was a comedy about an exceptionally pretty young witch named Samantha and
her earnest attempts to abandon her witchcraft to please her mortal husband,
Darrin. The couple was married on the first telecast, but that was the last
"normal" event in their union.
was continually tempted to use her witchly powers, invoked by a twitch of her nose,
to get her way around the house. There was also a bevy of her relatives
to deal with, none of whom wanted her to go straight; her mother Endora,
her father Maurice; practical joking Uncle Arthur, and forgetful Aunt Clara,
witches and warlocks all. Esmerelda the housekeeper, who came along in 1969, was
also a witch, but her powers were declining; a timid soul, she would fade away
when spoken to harshly. Samantha's mischievous look-alike cousin Serena,
was also played by Elizabeth Montgomery.
Also in the case were Larry Tate, Darrin's long-suffering boss at the New
York advertising agency of McMann and Tate, Larry's wife Louise, and the
Stephen's easygoing but somewhat nosy neighbors, the Kravitzes.
Samantha's first child, Tabitha, was "born" on the telecast
of January 13, 1966. The newborn infant was played briefly by identical twins Heidi and
Laura Gentry, and then by Tamar and Julie Young; beginning in the fall of 1966,
two-year-old Erin and Diane Murphy
assumed the role (later it was played by Erin alone). A
son, Adam, came along on the night of October 16, 1969, although he was not seen
regularly until the 1971-1972 season.
Visitors to the Stephens
household included Julius Caesar (summoned up by mistake when Samantha asked
Esmerelda to make a Caesar salad). George Washington, and Henry VIII.
was an imaginative and well-written show that
earned several Emmys. It was, in fact, the biggest hit series produced
by the ABC network up to that time (it ranked number 2 among all programs on the
air during its first season).
Reruns have entertained viewers
for many years, on the ABC weekday schedule from January 1968 to July 1973, on
ABC's Saturday morning lineup from September 1971 to September 1973, and on
Elizabeth Montgomery, the star of
the series, was in real life married to its producer/director, William Asher.