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Feature: Charmed

The View from the Top

150 episodes!!! Executive producer E Duke Vincent shares his thoughts on reaching the milestone of 150 episodes of the hit Fantasy series…

Asked Charmed supremo, veteran legend and skilful tracker of the pop culture zeitgeist Aaron Spelling, might have been inspired by Buffy’s success when he proposed Charmed back in 1998, Spelling’s long-time collaborator E Duke Vincent comments, “That’s a good question. We have never looked at this show that way, although I’m sure it seems that way.

“We have always said,” continues the show’s executive producer, “from the very beginning, ‘This is a show about three sisters who happen to be witches. It’s not a show about three witches who happen to be sisters.’ That may seem to be a fine line, but it’s not, because how many demons can you do? We’ve done 150 different versions of demons. But we have several really interesting versions of the relationships between the girls, and the men with whom the girls get involved. So the heart of the show, we have always felt, the meat and potatoes, is the relationships. The extras are ‘kicking ass’ and the demons and all the rest, the special effects.”

Vincent also points out that Spelling’s track record in forceful, self-sufficient female leads goes back a long way, to a detective show he produced as far back as 1965. “Any of you remember Honey West? It was a fabulous show with Anne Francis, and she was the first gal ever to stand on her own. I mean she was really kicking ass. And then of course you had Charlie’s Angels. I certainly think that seeing empowered women is not a bad thing, it’s fun to watch.”

As Spelling’s right-hand man on series as varied as Dynasty and The Love Boat, the executive producer – who’s married to one-time Buck Rogers villain Pamela Hensley – is in a perfect position to look back to Charmed’s early days, and in particular the role Constance Burge had in developing the series. “She created it!” he stresses. “She created the characters, she wrote the parts… I was there, other people were there, as there always are during any pilot recording, sure, but Connie created these characters.”

However, Burge then moved on, entrusting her baby to Vincent and his fellow executive producer Brad Kern, who masterminds the day-to-day scripting and production of the show. “She moved on at the end of the first year, I believe. She had another pilot, actually she had two other pilots. We wanted to keep her on, but she had other things that she wanted to do and she did them. But she was still paid and was still on board as a consultant for five years.”

Asked whether a celebratory episode like the 150th show breaks the budget, Vincent laughs. “Well, there were several where the budget went crazy, mainly two-hour shows, of the sort that we did for a couple of seasons. But the one that we really did it with was the mermaid show, A Witch’s Tail. That was the one that went all out, and it turned out to be a terrific show. That was by far the most reaction we got. I mean we got tons of letters, the Internet went crazy.”

Get the full interview and many more Charmed features in
Xposé Special #28

Photo © Warner Bros
Feature © Visual Imagination 2005. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Xposé Special #28, see below for ordering options
Xposé Special #28
Charmed 2005
ships from Mar 17 2005
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