SHREVEPORT, Louisiana -- We've all heard of the Salem witch trials, but the Salem portrayed in a television show is much more twisted than the one you read about in history books. The supernatural show "Salem" kicks off its second season Sunday, April 5th on WGN America, which is owned by Channel 13’s parent company Tribune Media.
Channel 13 got a look behind the scenes at the thriller and how writers are pushing even more boundaries and bringing in new characters for the second season.
It's time for war in Salem. Seth Gabel, “Cotton Mather,” said, "It's a witch war. Everything came to pass in season one, where the grand rite was completed, which is supposed to be the first step in bringing the devil onto earth, and now the witches are fighting over who is responsible for finishing that act."
Show creators brought in a new witch, played by Lucy Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess”) to rival powerful Mary Sibley. Lawless said, "She is bringing all the sumptuous fabrics that only royalty could wear, so there's a lot of new influences coming in, making Mary feel a bit like a hometown girl."
Janet Montgomery, “Mary Sibley,” said there’s even more in store for the viewers in the second season. She said, "I think the stakes are higher in season 2, and I think that it's darker and a great word is demented."
Even though the show is set in 17th century Massachusetts, it's shot in Shreveport, Louisiana. Some scenes take place on a sound stage downtown, but most happen at an outdoor set built specifically for the show.
Co-Creator Brannon Braga said, "There wasn't a lot here when we first came out here. Our show, there is no place to film in the
1600's Salem. There's no where on the planet where it can really double for it, maybe someplace in Europe, so we had to build it."
The outside set is located on 30 acres of land about 45 miles outside of Shreveport. The set includes 40 buildings, including a new neighborhood for this season. Braga said, "We added a new neighborhood called Knocker's Hole, which is kind of the worst part of town. Every season, should we continue, we'd like to build a new neighborhood"
For now, cast and crew are focused on this season and all the twists and turns it promises. Ashley Madekwe, “Tituba,” said, “I think there's definitely a pressure to deliver. You want to give the fans what they enjoyed about season 1, but also keep them guessing and show them something new, and I think the writers are really good at doing that."
The second season of "Salem" premieres Sunday at 9 p.m. You’ll find it on channel 239 on Dish Network, channel 307 on DirecTV, and Channel 76 (HD 825) on Mediacom.