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Behind-The-Scenes Facts About ‘Charmed’: From Famous Feuds to Reboot Drama

Find out which stars don’t get along and who was kicked off the show


The 1998 witchy series Charmed had it all — spellcasting, sisterly love and a whole lot of drama. Whether it was on-screen or behind-the-scenes, the infamous feuds and other facts about Charmed have resulted in rumors of why certain stars left the series early, and why some of them are still spilling secrets today.

The Halliwell sisters enchanted audiences for eight seasons of the magical series, which was so popular that in 2018 a reboot with the same name began airing. But despite the excitement from devoted fans, the original stars weren’t quite as thrilled.

Enjoy these facts about Charmed and learn a little bit more about the behind-the-scenes secrets of the series.

MUST-READ: The Original ‘Charmed’ Cast Then & Now: Revisit the Magical Drama of the Halliwell Sisters

1.  Alyssa Milano wasn’t originally chosen to play Phoebe

Three women with heads together; facts about charmed
Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Lori Rom in “Charmed” (1998) Television

Although audiences probably couldn’t imagine Charmed without Alyssa Milano, she wasn’t meant to play the youngest Halliwell sister, Phoebe. Actress Lori Rom was originally cast as Phoebe for the series and even filmed the pilot. But that version never aired — Rom quit the show before the episode made it to the screen and she was soon replaced by Milano.

2.  Holly Marie Combs’ real-life pregnancy was written into the show: Facts about Charmed

Woman and man sitting on the couch
Holly Marie Combs and Brian Krause in Charmed (2003) Television

In season five, Piper, played by Holly Marie Combs, was pregnant, but that wasn’t the original plan for her character. In fact, the storyline was written into the series because the actress was expecting a child of her own. Though the plot was a bit confusing, it all made sense to Charmed fans.

MUST-READ: Original ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ Cast: the Spellman Witches Then and Now!

3. Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano weren’t close behind-the-scenes

Two girls looking unhappy
Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty in “Charmed” (1998) Television

Feuds with co-stars are a tale as old as time, but the one between Shannen Doherty and Milano seems to be ongoing. Rumors began swirling around about issues between them early on, and after Doherty’s character was killed off, it seemed that theywere accurate.

Milano publicly said that Doherty created a toxic work environment, but recently, Doherty revealed on her podcast, Let’s Be Clear, that Milano was the reason for her exit.

Combs, who was a guest on the podcast, explained she was told about the alleged situation by producer Jonathan Levin. “He said, you know, ‘We’re basically in a position where it’s one or the other. We were told [by Alyssa] that it’s [Shannen] or me, and Alyssa has threatened to sue us for a hostile workplace environment.’”

4. Doherty was a bridesmaid in Milano’s wedding before the drama: Facts about Charmed

Two girls looking unhappy
Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty in Charmed (1999) Television

But before the feud and alleged ultimatum took place, the stars were good friends. Doherty and Combs even served as bridesmaids in Milano’s 1999 wedding to Cinjun Tate. Unfortunately, the sisterly love didn’t last all that long, as the behind-the-scenes drama started up not too long after.

5. Holly Marie Combs was the only actress to star in every episode

Girl half smiling
Holly Marie Combs in “Charmed” (1999) Television

Though there were four main stars of the show — Doherty, Milano, Combs and Rose McGowan — Combs was the only one to appear in every episode. Doherty’s character was killed off in the season three finale, marking the end of her time on the series. McGowan joined the cast in season four as the Halliwell’s half-sister, Paige. While Milano was in every episode that aired, she wasn’t a part of the original, unaired pilot.

MUST-READ: ‘Pretty Little Liars’ Cast: Take a Note From ‘A’ and Learn All About the Stars Today

6. Doherty had a history with the producer of Charmed: Facts about Charmed

Group of people posing together
Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Aaron Spelling, Luke Perry and Shannen Doherty (1992) Frank Trapper / Contributor / Getty

No, not a relationship history. But prior to starring as the eldest Halliwell sister, Doherty portrayed Brenda Walsh on Beverly Hills, 90210, which was produced by Aaron Spelling. The actress was written off that show in 1994 due to her lateness and other issues on set, but was hired to star in yet-another Spelling-produced series, which was Charmed. However, despite the former bad blood with Doherty, Spelling was very supportive of casting the actress, according to show creator, Constance M. Burge.

MUST-READ: ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’: Kick Back at the Peach Pit and Catch Up With the Cast

7. Paige was almost portrayed by some major stars

Girl smiling
Tiffani Thiessen (1990) MediaPunch / Contributor / Getty

Before McGowan was cast as half-sister Paige, the show’s producers were eyeing some other major stars for the part. They were looking to cast Jennifer Love Hewitt or Tiffani Thiessen as Paige in season four, but Charmed showrunner Brad Kern shared that after seeing McGowan’s audition, they didn’t bring in anyone else.

8. There was also some drama brewing between McGowan and Milano: Facts about Charmed

Two women look shocked
Rose McGowan and Alyssa Milano in Charmed (2004) Television

Everyone knows about the issues between Doherty and Milano, but Doherty’s replacement, McGowan, didn’t get along with Milano either. McGowan has shared that she wasn’t a fan of her on-screen half-sister, and that Milano contributed to a toxic set.

More recently, McGowan called Milano out for her involvement in the #MeToo movement. McGowan shared in an interview with ABC’s Nightline, “I don’t like her, because I think she’s a liar.”

9. The show was rebooted… twice

Three women with a magical book; facts about charmed
Madeleine Mantock, Melonie Diaz and Sarah Jeffery in Charmed (2018) Productions

Although the series was canceled in 2006, that wasn’t the end of the Charmed franchise. The series continued in 2010 as comic books, which went on until 2016, but audiences weren’t thrilled with this form of the story. Many fans complained about the characters’ looks and the story itself. Then show was rebooted in 2018, with entirely new characters and actresses. The new series featured sisters, Macy, Mel and Maggie Vera, but follows a similar storyline.

10. The original stars weren’t thrilled with the 2018 reboot: Facts about Charmed

Three women with heads together; facts about charmed
Holly Marie Combs, Shannen Doherty and Alyssa Milano in “Charmed” (1998) Television

When the 2018 reboot of Charmed was announced, the stars of the original didn’t seem too thrilled. Combs shared on Twitter her less-than-pleased reaction. “Here’s the thing. Until you ask us to rewrite it like Brad Kern did weekly, don’t even think of capitalizing on our hard work. Charmed belongs to the four of us, our vast amount of writers, crews and predominantly the fans. FYI you will not fool them by owning a title/stamp. So bye.”

Combs and other stars also had a problem with the reboot when it was branded as more “feminist.” Doherty voiced her opinion about that comment, saying, “You nailed it. Their wording is terrible and a bit offensive … Perhaps with the backlash they will be more thoughtful in future.”

11. The Book of Shadows was hand-drawn

Two girls looking at books
Holly Marie Combs and Alyssa Milano in Charmed (2001) Television

One of the series’ major props was the Book of Shadows, which gave the sisters their power. But to make that book look as realistic as possible, the series commissioned three artists to hand draw and paint the illustrations within it. Their work was so impressive that Milano commissioned one of the artists to paint murals of the same artwork in her home.

12. Actress Kaley Cuoco was added to the 8th and final season for an interesting reason

four women standing together; charmed facts
Cast of “Charmed” (2006)

After seven seasons of the sister witches, fans may have been surprised to see a new cast member in the show’s 8th season. 8 Simple Rules star Kaley Cuoco joined Charmed as Billie Jenkins, a witch that didn’t quite get along with the Halliwell sisters. And the reason for her appearance so late in the series? Showrunners shared they wanted “to lighten the load, screen-time wise, of Alyssa, Holly and Rose.”

Of course, Cuoco is a household name in television today, after her longtime run on The Big Bang Theory, so Charmed fans were lucky to see the actress in her early days.

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