Bewitched, the hit 1960s comedy series, was not cancelled due to low ratings. In fact, it was renewed for Seasons 9 and 10. The cancellation of Bewitched was actually driven by the decision of its star, Elizabeth Montgomery, who played the role of Samantha Stephens, the nose-twitching witch. Montgomery wanted out of the show as her marriage to the series producer, Bill Asher, began to unravel.
Montgomery had a love-hate relationship with acting, which allowed her to choose the roles she truly wanted after the show ended. Despite wanting to leave the show, Montgomery returned for the last seasons because ABC offered her a significant amount of money. She eventually walked away from Bewitched after eight seasons and sought out challenging roles in TV movies.
- Bewitched was not cancelled due to low ratings but because Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to leave the show.
- Montgomery had a love-hate relationship with acting and sought out challenging roles after Bewitched.
- ABC offered Montgomery a significant amount of money to return for the last seasons of Bewitched.
- Despite leaving the show, Montgomery still owned 20% of Bewitched and earned a fortune from residuals.
- Montgomery passed away from cancer in 1995 at the age of 62.
Elizabeth Montgomery's Relationship with Co-Stars
Elizabeth Montgomery’s on-set relationship with her co-stars had a significant impact on the dynamics of Bewitched. One key aspect was her strained relationship with Dick York, who portrayed her on-screen husband, Darrin Stephens. Their off-screen rapport was far from amicable as Montgomery and York clashed on set. This discord added an element of tension to their on-screen chemistry.
Furthermore, an unwelcome complication arose from Dick York’s romantic feelings towards Montgomery. Despite her commitment to her marriage with the show’s producer, Bill Asher, York’s infatuation caused discomfort for Montgomery and strained their working relationship.
In addition to this, York faced personal challenges with addiction to painkillers during the show’s production. This unfortunate circumstance led to missed episodes and ultimately resulted in his replacement by Dick Sargent.
“I did not get along with [Dick York]. And he was in love with me, and I was married to his boss. So that was a perfect setup for disaster,” Montgomery candidly admitted in an interview.
The behind-the-scenes dynamics between Montgomery and her co-stars undoubtedly contributed to the overall atmosphere on the Bewitched set. While tensions and challenges arose, the show persisted and successfully navigated through these difficulties, ultimately leaving a lasting impression on television history.
The Influence of Money on Montgomery's Return
Despite her desire to leave Bewitched, Elizabeth Montgomery made the decision to return for the final seasons of the show. One of the main factors influencing her return was the significant amount of money offered by ABC. In the fifth season, Montgomery had already contemplated quitting the show but was persuaded to stay.
However, by the last season of Bewitched, it was clear that Montgomery’s enthusiasm for the show had waned. As a nod to the evolving feminist movement and women’s liberation, she even went bra-less, making a statement about her desire to break free from the confines of the character Samantha Stephens.
After her initial contract with ABC expired, Montgomery turned down another lucrative offer from the network. She wanted to distance herself from the role of Samantha Stephens and sought out more challenging and diverse roles in her acting career. This decision allowed her to expand her range as an actress and step into different genres.
Montgomery took on daring and powerful roles, such as portraying a sexual assault victim in the TV movie A Case of Rape and an axe killer in The Legend of Lizzie Borden. These roles showcased her versatility and talent beyond the light-hearted and comedic character she played in Bewitched.
Elizabeth Montgomery's Bold Career Choices
In A Case of Rape, Montgomery’s portrayal of a sexual assault victim shed light on the important topic of rape culture. It was a departure from the whimsical and fantasy-driven world of Bewitched, demonstrating Montgomery’s willingness to tackle serious and socially relevant issues.
In The Legend of Lizzie Borden, Montgomery took on the challenging role of portraying a real-life historical figure known for the gruesome murders of her father and stepmother. This role showcased her ability to delve into the depths of darkness and embody complex characters.
Montgomery’s decision to prioritize her artistic growth and pursue more daring roles after Bewitched ended speaks to her dedication and commitment to her craft. While the cancellation of Bewitched may have marked the end of a beloved TV show, it paved the way for Montgomery to explore new horizons in her career.
|Persuaded to stay
|Unenthusiastic, went bra-less as a nod to women’s liberation
|Turned down another lucrative offer, wanted to distance herself from Samantha Stephens
The cancellation of Bewitched was the result of several factors that shaped its history. Elizabeth Montgomery’s desire to leave the show, driven by the unraveling of her marriage to Bill Asher and her pursuit of more challenging roles, ultimately led to its end. Despite its cancellation, Bewitched remains an iconic TV show that continues to be loved by viewers around the world.
Was Bewitched cancelled due to low ratings?
No, Bewitched was not cancelled due to low ratings. In fact, it was renewed for Seasons 9 and 10.
Why was Bewitched cancelled then?
The cancellation of Bewitched was driven by the decision of its star, Elizabeth Montgomery, who wanted to leave the show as her marriage to the series producer, Bill Asher, began to unravel.
Did Elizabeth Montgomery have a difficult relationship with her co-stars on Bewitched?
Yes, Elizabeth Montgomery did not get along with her co-star, Dick York, who played her on-screen husband, Darrin Stephens. This created an uncomfortable situation for Montgomery.
How did Elizabeth Montgomery’s desire to leave Bewitched impact the dynamics of the show?
Montgomery’s desire to leave the show led to the replacement of Dick York with Dick Sargent as the character of Darrin Stephens.
Why did Elizabeth Montgomery return to Bewitched for the final seasons if she wanted to leave?
Elizabeth Montgomery returned for the final seasons of Bewitched due to the significant amount of money offered by ABC.
What did Elizabeth Montgomery do after leaving Bewitched?
After leaving Bewitched, Montgomery sought out more challenging roles in TV movies, including portraying a sexual assault victim in A Case of Rape and an axe killer in The Legend of Lizzie Borden.
How did Elizabeth Montgomery’s involvement in Bewitched come to an end?
Elizabeth Montgomery walked away from Bewitched after eight seasons and turned down another lucrative contract from ABC. She wanted to distance herself from the character of Samantha Stephens and pursue more challenging roles.
Did Elizabeth Montgomery continue to benefit financially from Bewitched after its cancellation?
Yes, Elizabeth Montgomery owned 20% of the show and earned a fortune from residuals even after Bewitched was cancelled.
When did Elizabeth Montgomery pass away?
Elizabeth Montgomery passed away from cancer in 1995 at the age of 62.
Despite its cancellation, is Bewitched still loved by viewers around the world?
Yes, Bewitched remains an iconic TV show that continues to be loved by viewers around the world.