Lifetime’s latest television venture – this time taking the network into the supernatural – has hit a speed bump as it works toward its 10-episode order. While no production is ever perfect, it must be frustrating when an actor leaves, no matter at what point. That is the trouble Witches of East End is having now that Gossip Girl and Royal Pains actor Patrick Heusinger has left the drama for reasons unexplained. This leaves a spot open in the cast and, I would imagine, broken hearts from whomever was really looking forward to working with him. I sincerely hope nobody had grown too attached.
Before his departure, Heusinger was meant to portray Dash, a JFK Jr. type golden boy and the fiancé of Jenna Dewan-Tatum’s character. According to TVLine, the role will be recast, with not even a hint as to why this cast shakeup went down. Perhaps, and this is a bit of a stretch, Heusinger just didn’t want to be a part of a series featuring witches when Ryan Murphy is putting together what is sure to be the definitive witch series with American Horrow Story: Coven. Why go up against a juggernaut when you can find work that’s more likely to be noticed, am I right?
As for the remaining cast of Witches of East End, we have Julia Ordmond playing the center of the drama, Joanna Beauchamp, and her two adult daughters, Freya and Ingrid, played by Dewan-Tatum and Rachel Boston respectively. Mädchen Amick also stars as Joanna’s sister Wendy (any witches named Wendy automatically make me think of Wendy the Good Little Witch). The daughters are, unknowingly, the next generation of witches, which to me means this is essentially a retelling of Sabrina the Teenaged Witch, but with two witches instead of one.
Maggie Friedman will serve as the showrunner. She has plenty of experience with witches having been in charge of ABC’s Eastwick.