Motherland: Fort Salem

Freeform has ordered ‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ to series.  The first season will consist of ten episodes.  This series is set in an alternate United States, where witches agreed to work for the US military 300 years ago in order to end their persecution.  “In this world, the traditional roles of gender and power are flipped, with the more dominant women on the front lines fighting looming terrorist threats that are familiar to our world — but with supernatural tactics and weapons.”

Taylor Hickson and Jessica Sutton play Raelle and Tally, two of three young witches, whom the show will follow as they go through basic training, learning combat magic, and then into the battlefield.  (The third witch, Abigail, played by Kelcey Mawema in the pilot, is being recast.)  Raelle has “major authority issues,” while Tally enlists “despite her mother’s passionate disapproval.”

Amalia Holm and Demetria McKinney also star as Scylla and Anacostia, respectively.  Scylla is a “suspicious recruit” who is “not what she appears to be.”  Anacostia is the girls’ drill sergeant, “tough but wryly humorous.”

‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ was created by Eliot Laurence (‘Claws’).  Laurence will write, and serve as showrunner, and executive producer.  Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Kevin Messick, Maria Maggenti, and Steven Adelson are also executive producers.  Freeform Studios and Gary Sanchez Productions are producing.  Adelson directed the pilot.

Freeform originally ordered the pilot in 2016!

Freeform president Tom Ascheim said:

“We’re so excited to be able to tell this story rich with female empowerment, complex storytelling, and an incredibly creative canon.  While set in an alternative universe, Motherland: Fort Salem will continue the authentic and issues-driven storylines that our network is known for, and what our audience has come to expect. We are thrilled to be working with Eliot, Will, Adam, and Kevin on this exceptionally creative tale and look forward to bringing this even further to life.”

McKay added:

“So excited Freeform has given a platform to one of the most original writers working today; Eliot Laurence. Sanchez has worked with Eliot for years and he has astounded us yet again with the imaginative and layered world of Motherland: Fort Salem.”

Taylor Hickson can currently be seen as Petra on Syfy’s new series ‘Deadly Class’.  It’s unclear how her casting in ‘Motherland’ will impact that status.  She previously starred on Syfy’s ‘Aftermath’.  (Mawema also stars on ‘Deadly Class’, which may be why her role on ‘Motherland is being recast.)

Taylor Sutton starred in Netflix’s movie ‘The Kissing Booth’ and appeared in the recent horror flick ‘Escape Room’.

Before creating ‘Claws’ for TNT, Laurence was a writer and producer of ‘The Big Gay Sketch Show’.

‘Motherland: Fort Salem’ joins other fantasy series on Freeform, ‘Siren’ and ‘Cloak & Dagger’.  Look for it to arrive sometime during the next TV season.

Sources: Deadline, TV Line