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Feature: Charmed

Kern I Kick It?

Ups and downs in the new season

Believe it or not, that is the sound of all punnish Brad Kern interview titles being used up. The executive producer of Charmed takes us through the ups and downs of the new season of the show

Going into its seventh season, it is hard to pinpoint the source of Charmed’s popularity and longevity. Perhaps it’s the triple star power of Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs and Rose McGowan, or the chemistry and energy they radiate as the bewitching Halliwell sisters. Or could it be the entertaining predicaments the trio is thrust into on a weekly basis? It’s a tough call that even executive producer Brad Kern can’t make, but he does dismiss the accusations that the show’s success is simply due to T & A.

“You can’t say after seven years it’s the skin factor,” argues Kern. “According to the ratings, our male demographic is pretty low. In reality, I believe it is pretty high. We’re on the air because of ratings and it is mostly women 12-49 and the average age of our audience is 32. Unless all those women like a lot of skin,” he laughs, “and they don’t care about the characters, the adventures, and the ride we’ve taken them on. I’m not saying we’re not aware we have pretty ladies that are sometimes scantily clad, but you just can’t be on the air seven years and consistently have strong ratings and just have the sizzle. You have to have the steak.”

That meat usually comes as the Charmed Ones battle their inner demons while tackling any supernatural threats. Case in point: last season Leo was forced to vanquish his mentor Gideon to save his son Wyatt in It’s a Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad World. As a result, the resident guardian angel and his charges will question their duties as Leo takes a walk on the dark side. “Leo has always been the force for good and that’s always been a constant,” says Kern. “His back-story is he died during World War II, became a Whitelighter, watched over good witches, married Piper and became an elder. He’s only ever been about good overcoming evil. When the ultimate good guy, Gideon, tried to kill Leo’s son, it will and has rocked his moral foundation and the sisters as well. You’ll see in Season Seven whether or not the bigger good versus evil battle is worth fighting any more because the lines seem to have blurred.”

All of that guilt and doubt won’t make Leo and Piper’s rocky road to reconciliation any smoother either. ”They both know they want to be together and have known that since they conceived Chris, but there’s always been one obstacle or another,” explains Kern. “As we start Season Seven, Piper will not want to go another year of being a single mom and she is going to have to fight to save Leo from his downward spiral.”

by Bryan Cairns

Get the full interview in
Cult Times #110

Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2004. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #110
November 2004
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