The Halliwell sisters charmed their audiences for eight seasons and kept them coming back for more magic. The show was so popular during its run due to its pro-feminist agenda, and fans loved watching three women find their place in the world.
Although everything was all magical on-screen, things were ugly behind the scenes. From onset feuds between the characters to cast exits, Charmed had its fair share of drama. One of the most prominent issues that the cast faced was the constant frustration they encountered from the network. Read on to learn more.
‘Charmed’ was loved for its pro-feminism
Charmed followed three sisters as they battled the forces of evil with their powers. The three sisters called Prue, Piper, and Phoebe, worked together with the Book of Shadows’ guidance to fight supernatural evil beings as they also juggled their personal lives and friendships.
At the helm of the show were Holly Marie Combs, Shannon Doherty, and Alyssa Milano. In the third season, Doherty left the show with rumors of her feud with co-star Milano fanning the flames. Doherty’s Prue died after she switched deaths with her sister Piper.
Doherty was then replaced with Rose McGowan, who took on the sister’s step-sibling Paige. Charmed was praised for its strong female protagonists and captivating storylines.
Combs was the only actress on the show who appeared in all the episodes
Charmed ran for eight seasons, and in all that time, it managed to capture audience interest with its story arcs. Although we saw the Halliwell sister in plenty of episodes, Combs was the only star on the show who appeared in all the episodes.
Milano’s character Phoebe is the second actor to come close to Combs’ tenure on the show. Milano appeared in one less episode of the show due to her not filming the show’s pilot. Actress Lori Rom initially played Phoebe in the show’s unaired pilot. When Rom quit the show, Milano was brought in as a replacement.
Doherty played the character, Prue, until her death in season 3. Afterward, she was replaced by McGowan, who completed the trio of siblings. Interestingly McGowan wasn’t the original choice for the character Paige.
Actresses Tiffani Thiessen and Jennifer Love Hewitt were the initial choices to replace Doherty. However, when it was time for auditions, McGowan was the only actress to show up, so she got hired. When Doherty left, Combs also deliberated on leaving.
Combs and Doherty had a preexisting friendship, and the latter’s exit weighed down on Combs. For the showrunners to ensure that she didn’t leave the show, they had to adjust her contract and give her a raise. By the time the series wrapped up, Combs was reportedly earning $60,000 per episode.
The stars of the show were miserable
Although Charmed is one of WB’s longest-running shows, it doesn’t have the best reputation, according to Screen Rant. Most of the people involved with creating the show don’t have the nicest things to say about how the network treated them.
McGowan’s tell-all memoir called Brave described her experience on the show as “soul-crushing.” Her sentiments were echoed by her fellow co-stars as well. Combs told Entertainment Weekly that WB mistreated them, and they didn’t expect a lot when it was time for them to leave.
Combs also recalled how the network mishandled Doherty’s departure and termed it as cruel. In the interview, the actress also spoke of how poorly the show was promoted. Combs stated that whenever people thought of WB shows, they thought of Gilmore Girls or Felicity, yet Charmed had run longer than others.