Adventure networks Travel Channel and T+E have greenlit a docudrama from Toronto-based Saloon Media about America’s infamous 17th-century witch trials.
The Witches of Salem (4 x 60 minutes) draws on the Salem witch trials, a result of a group of young girls in Salem Village, Massachusetts, claiming to be possessed by the devil and accused several local women of witchcraft in February 1692. In a span of 220 days, 200 were accused and 20 were executed. The series draws on historical documents and court records to bring this story to life, in addition to sociologists, psychologists and cultural historians who demonstrate how communities are still susceptible to the same mass hysteria today.
The series is produced by Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Media company, in association with Talos Films, Discovery-owned Travel Channel (U.S.), and Blue Ant Media’s T+E (Canada).
The Witches of Salem is executive produced by Michael Kot, Julie Chang, Julian P. Hobbs and Elli Hakami. Executive in charge for Travel Channel is Charles Nordlander, while the head of original content for T+E is Sam Linton.
International content distributor Blue Ant International holds exclusive worldwide rights to the series.
“The real-life story of the Salem witch trials – which involved literal ‘witch hunts’ and ‘fake news’ – has never been more relevant,” said Jane Latman, GM, Travel Channel in a statement. “This is not only an important part of our past, it is a glimpse into how hysteria can completely change the way we think. This show will capture the terror, mystery, deception and the intrigue from one of the largest witch hunts in history.”