Good Witch's Magical Mystery

Ingela Ratledge
Hallmark Channel

Good Witch

Something witchy this way comes–and you don't even have to wait until Halloween for it. Good Witch–the popular Hallmark Channel movie franchise that's been conjuring up annual installments since 2008–is becoming a weekly event. "Every time we made another movie, we joked that we should just turn it into a series," says Catherine Bell (JAG), who will be reprising her role as Cassie Nightingale, a beneficent B&B owner in the fictional small town of Middleton. As in the past, the precise nature of Cassie's abilities will remain a mystery: Magical things tend to happen when she's around, although it's unclear exactly how. While she'll continue to cast a spell on others with her unique brand of bighearted meddling, Bell says, "we felt that to make this watchable every week, she couldn't be so perfect all the time. So we've added a bit more humanity to her–she'll actually have fears and worries."

Another change to the brew: In the two-hour premiere, it is revealed that Cassie has been widowed–her husband, Jake, Middleton's police chief, was killed in the line of duty. (Chris Potter, who portrayed him in the movies, had a prior commitment to the Canadian series Heartland.) A decade has passed, and Cassie is a single mom to daughter Grace (Bailee Madison)–now 15 and discovering charms of her own. "She has visions of things before they happen," says Bell, "but since she's a teenager, she doesn't necessarily know how to use that power in the right way."

Well, you certainly won't need ESP to see what's coming next for Cassie when Sam Radford–a sexy doctor played by Desperate Housewives alum James Denton–moves in next door. "They'll clash right off the bat, but in a great way," says Bell. "It's like, 'Oh, just shut up and kiss her already!'"

Good Witch, Series premiere, Saturday, 8/7c, Hallmark Channel