Witchright Hall

Charlie's TV pilot for the series "Witchright Hall" was originally shown on the Friday, April 6th episode of "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch." "Sabrina" which aired at the time, on Fridays at 8:00 pm ET on the WB.

Sabrinas' Got A Hexcellent Spinoff

by David Bianculli
New York Daily News, 5 april, 2001 [emily hart]

The family affair on the WB sitcom "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" threatens to get even more cozy and familial beginning tomorrow night at 8. This is one case, though, where nepotism is a good thing.

In the early years when "Sabrina, the Teenage Witch" was a popular part of ABC's kid-friendly "T.G.I.F." lineup, one of the episodes from the 1997-98 season introduced a character named Amanda, Sabrina's young cousin.

Like Sabrina, played by series star Melissa Joan Hart, Amanda was a witch -- but in her case, a pre-teen one (age 9), and a very mischievous one.

Paula Hart, Melissa's mother and one of the show's executive producers, knew just whom to cast in the role of Amanda: Melissa's sister Emily. The young actress worked well with her older sibling, lending believably bratty fire to Amanda, who turned Sabrina into a doll and locked her in a toy chest with other magically altered victims.

Since that show was broadcast, enough years have passed for Sabrina to move to college, and be one birthday away from outgrowing her own title description. Meanwhile, Amanda has matured enough -- as has Emily, the actress who plays her -- to become a teenage witch herself. Tomorrow night, in an episode designed as a pilot for a proposed spinoff series, Amanda shows up and takes center stage.

The episode, called "Witchright Hall," eventually has Sabrina and her aunts charged with watching Emily for an entire year. To dodge the responsibility, they enroll her in a special mortal-world boarding house for wayward witches and warlocks. Our visit there (we're greeted by a talking dog who turns out to be the phys-ed coach) makes us comfortable in predicting "Witchright Hall," or whatever it will be titled, will indeed be a valuable, family-friendly addition to the WB's fall schedule.

The headmaster of the hall is played by Charles Shaughnessy of "The Nanny," whose adoring mortal assistant is played by Jane Sibbett of "Friends." With special effects and some attractive young actors playing witches and warlocks, this series pilot, in the age of Harry Potter, gives every indication of becoming a fine start to an evening on the WB.

If the network schedules it on Fridays, with its sister series, "Sabrina," following at a slightly and deservedly later time slot, the WB would have the makings of a magical family lineup.

"Witchright Hall" is episode #112 of Sabrina, written by Bruce Ferber and Marley Sims, directed by Ken Koch.

When Sabrina's (Melissa Joan Hart) trouble-making teenage cousin Amanda (guest star Emily Hart, voice of Sabrina in Sabrina, the Animated Series) is sent to live with Hilda (Caroline Rhea) and Zelda (Beth Broderick), they count on Sabrina to convince the headmaster (guest star Charles Shaughnessy, The Nanny) and school director (Jane Sibbett, Friends) to accept Amanda into Witchright Hall, a school where rebellious and magically challenged young witches learn to control their impulses and use their powers appropriately in the Mortal Realm.

In addition to the regular "Sabrina" cast, the cast for "Witchright Hall" is:

Charles Shaughnessy as headmaster James Hexton, Emily Hart as Amanda, Jane Sibbett as Robin Davis, Blake Clark as Phil, Thad Luckinbill as Sean, Charmaine Degrate as Bridgette, Kyle Brent Gibson as Chuck, Joanna Canton as Kathy, Jon Ames as Sam, Agatha Drake as Tiffany, Jerry Lambert as Mr. McBrinde and Steven Barr as Mr. Martin.

20 October, 2000

In their Hollywood Exclusive column Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith report that the spin-off of the "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch" TV show is set to film next week. The spin-off is called "Witchright Hall". Beck & Smith write, "The action focuses on Sabrina's bad-to-the-bone cousin, played by Emily Hart, with students who enjoy such magic mischief as zapping money out of ATMs and zipping into the Pentagon's computers."

20 October, 2000

Variety . . .

The WB network is planning a spinoff of their newly-acquired show "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch". "Sabrina" moved to the frog network this season after airing on ABC for several years.

The principals for the new show will be introduced on an episode of "Sabrina" this season. Sabrina's "bad witch" cousin is banished to another realm. The out-of-control cousin is placed in a boarding school to be guided by two teachers: one mortal, one not. According to WB CEO Jamie Kellner, the show is about mischievous young witches, more lighthearted than the WB hit drama Charmed, which concerns three young adult witches. The pilot will air on a Friday night this spring. If the episode does well, the spin-off could start airing in the Fall of 2001.

The spinoff stars Emily Hart and Charles Shaughnessy.

1 february, 2002 Charles Shaughnessy Makes Magic Again!

Soap Opera Update, 5 june, 2001

He was unforgettable as DAYS Shane and THE NANNY's Mr. Sheffield. Now Charles Shaughnessy is back on primetime!



DAYS OF OUR LIVES fans will forever remember the dashing Charles Shaughnessy as Shane Donovan, the spy who loved Kimberly. And then he moved on to primetime to be THE NANNY's object of desire Mr. Sheffield. His former DAYS co-star Susan Seaforth Hayes (Julie) recently spent time catching up with everyone's favorite Englishman!

Shaughnessy may soon be the ultimate vampire so get ready to scream. . . with joy. Charlie is ready to go onto the new primetime series WITCHRIGHT HALL, which has just been picked up by The WB. For passionate Shaughnessy fans, Charlie the vampire would be a dream, not a nightmare. He loves to play witty villains. "My favorite character is Shakespeare's Richard III, the original bad guy with a twinkle", he says.

First Blood

We shared filet of sole at a bistro in Studio City, CA, while I pointed the tape recorder at his perfect Roman nose and laughed at this unexpected career twist. He starred in the Disney TV-movie "Mom's Got A Date With A Vampire" and felt curiously at home with the comic horror script, explaining that he played "a charming urbane kind of a cutie who just sucks blood as a sideline."

After the first "jolly rehearsal day" of WITCHRIGHT HALL, he experienced a mysterious pain which sent him to the ER. Undiagnosed for 12 hours, his appendix burst and required immediate surgery. Fated to be flat on his back, sick as a dog, Charlie's trouper instincts speeded recovery. "I used my on-set medical nurse to teach me my lines" he laughs. The show must go on.

The Ladies He Loves

The actor still goes home to gorgeous actress Susan Fallender, his wife of 18 years, and enthusiastically parents two beauties, Jenny and Maddy. "I have a lot of estrogen flying around me" he remarks. I ask him what he's learned that is absolutely true about women. "They canšt be hurried, they're totally mysterious. a different species, far stronger and smarter than men. Women control the future. Mothers have the most influence on the next generations; by the time fathers begin to interact with children, the table's already set."

The Nanny and Me [charlie & fran]

One of daytimes's most romantic heroes was the perfect choice for the role of "The Nanny's" love obsession on primetime TV. For years we watched in fascination as their love story inched along. We understood why she loved Mr. Maxwell Sheffield - - -the chemistry was combustible! Shaughnessy adored working with Fran Drescher, star and creator of the show, and they keep in touch. She recently spoke about winning her cancer fight and he is happy to report that "she is doing fine." His favorite Nanny episodes: "When Maxwell talked to the ghost of his late wife - that was touching. Also the scene where Max has to talk Fran into going through with the wedding."

He appears delighted with this verdict and gestures with a French fry. Such majesty. He reminds me of the Prince of Wales - tall. full of opinions, English. We discuss Prince Charles: "History will reassess him. Hešs been a great bridge between the old style and the new." If only the English royals could produce someone who looked and spoke like Shaughnessy. As princes go, Charles Windsor is a long-playing flop, but Charles of Shaughnessy, Prince Charming to us, is a hit gone platinum.

Remembering Days

Fans still remember Shane Donovan's DAYS introduction. marlene had just been told that her husband Roman had died (though she couldn't believe it) and Shane Donovan came to her door. He had worked with Roman in the ISA. His handsome good looks and that unforgettable British accent, captured our hearts - but no one fell as hard as Kimberly Brady. There's was a magical star-crossed romance, sweeping in scope and emotions. When he left DAYS for good, fans never forgot him.

"What are your happiest memories of DAYS?"

"Just before the show went on location to England, Peter Reckell (Bo), Kristian Alfonso (Hope), Patsy Pease (ex-Kimberly) and I had a huge quantity of scenes to do. We worked late-late hours, but the camaraderie under pressure made it one of the sweetest times I remember." [charlie & susan seaforth hayes]

"Why do English actors seem so much more at ease on stage than the rest of us?" "American actors take acting far too seriously. Americans put on a long face and talk about 'the work'. Brits talk about the play. There's a joy to English acting that their American cousins don't share, and it undermines what acting really is."

"What is acting really?" It's the joy of reflecting the human condition, and no matter how tragic the times, therešs something of wonder and privilege in that." Charlie is in the long serious process of becoming an American citizen. He's embraced his new country and has no regrets about following his heart (his wife Susan is an American girl). "Whatever road you take in life, there will be rewards and disappointments", he reflects. "Living well is like being a surfer. You paddle out on the big mysterious ocean, sit a while and enjoy the view, but you must be ready for that big wave when it comes. If you chase after every passing current, you may miss the ride of your life. You must be ready for anything. But you can't control life. Just enjoy the process."

"What do you enjoy, Charlie?" "Pouilly Fuisse wine, 'La Boheme', a good soap opera - like DAYS and Y & R!. That's Charlie Shaughnessy personified, a classical gentleman of style and grace, with a modern energy that can shoot you to the stars. Vampire or valiant hero, his charisma transcends time.

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