The Good Witch
|The Good Witch|
|Written by||Rod Spence|
|Directed by||Craig Pryce|
|Country of origin||Canada|
|Running time||89 minutes|
|Original network||Hallmark Channel|
|Picture format||HDTV 1080i|
|Original release||January 19, 2008|
|Followed by||The Good Witch's Garden|
|Related shows||Good Witch|
The Good Witch is a television film that aired on the Hallmark Channel on January 19, 2008. It stars Catherine Bell as Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale and Chris Potter as Chief of Police Jake Russell. The film has spawned six followup television films, and the television series Good Witch (2015–2021).
Grey House—an old, abandoned building in the town of Middleton—is infamous for being haunted by its former owner, known as "The Grey Lady". Police Chief Inspector Jake Russell decides to investigate when rumors start to spread of someone occupying the house. He enters the building, accompanied by the town mayor's wife Martha Tinsdale, and is welcomed by a mysterious, beautiful woman who introduces herself as Cassandra Nightingale. She tells them she had just moved in, and plans to open a shop on Main Street.
Later, Jake Russell's children Brandon and Lori are chased by a dog on their way home from school. They end up in the front yard of Grey House and Lori falls and bruises her knee. Cassie appears and makes the dog stop just by looking at it. She talks to the dog, and tells it to behave better and go home. The dog does as told. She invites the children into her house to take care of Lori's knee. The kitchen is full of vials and bottles containing various herbs, which leads Brandon to believe that Cassie is a witch.
The new shop on Main Street is also filled with elixirs and herbs from around the world. This leads many townspeople, especially Martha Tinsdale, to believe Cassie practices Black Magic.
As Jake Russell investigates mysterious occurrences, he and Cassie frequently interact. A mutual attraction evolves, leading him to ask her out on a date.
As time passes, some people in Middleton continue to be hostile toward Cassie and she considers leaving town. However, she postpones the date when Jake convinces her to stay. The couple spend a romantic evening at Grey House where they kiss.
Cast and characters
- Catherine Bell as Cassandra "Cassie" Nightingale. A mysterious woman who moves into Grey House. She seems to have multiple strange abilities, the extent and origin of which are mostly unknown. These include communicating with animals, and suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Born Sue-Ellen Brook, Cassie's parents died in a car crash when she was a child, and she was raised in foster care. Cassie has a shop in Middleton called Bell, Book & Candle, where she sells various curious objects. Towards the end of the film she begins a relationship with Police Chief Jake Russell.
- Chris Potter as Chief of Police Jake Russell. Jake is the father of Brandon and Lori. Since the death of his wife Jennifer three years ago, he gets help raising them by his father-in-law George. Since his wife's death he has become overly protective of his children. Jake is fascinated by Cassie, but as opposed to her intuitive decision-making, he relies mainly on facts. Toward the end of the film, the two begin a relationship.
- Catherine Disher as Martha Tinsdale, a strong willed member of city council. Martha is afraid of Cassie ruining the good image of Middleton, as the town is looking for new investors. Convinced that Cassie practices Black Magic, she petitions for the shop to be closed.
- Peter MacNeill as George O'Hanrahan, Brandon and Lori's maternal grandfather and father-in-law of Jake, who assists him in looking after the kids after the death of his daughter Jennifer.
- Allan Royal as Walter Cobb
- Matthew Knight as Brandon Russell. The son of Jennifer and Jake Russell. Brandon spends his free time playing video games. He cares for his younger sister, despite often being annoyed by her. He gets bullied by Kyle in school, but after learning that Kyle comes from an abusive home, the two boys become friends. Brandon tells his father about the abuse, and helps get his friend away from the situation.
- Paula Boudrea as Nancy, also a member of city council. Nancy buys a perfume in Bell, Book & Candle that increases her husband's attraction to her. At the end of the film, she is revealed to be pregnant, after having tried for a long time. She befriends Cassie and makes some effort to defend her.
- Hannah Endicott-Douglas as Lori Russell, Jake's youngest child. Since her mother's death, she has been haunted by nightmares about monsters. She receives a dreamcatcher from Cassie and is told not to dream of bunnies, which makes her nightmares disappear.
- Jesse Bostick as Kyle, a boy who bullied Brandon out of jealousy because of his abusive father and his mother who abandoned him. After seeing someone brave enough to confront him Kyle befriends Brandon after changing his ways. His father is arrested for child abuse and he goes to live with his grandmother.
- Noah Cappe as Deputy Derek Sanders, a laid back and easygoing police officer. In addition to Jake being his boss, the two men are also friends. Derek is surprised when he first sees Cassie, as she does not look like the witch townspeople have called her.
- Paul Miller as Tom Tinsdale, Mayor of Middleton and Martha's husband.
- Nathan McLeod as Michael Tinsdale, son of Martha and Tom Tinsdale.
Although set in Middleton, USA, it was filmed in Hamilton and Niagara-on-the-Lake, in Ontario, Canada. In the sequel, The Good Witch's Charm, the map on the wall in the police station shows Middleton located southwest of Chicago, in the vicinity of DuPage County. The names of the suburbs and interstates that are west of Chicago can be clearly seen.
Promotion and release
On January 15, 2008, Hallmark Channel and Limbo, the mobile entertainment community, teamed up to create and launch the cable network's first-ever mobile interactive initiative. The campaign "enhanced viewers' experience of the premiere of the network's original movie ... through 'Limbo Unique' – a game played via cell phone or online". The grand prize was $2,000 and a portrait of the "Grey Lady" that was featured in the movie.
The Good Witch (Region 1) DVD was released on January 5, 2010. The Good Witch Collection (Region 1) DVD was released October 14, 2014.
The movie had great success on Hallmark Channel on the night of its premiere, making it the second-highest-rated original movie to that date. It premiered with a 3.8 HH (household) rating and was in nearly 3.2 million homes. It also was #1 in its time period, propelling the channel to the #4 spot in weekly ranking.
In addition to the original television movie, the Hallmark Channel has aired six followup television films.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"The Good Witch"||Craig Pryce||Rod Spence||January 19, 2008|
|2||"The Good Witch's Garden"||Craig Pryce||G. Ross Parker, Rod Spence||February 7, 2009|
|3||"The Good Witch's Gift"||Craig Pryce||G. Ross Parker, Rod Spence||November 13, 2010|
|4||"The Good Witch's Family"||Craig Pryce||G. Ross Parker, Rod Spence||October 29, 2011|
|5||"The Good Witch's Charm"||Craig Pryce||G. Ross Parker, Rod Spence||October 27, 2012|
|6||"The Good Witch's Destiny"||Craig Pryce||Annie Young Frisbie, Rod Spence||October 26, 2013|
|7||"The Good Witch's Wonder"||Craig Pryce||Rod Spence||October 25, 2014|
In February 2014, the Hallmark Channel announced that Good Witch had been green-lighted for a ten-episode series, starring Catherine Bell, to premiere on February 28, 2015. Production for the first season began on October 29, 2014, in Toronto, with Sue Tenney as showrunner. Bailee Madison and James Denton also star. The series ran for seven seasons, concluding on July 25, 2021.
- Hallmark Channel Press Site: Company Milestones
- "Amazon.com: The Good Witch Collection (The Good Witch's Garden / Good Witch's Gift / The Good Witch's Family / The Good Witch's Charm) (Hallmark): Catherine Bell, Craig Pryce: Movies & TV". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Catherine Bell and Chris Potter to Star in Sequel to "The Good Witch," Hallmark Channel's Second-Highest-Rated Original Movie Ever". TheFutonCritic. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- Hallmark Channel Press Release 1/23/2008 Archived October 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Hallmark Channel Press Release 12/8/2008[dead link]
- The Good Witch's Garden Archived March 23, 2014, at the Wayback Machine at Hallmark
- "Breaking News - Hallmark Channel 2010 Fall TV Preview - TheFutonCritic.com". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Breaking News - Catherine Bell and Chris Potter Reteam for the Spell-Binding Seventh Installment in "The Good Witch" Series - TheFutonCritic.com". Retrieved May 1, 2016.
- "Hallmark Channel's Good Witch Movies To Spawn Drama Series Starring Catherine Bell". Deadline Hollywood.
- "Join Us Saturday, February 28 8/7c for the Two-Hour World Premiere Event of Good Witch, A Hallmark Channel Original Primetime Series" (Press release). Hallmark Channel – via The Futon Critic.
- "James Denton to Star in Hallmark Channel's 'The Good Witch'" (Press release). Hallmark Channel. October 20, 2014. Archived from the original on October 27, 2014 – via TV by the Numbers.
- "Details" (Press release). Hallmark Channel. Retrieved May 1, 2016.[dead link]
- Petski, Denise. "'Good Witch' To End With Season 7 On Hallmark Channel". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 9, 2021.