Getting the reboot treatment
CBS had approached Urman (the woman behind Jane the Virgin) about taking on a remake, and she enlisted Jane writers Amy Rardin and Jessica O'Toole, who were fans of the original. "We draw on our personal relationship a lot just to get to tell a story of strong women, the wish fulfillment of magical powers," Rardin says.
While Urman, Rardin, and O'Toole wanted to reshape Charmed, they knew it gave them a significant canvas to riff on. "They had a great mythology," Urman says. "It was eight years. When you're creating a show, there are so many things that you are thinking about, and if you are lucky enough to walk in and work with an IP that has such a passionate fanbase and well-structured mythology, that's a gift."
Not that the reboot arrived free of fear or hesitation. It wasn't what Diaz, known for her work in indie film like Fruitvale Station, was necessarily looking for when she was tapped to play Mel. "I was a little nervous, and then I met with Jennie and Brad [Silberling] and Amy and Jessica, and their concept for the show was so cool, and the way they were going to modernize it. I was like, 'OK these are the people that I know will take the show to the next level.' And I know what Jennie did with Jane the Virgin, and that was game-changing for me in terms of television." Conversely, Mantock didn't have any anxiety until getting wind of some of the negative response from fans (and, ahem, a star) of the original. "Until people started airing their opinions -- which they are very entitled to do," she notes, "I just thought what a wonderful script we have, what an amazing cast."