous of the attention that Buffy received, and he just had to add that his show lasted a little longer. Let’s be honest. Buffy received more attention because it was an intelligent show that changed the landscape of television. No one would ever say that about Charmed. It was never even in the same category. This was a guilty pleasure type of show. They ripped off every other TV show, movie and fairy tale imaginable to come up with new episodes. The show was finally cancelled after 8 seasons, whereas Buffy ended after 7 because the star and show runner decided it was time.

    • QueenB says:

      Charmed wasn’t cancelled! Alyssa and Rose were done and their contracts were expiring! Do some research! The announced the cancelation because they were upset that the stars wouldn’t sign new contracts except Holly!

  24. Krystal Roberts says:

    I love charmed so much . I watch the reruns over an over. Please bring it back this is my favorite show of all time.

  25. mooshki says:

    I understand he’s proud of the show, but to suggest it was better than Buffy because it was on the air longer is laughable.

  26. Dominique says:

    thank you so much for writing this and honoring this amazing show!
    i loved charmed so much growing up, the series finale had me in tears.

  27. I miss the Halliwell family. I still binge the reruns. It would have been nice for a Wyatt/Chris spin-off just because I liked those actors so much.
    10 years gone? Can’t believe it.

  28. Shane says:

    Kick ass. When you rewatch it again you really feel for Cole. You see what bitches they were. Literally drove him crazy. Still wish it was Alyssa that got axed not Shannen.

  29. Kim says:

    Charmed is one of my absolutely favorite shows. I have the entire show from seasons 1-8 on DVD. I even have the unaired pilot. Alyssa was a much better choice than the Katherine somebody that was in the original pilot.

  30. Cynthia Scott says:

    Please bring back JMcmahon. That chemistry gets to me Everytime I watch the Cole seasons. They have to get married& have mixed babies. Also want Dan back!

  31. Erin says:

    Would loved to see the orginal cast of all 4 of them together, just would be right any other way

  32. sophia says:

    I want a revival of charmed if not with the original cast baste on the comic books, the with the charmed ones kids including drew

  33. Tina says:

    Charmed was awesome until they took Cole and Leo,and added Billie and her sister…The Charmed Ones was suppose to be the most powerful witches,not Billie and her sister!

  34. PIPER’S &LEO’S WEDDING,WYETT’S & CHRIS ‘S BIRTHS,PRUE AS AN AUNT PRUE AND ANDY MERRIED,WITH 8 KIDS…………………………

  35. Erin says:

    I adored charmed but I found it went in for way too long, I started losing interest in what was one of my favourite shows and barely watched the last season. He said that they brought Billie in to freshen up the show as the actors were tired – the whole thing was tired by then, it’s better to go out on a high, I wish they hadn’t kept pushing it along just for the sake of it. My favourites seasons were the earlier seasons as the chemistry the original three was off the charts, but I’ll give it to them, although I never warmed fully to Paige they did a good job there – she worked well in terms of casting and how they wrote her in. And they also did an amazing job with Cole, was always sad that Phoebe and he never ended up together but too much had passed by the time it eventually ended.

  36. Suzie says:

    My favorite episode was when Pipper and Leo got maried. Acontinuity of the serie would be cool. Pru could be the charmed ones’ white light. Love Charmed

  37. Donald Dugie says:

    I have always heard about how things are going to be done you never know what the future holds so I just figure that whatever happens will happen and there really isn’t anything that we can do about it, but I will say this if any thing I sure would love to see charmed the movie to clear up some rumors that have been flying around, and that they aren’t true, so please finish up the series that way.

  38. Randall says:

    This was really great to read <3 Thanks a lot! Slideshow was the best part. Really cool reading Kern's comments about finding the show's identity in the earlier seasons. Incidentally I was never fond of the Wedding from Hell episode lol. But I kind of knew/suspected all the other stuff like why they never used Shannen's image and why Leo left and Billy was introduced.

  39. I would love to see a reboot. This was my favorite show and i still watch every day. I had the pleasure of meeting Shannen and Holly at a Comi-Con and they were wonderful.
    COME BACK CHARMED

  40. TH says:

    BRING IT BACK!!!! It was WAY too soon for it to be taken off when it was. The fan base is still here and interested. You can see that from people still watching the reruns. I’m one of those people! Lol.. Do it before you lose them.. Like what happens with the rebooted Melrose Place. That was a disaster because of the all new cast and by that time your target audience in the 90s had grown up. They weren’t trying to revert back or couldn’t identify to the single early 20 something days.. Especially with a new cast.. Oh and putting it on a leser known Chanel.. Didn’t go.

    Bring charmed back with the original casts.. We will watch! And it will be a success! We want to know what happens with everyone!

  41. Wes says:

    I liked Charmed, but I think the show would have fared better if they had not killed off Prue (for whatever reason), and bringing in a half-sister due to their mother cheating did not sit well with me ethics wise, which brings up another point, namely, Leo and Piper breaking up and her almost screwing other men. That did not sit well at all with this highly romantic love they were supposed to have. Leo still had it, but Piper….. It would have been much better if they continued on in their love relationship. Also, Phoebe and Cole should have stayed together. Their on/off thing was frustrating. Other demons turned good…so why not Cole. Those three things kind of turned me off the show at times. Also, Phoebes wardrobe or rather lack of clothing was not needed, and frankly kind of embarrassing, lol. And Phoebe’s promiscuity…not needed on a supposedly ‘family’ show. However, I liked and still like the show (except for the parts above…but I write my own version anyway, lol)…the quirkiness, the humor, the magic, the manor (wish I had it), the Book of Shadows…which I do have…great replica that looks just like the one in the show. Anyway, all the actors (not sure about Julian) have said they are game for a reboot…the power of three + one.

  42. Makeba Mooncycle says:

    I have been watch from beginning to end since syndication satated and I always watch the last season on netflicks. I even began reading the comic books.

    Yes bring back the spin off with Wyatt, Chris, Leo, Phoebe, Paige and Piper. It will be successful

  43. Judy Angel says:

    I watch and rewatch everyday the shows in syndication. I am a 68 year old Grams myself but love the girls. Please do Charmed, The Next Generation. Of course,Piper, Phoebe and Paige has to be on too, at least sometimes.
    Here’s hoping!

  44. Mark Walker says:

    I bought the complete season and watching it every 6 months, I am currently watching season 3 wherein Prue is about to be removed from the series. I would love to see the continuation not the reboot of the series, that will be more interesting… I have a group of friends who love Charmed since the beginning and we are still talking about it up to now. I hope to see a “NEW” Charmed show with the 3 sisters teaching their children about the craft.

  45. QueenB says:

    Shannen’s feud was with Brad not Alyssa. She wanted to improve the series which meant she was rewriting scripts which hurts his fragile ego

  46. Heather says:

    I love, love, love charmed, I was young when I watched it originally so taping it on vhs was the only why I could watch it, since it was in after my bedtime, but even now as an adult I go back and watch it over and over again, first season to last. It’s downright the best supernatural tv shows out there, and was so sad it ended., please bring it back..

  47. Manon says:

    I would want to see a show continuance with the children if the sisters.

  48. Cindy Smith says:

    Would love to see a Charmed Reboot with appearances from the original cast if possible. Not interested in a prequel. It’s the original family and their sisterhood that the fans fell in love with… Anything less just wouldn’t be interesting.

  49. Angela says:

    It will ONLY be a hit if you bring the original cast members…. Piper, Phoebe, and Paige! Although I realize Paige was not an original cast member, she played her part well and was with the show till the end….

  50. Selena Trinette Fisher says:

    I want to see “CHARMED” back, but with the children’s children. Bring back the original Wyatt and original Chris as the parents raising their kids as the “new” charmed ones. Let Alyssa and Rose and Holly, even Shannon pop up every now and again playing their part….I’d watch it.