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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bewitched Memories: My Thoughts on the Tabitha Series

With the huge success of Bewitched & the fact that the series ended without cancellation, it was inevitable that there would be a remake (or remakes). The first attempt was a pilot, Tabatha (with an A not an I), broadcast on ABC on April 24, 1976. The pilot starred Liberty Williams as a brown eyed, brunette Tabatha who worked for Trend Magazine in San Francisco. It was awful & wasn't picked up. The network completely reworked the concept & came up with Tabitha. The pilot aired on May 7, 1977 and the series debuted on September 10, 1977. in both series attempts, the concept was that my character was a grownup & alas, I was just 11 & 12. Lisa Hartman played the grownup me in the Tabitha series & the network made a great effort to cast someone that they thought looked like I would as an adult.
The network execs had me bring in bunches of photos, so the opening montage could have a mixture of my childhood photos & Lisa Hartman's. Adult Lisa looked like me, kid Lisa looked nothing like me. The opening voice over said something like, "Tabitha grew up like most kids, with braces & freckles..". I didn't have either, so they painted some on one of my photos as an option.
The Tabatha series wasn't great. It's been included in several lists of the worst series of all time! It did a nice job of launching Lisa Hartman's career. At the time, I was disappointed that they didn't wait a little & do the series with me, about Tabitha's adventures in high school. I did watch it at the time, but haven't seen it since. Here's my acting composite from that time:
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6 comments:

Joselle said...

I remember the Lisa Hartman series. She was fine in the role, but she was no Erin Murphy!

My City/My Rules said...

If they had waited a few years and used you the show would have been a hit!

My City/My Rules said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mack Miller said...

The fake freckles make you look like the Wendy's girl. :)

J.P. said...

They should have waited for you to "catch up" to what they had in mind for the series, but I was happy that they at least made the attempt. They did try their best with the "Tabitha" series (it sounded like "Bewitched", though I was happy they didn't use Sam's twitch sound effect and the effects worked the same) but it was too zap happy and didn't have any heart.

DENo1MatchGameFan's Blog said...

Sadly it was another failure for Robert Urich as a series regular, but he hit pay dirt later that year as the infamous Peter Campbell on "Soap", and later "Vegas" and "Spenser, For Hire." I agree with the others though - they should have waited for you to grow up to do the series, and it was kind of tacky to 'doctor' up your pics, as you always looked better than what they did to them Erin!