Alice Ghostley originally did not appear as Esmeralda but as maid Naomi who caused havoc at the Stephens'. In the same episode ("Maid To Order"), she is asked to help with a client dinner at the Tate's home because their own maid was ill that night. The name of the Tate's usual maid was Esmeralda!
Elizabeth Montgomery played the roles of Samantha Stephens and her more free-spirited cousin Serena. However in the cast listing, the role of Serena was listed as being played by Pandora Spocks. Many viewers didn't realize this, and wrote "Pandora" fan mail. (Montgomery and 'William Asher' --her husband at the time--once left the set together, with Montgomery still wearing her Serena costume and makeup, and checked into a motel instead of going home.)
During the second season, five babies played Tabitha Stephens. Cynthia Black in the episode where Tabitha is born. then it went to twins Heidi Gentry and Laura Gentry. The final set of babies in season where Julie Young and Tamar Young. In season three the Young Twins had been replaced by fraternal twins Erin Murphy and Diane Murphy. By season five the role was solely played to Erin Murphy although Diane did appear in a number of episodes afterwards - always wearing a wig.
Although fraternal twins Erin Murphy and Diane Murphy shared the role of Tabitha Stephens up until the middle of the fifth season, Diane only played Tabitha on her own in one episode - Samantha Fights City Hall.
The final black and white episode was "Prodigy".
The show had an unusual amount of roles played by more than one person: two Darrins, two Gladys Kravitzes, two Louise Tates, two of Darrin's father. Dick York left the show in 1969 due to health problems; his role of Darrin was taken over by Dick Sargent. When Alice Pearce died, her role of Mrs. Kravitz was taken over by Sandra Gould.
When Dick York was replaced by Dick Sargent the ratings dropped 13 places.
During the first six years, practically every car in sight is a Chevrolet, because the car company was one of the show's original sponsors.
The show aired from 17 September 1964 to 1 July 1972 on ABC for 254 episodes: 74 in black and white (1964-1966) and 180 in color (1966-1972). ABC broadcast reruns of the series weekday afternoons from 1 January 1968 to September 1973. Simultaneously, Saturday morning repeats were transmitted over ABC starting in September 1971.
The series had four different time periods during its eight-year run. It was seen from Sept. 17, 1964 to Jan. 5, 1967 on ABC Thursdays 9:00-9:30 p.m. Then ABC moved it back 30 minutes (Thursday 8:30-9:00 p.m.) where it remained from Jan. 12, 1967 to Sept. 9, 1971. Between Sept. 15, 1971 and Jan. 5, 1972, it was seen over ABC Wednesdays 8:00-8:30 p.m.; after which, it switched time slots for the last time: Saturday 8:00-8:30 p.m., where it remained from Jan. 15 to July 1, 1972.
The 4 April 1968 episode "I Confess", was interrupted by ABC during its original airing for news coverage of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King
The final first-run episode telecast was "The Truth, Nothing But The Truth, So Help Me, Sam" (3/25/1972); its final ABC primetime telecast of all was the 7/1/1972 repeat of "Adam, Warlock Or Washout" from 12/29/1971.
Many of the plots from earlier shows were repeated later.
Elizabeth Montgomery didn't actually twitch her nose to cause Samantha's magic to occur; she twitched her upper lip, causing her nose to follow.
Almost all of the female witches' character names end with the letter "a", including Samantha, Endora, Esmeralda, Clara, Hagatha, Enchantra and Tabitha. Some exceptions include Abigail Beechum (Maurice's private secretary) and Mary (friend of Bertha, Endora and Clara).
Elizabeth Montgomery and 'William Asher' were married during the run of the series. In one episode in 1969, a valentine with the pair's initials is seen on the wall of a baseball stadium. The last season was produced by "Ashmont", the company owner by the couple.
Bernard Slade, a director with the series, was married to Jill Foster, who played Darrin's secretary Betty from 1965-69.
Paul Lynde, who played Uncle Arthur, appeared in an earlier episode as a nervous driving instructor who teaches Samantha how to drive.
Two supporting actresses: Alice Pearce (Gladys) and Marion Lorne (Aunt Clara) both were awarded Emmys posthumously.
The show's now-famous animated opening credits were created by Hanna-Barbera Productions.
The role of Samantha was originally offered to Tammy Grimes.
Helen Hunt and Jodie Foster were once considered for the role of Tabitha.
Jim Backus was the first choice to play Abner Kravitz, but turned it down, because he was already working on "Gilligan's Island" (1964).
Darrin graduated from the University of Missouri class of 1950.
Elizabeth Montgomery became pregnant on two occasions (her second and third pregnancies) during the show's run and both were written into the show. Her first pregnancy, which occurred at the beginning of the series, wasn't used as part of the storyline, and was covered up by using a lot of close-ups of Montgomery's face.
When it became clear that Dick York could not continue with the series, 'William Asher' considered canceling it, not only because of York's departure, but because he and Elizabeth Montgomery wanted to move on. However, the ratings were still high enough that the network wanted the show to go on. Dick Sargent was brought in to replace York, but there was still one problem: how to explain why Darrin looked and sounded different. Many people working on the show came up with ideas, but Asher thought the viewers understood this was an actor playing a role, so he decided that the best explanation was no explanation.
Bernard Fox appeared earlier on the show as a witch-hunting anthropologist before taking on the role of Dr. Bombay.
In the episode "Hippie, Hippie, Hooray", we see Larry and Louise Tate in their kitchen. It's the same set used as Tony Nelson's kitchen from "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965).
Darrin and Samantha Stephens lived at 1164 Morning Glory Circle, Westport, Connecticut.
The exterior of the Kravitz house is the same exterior as used in "The Partridge Family" (1970) and "The Donna Reed Show" (1958).
The Tates had a son named Jonathan that was a few months older than Tabitha, but was only seen occasionally.
During the hiatus between the 1968-1969 and 1969-1970 seasons, the network reran all 14 episodes in which Dick York did not appear in hopes of making it easier for fans to accept Dick Sargent as the new Darrin.
Samantha's maiden name was never revealed.
The only members of Samantha's family to consistantly call Darrin by his first name were Aunt Clara and Uncle Arthur.
After the third season, it was often not known if Dick York would be well enough to work any given week, because of his back pain issues. "Darrin-less" scripts were therefore on hand, or scripts were made Darrin-less (often by giving his lines to Larry Tate). Most sources tend to assume York missed thirteen episodes from his back pain issues, when in reality, most of the episodes York "missed" were actually filmed after he had already left the show (in season five). They were then aired mixed with episodes he had completed. At least one of the two episodes he missed in season three had nothing to do with his back pain issues, but was because his father had died.
The show's theme song was composed by Howard Greenfield and had lyrics written by 'Jack Keller' that were never used on the show. Several artists recorded versions of the song, including Steve Lawrence and Peggy Lee. The lyrics are: Bewitched, bewitched, you've got me in your spell. Bewitched, bewitched, you know your craft so well. Before I knew what you were doing, I looked in your eyes. That brand of woo that you've been brewin' Took me by surprise. You witch, you witch! One thing that's for sure, that stuff you pitch, just hasn't got a cure. My heart was under lock and key, but somehow it got unhitched. I never thought my heart could be had. But now I'm caught and I'm kind of glad To be bewitched. Bewitched.
When the show originally aired, the animated opening credits were changed each season to include the current sponsor. The credits shown on the currently syndicated version of the show eliminate these sequences. Originally the sequence began with a cartoon of the sponsor's logo and a voice over saying "Chevrolet (or Quaker Oats or Aunt Jemima or Oscar Mayer...) presents." Ending the credits, after the cartoon smoke with Agnes Moorehead's credit (where the credits in the syndicated version stop), was a brief cartoon ad for the sponsor.
Darrin says Samantha has a mole in the middle of her back.
After her initial five-year contract was up, Elizabeth Montgomery announced she would move on to other things. Desperate to keep the show going, the network gave her part ownership as part of her new contract.
In the episode "Eye of the Beholder" (25 February 1965), Samantha tells Darrin her birthday is June 6.
Even though Mr. McMann (of "McMann and Tate") was often referred to, he only appeared in two episodes.
Irene Vernon (the first Louise Tate) was let go by the Ashers from the show after season two because of her association with producer Danny Arnold, who left at that time.
Mercedes McCambridge who played Carlotta in episode #144 "Darrin, Gone and Forgotten" was in fact born "Carlotta" Mercedes Agnes McCambridge. So her first name was used as the character she played in that episode during the fifth season.
Running for eight seasons, this was the longest-running of the so-called "fantasy sitcoms" that dominated the airwaves in the mid-1960s (i.e. "The Addams Family" (1964), "I Dream of Jeannie" (1965), "The Munsters" (1964), etc.), as well as the last surviving example of the genre when it went off the air in 1972 (a year after "All in the Family" (1971) ushered in a new era of reality sitcoms).
The home that Darrin and Samantha rent for the first two episodes before buying the home they would live in for the rest of the series features the exterior and the foyer/living room of the Baxter's home for "Hazel" (1961).
The names of Samantha and Endora parallel the Biblical story of the Witch of Endor (I Samuel 28). In the passage, Saul consults a medium (traditionally referred to as a witch) at a place called Endor to bring up the spirit of Samuel. Thus the parallel: witch, Endor, Samuel...witch, Endora, Samantha.
Despite popular stories, Dick Sargent was never 'William Asher' 's and Elizabeth Montgomery's original choice for the role of Darrin. Dick York was always their first choice. Sargent was only considered for the role when Tammy Grimes was still being considered, before Asher and Montgomery became involved with the show.
Creator Sol Saks wrote in his memoirs that the reason both Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher were hired is because the two of them were looking for a project to do together and their agents sent them out as a team.
In the original draft of the pilot episode Samantha was originally going to be named Cassandra.
There were some protests when the show was about to premier, primarily from viewers in "Bible Belt" states who were afraid that the show was going to promote devil worship.
Rehearsals for the pilot were set to begin on November 22, 1963. However, they were postponed because of the assassination earlier that day of President Kennedy, who was a good friend of William Asher.
The series marked the first time that a married couple, played by unmarried actors, was seen in the same bed together in a live-action television show. Prior to this, most shows featured married couples in separate beds.
Agnes Moorehead was chosen to play Endora after a chance meeting with Elizabeth Montgomery and William Asher at a Bloomingdale's department store.
Special furniture was used on the set for Dick York due to his back problems. Other cast and crew members also helped him get around on the set. He had to leave the show in 1969 when he suddenly collapsed to the floor on-set. In interviews years later York had always said he felt horrible because he never finished the show.