Charmed executive producer talks the importance of representation in the CW reboot


Charmed’s executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman had a lot to reveal about the new reboot at San Diego Comic-Con, including a behind the scenes info on how it all came together.

Charmed is finally making a comeback after being off air for over 10 years. And let’s just say a lot of things have changed culturally since the series’ last episode in 2006. Nonetheless, the story of three magical women coming into the world holds a story that can span generations, and that made it the perfect candidate e a CW reboot.

The old bones of the show, according to Executive Producer Jennie Snyder Urman, means there’s ample opportunity to tell new stories about our generation on screen. But she had to acknowledge you can’t have a reboot without paying tribute to the source material.

“The most important thing, at the root of it, was the love between three sisters,” Urman told FanSided’s Cody Schultz during a roundtable interview at San Diego Comic-Con. “You know, we took some of the pieces from [the original]… in terms of the structure, and the Whitelighters… and all of the beautiful groundwork that they’ve laid, which I try to now look at what that means in the world today, now 10 years later.”

At the crux of the story, Urman says is kicking ass, changing the world, and fighting evil. All entertaining, yes, but also empowering.

Along those lines, representation has also been a huge part of this series reboot. Intersectionality cannot be ignored when telling a story about women, people of color, and LGBTQ people — for example, one of the sisters, Mel, is a woman of color and has a girlfriend. Those aspects don’t get tossed in the background, and Urman and the writers made a conscious effort to ensure that the diversity in the show was handled well.

“You can’t downplay the importance of seeing yourself on screen and seeing your relationships validated, and seeing versions of people that you want to feel like people that you know being the heroes of the stories,” Urman said.

Urman spoke specifically about Mel and LGBTQ representation by adding: “[It’s] beyond that fact that she has a girlfriend and is a gay woman, [it’s about] unpacking the layers of what makes her a person and who she is as a human being – that’s the most important thing to us. I think it’s about treating that relationship as the same as you’re treating any heterosexual relationship. Letting different characters be heroes is really a big part of what one episode is about.”

But before representation happens on screen, writers are busy planning each episode behind the scenes. Bringing in two writers from her previous projects, Urman knew that by being white, they would need to bring in others to make it an inclusive process for all identities. It’s a novel concept: have your stories be told by the ones who know them. And that is something that’s slowly but surely being embraced by the entertainment world.

Even though topics like intersectionality can be a bit heavy, this is still a fun fantasy show. Fans who attended the Charmed panel at Comic-Con got to see the series’ pilot, and there were a few moments throughout the show that brought in some huge laughs. That, of course, was all intentional.

“You don’t want to be giving medicine… you want it to be a show that’s fun,” Urman said. “But I think it’s also a show about searching for change and how to affect change.”

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The new Charmed will air on The CW this fall, starting Oct. 14 at 9 p.m. EST.