, Salem, MA

Local News

April 18, 2014

Brace yourself, 'Salem' is now a TV show

SALEM — Ready or not, here comes “Salem.”

On Sunday night at 10, WGN American will debut its new series about the Salem Witch Trials, an attempt by a largely regional cable station to grab a national audience.

The show has been much ballyhooed as the opening act by the Tribune Co., owners of the Los Angeles Times, to compete with HBO, FX, AMC and others in the world of original TV programming.

They are going all out.

They even constructed a 17th-century New England village outside of Shreveport, La. — gallows and all.

There is a short documentary on the WGN website called “Witches Are Real,” which is pretty good. It features experts on the Witch Trials, including historian Tad Baker, the pride of Salem State.

The 13-part series is not for everybody. It is rated MA (mature audiences) with hangings, whippings and God knows what else. It’s really not for everybody because the network reaches only about 70 million homes and is not in every home.

So, put the kids to bed early, pour yourself a stiff drink and brace yourself for a rough ride through one more TV version of this city’s most tragic days.

Marathon Monday

Despite all the media coverage, there is no way to know what any of the survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing are really thinking or feeling as Monday approaches.

Some have talked to the media, some have not.

A Salem family deeply impacted, Amber and Stephen Woolfenden, has remained largely silent, which is completely understandable. Stephen was seriously injured in the second blast, and their little boy, Leo, was also hurt.

Thankfully, Stephen is back at work and on his way to recovery. Leo also is doing well, we are told.

This month’s issue of Runner’s World magazine includes a brief interview with the family — maybe the only one they have given.

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