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THE TV COLUMN

CW’s Secret Circle promises to be bewitching

By Michael Storey

This article was published September 15, 2011 at 4:00 a.m.

— One of the thorough delights of The CW’s short lived family drama Life Unexpected was the discovery of new talent Britt Robertson.

The series may have only lasted two seasons, but it was obvious young Robertson was going to make a mark. She stole every scene she was in as the feisty Lux Cassidy.

The 21-year-old Robertson has popped back up on The CW, this time in a supernatural drama titled The Secret Circle. The series debuts at 8 p.m. today following the Season 3 premiere of The CW’s top-rated series The Vampire Diaries.

As you would expect on The CW, The Secret Circle is filled with attractive young people full of angst. From Gossip Girl and 90210 to America’s Next Top Model, The CW is nothing if not home to pretty, pretty young people.

In The Secret Circle, Robertson stars as Cassie Blake, an ordinary teenager who suddenly loses her mother in a tragic, accidental fire.

Or ... was it an accident?

The orphaned Cassie moves to the small town of Chance Harbor, Wash., (think Twilight country) where her mother grew up. She moves in with her grandmother Jane (Ashley Crow).

It’s quickly apparent that there’s something most strange about Chance Harbor. The residents seem to know much more about Cassie than they should. At her new school, Cassie is taken under the wing of Diana Meade (Shelley Hennig), who helps her fit in.

Naturally, there’s a resident “mean girl,” Faye (Phoebe Tonkin), and her mean girl sidekick Melissa (Jessica Parker Kennedy). There’s also the requisite loner dude Nick (Louis Hunter). All of them seem unusually interested in getting to know Cassie.

Cassie learns that when her mother left Chance Harbor, she tried to leave behind dark, dark secrets.

The biggest secret is that all these young folks are descended from powerful witches and they’ve been waiting for Cassie to join them and complete a new generation of (cue ominous music) the Secret Circle.

It turns out that not only is Cassie a witch, but she is the key to binding the Circle together.

If that’s not enough, there are darker and more sinister forces at work here. Forces with ulterior and nefarious motives.

Also in the cast are Gale Harold (Queer as Folk, Desperate Housewives) as Diana’s father and Natasha Henstridge (Species) as the high school principal. Both are on the dark side and it is they who have brought the Circle together.

But why? Let the drama begin.

Bachelor

retread.

As is its custom, ABC is recycling used bachelors from The Bachelorette.

Ben Flajnik, who was recently rejected by bachelorette Ashley Hebert, will be the new star of The Bachelor when it returns in January.

Flajnik told ABC that this time he’s “confident that he will find his soul mate and a lasting, love-filled relationship” on The Bachelor.

Yeah, true love on ABC is out there in the field of unicorns just past the leprechaun with his pot of gold.

Cast grows.

The impressive list of noted actors for History Channel’s forthcoming miniseries, The Hatfields and McCoys, is growing.

Tom Berenger has signed on as Anse Hatfield’s Uncle Jim and Powers Boothe is on board as Wall Hatfield, Anse’s older brother. In addition, Mare Winningham will play Randall McCoy’s wife, Sally.

The miniseries will star Bill Paxton as Randall Mc-Coy and Kevin Costner as Anse “Devil Anse” Hatfield. There’s no word on when the miniseries is set to air.

Last day.

Regis Philbin has announced that Nov. 18 will be his last day as co-host of Live! With Regis and Kelly. Expect lots of fuss as the days wind down.

Series renewed.

Syfy has renewed Alphas for a second season of 13 episodes. The drama features a team of superhuman investigators.

More to come.

Showtime has picked up The Big C for a third season. There will be 10 new episodes staring Laura Linney as a woman with Stage 4 melanoma. The second season finale of the comedy/drama is set for Sept. 26.

The TV Column appears Sunday,Tuesday and Thursday. E-mail:

mstorey@arkansasonline.com

Weekend, Pages 34 on 09/15/2011

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