Freeform’s moving forward on a new series about the Salem witches. The one-hour drama is titled Motherland: Fort Salem and takes place in an alternate version of modern day America.
The series will have a 10 episode first season.
Claws‘ Eliot Laurence created Motherland: Fort Salem and will handle showrunning duties for the inaugural season. Laurence is also writing season one and executive produces with Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Maria Maggenti, Steven Adelson, and Kevin Messick. Steven A. Adelson (Riverdale, Siren) directed the pilot.
“We’re so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling and an incredibly creative canon,” stated Tom Ascheim, president, Freeform. “While set in an alternative universe, Motherland: Fort Salem will continue the authentic and issues-driven storylines that our network is known for, and what our audience has come to expect. We are thrilled to be working with Eliot, Will, Adam and Kevin on this exceptionally creative tale and look forward to bringing this even further to life.”
“A writer couldn’t ask for more loyal and nurturing partners than Gary Sanchez and Freeform,” added Eliot Laurence. “I could not be more thrilled and grateful to share this long-simmering labor of love with the world.”
Season one stars Taylor Hickson (Deadly Class), Jessica Sutton (The Kissing Booth), Amalia Holm (Playground), and Demetria McKinney (The Saints and Sinners).
“Will, Adam and I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to take Eliot’s vision to series. Motherland: Fort Salem is bold and original storytelling and Freeform has been incredibly supportive in helping us realize Eliot’s alternate version of America. We can’t wait to get started on the season,” said executive producer Kevin Messick.
Vice director Adam McKay said, “So excited Freeform has given a platform to one of the most original writers working today; Eliot Laurence. Sanchez has worked with Eliot for years and he has astounded us yet again with the imaginative and layered world of Motherland: Fort Salem.”
“The series is set in an alternate, present-day America where witches ended their persecution 300 years ago by cutting a deal with the U.S. government to fight for their country. Motherland: Fort Salem follows three young women from basic training in combat magic into terrifying and thrilling early deployment. In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped with women on the front lines, the fight looming and terrorist threats that are strikingly familiar to our world, but with supernatural tactics and weapons.
Taylor Hickson portrays Raelle, a reluctant recruit with major authority issues whose mother recently died in the line of duty. Jessica Sutton is Tally, a kind, strong-willed and curious witch who enlisted despite her mother’s passionate disapproval. Amalia Holm rounds out the young witch recruits, playing Scylla, a playful yet dark and mischievous recruit who is not what she appears to be. Demetria McKinney plays Anacostia, a tough but wryly humorous drill sergeant whose chief concern is keeping the young recruits alive through basic training.”