Mayfair Witches
Also known asAnne Rice's Mayfair Witches
Genre
Created byMichelle Ashford
&
Esta Spalding
Based onLives of the Mayfair Witches
by Anne Rice
Starring
Music byWill Bates
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8
Production
Executive producers
Producers
  • Sarah Cornwell
  • Tom Williams
Cinematography
  • Evans Brown
  • Joseph E. Gallagher
Editors
  • Debra Beth Weinfeld
  • Andy Morrish
  • Andrew Wesman
Running time40–60 minutes
Production companies
  • Gran Via Productions
  • Round Two Productions
  • Pali Eyes Pictures
  • AMC Studios
Original release
NetworkAMC
ReleaseJanuary 8, 2023 (2023-01-08) –
present (present)
Related

Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches, or simply Mayfair Witches, is an American supernatural thriller drama television series created by Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford, based on the novel trilogy Lives of the Mayfair Witches by Anne Rice. The series stars Alexandra Daddario as Rowan Fielding, Harry Hamlin as Cortland Mayfair, Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien Grieve, and Jack Huston as Lasher.

Mayfair Witches is the second television series set in the Immortal Universe, a shared universe based on Rice's novels, which started in 2022 with Interview with the Vampire. The series premiered on AMC on January 8, 2023. In February 2023, it was renewed for a second season.

Premise

Neurosurgeon Dr. Rowan Fielding learns she is the heiress to a dynasty of powerful witches haunted by a sinister spirit.

Cast and characters

Main

Recurring

In addition, Madison Wolfe guest stars as Tessa, a young Mayfair cousin of Rowan's, and Dennis Boutsikaris guest stars as Albrecht, the local leader of the Talamasca. Emma Rose Smith co-stars as Florie, Suzanne's younger sister, while Ian Hoch co-stars as Keith Murfis, a coroner and observer of the Mayfairs who becomes involved with an anti-witch cult.

Production

Development

Development rights to Anne Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches book series were still held by Warner Bros in December 2019, when Rice began shopping a package combining film and TV rights to both The Vampire Chronicles and Mayfair Witches.[3] Rice was reportedly asking around $30 to $40 million, plus a $2.5 million buyout of Warner Bros.' rights, and the new owner would hold the rights in perpetuity, not just as an option.[3] In May 2020, it was announced that AMC had acquired the rights to The Vampire Chronicles and Lives of the Mayfair Witches for developing film and television projects.[4] Anne and Christopher Rice would serve as executive producers on any projects developed. Rice said, "It's always been my dream to see the worlds of my two biggest series united under a single roof so that filmmakers could explore the expansive and interconnected universe of my vampires and witches. That dream is now a reality, and the result is one of the most significant and thrilling deals of my long career."[4]

In December 2021, Deadline Hollywood reported that Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches had been given an eight-episode series order by AMC, with another Rice series, Interview with the Vampire, already in production at the network. Mayfair Witches will be written and executive produced by Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford, and executive produced by Mark Johnson.[5][6] Spalding and Ashford said, "The world of witches has fascinated and terrified for centuries, and yet Anne Rice's particular lens on witches explored something new altogether—women who are powerful, and often brutal, and always committed to subverting our current power structures."[6] Johnson added, "My good fortune as an executive producer of Anne Rice's Interview with the Vampire has now been more than doubled with what Esta Spalding and Michelle Ashford are imagining with The Mayfair Witches. While both shows couldn't be more different, they nevertheless find themselves bound under the same bewitching and engaging umbrella."[6] In January 2023, at AMC's TCA press tour, Johnson announced a crossover between Mayfair Witches and Interview with the Vampire is in discussions.[7] On February 3, 2023, AMC renewed the series for a second season.[8]

Casting

Season 1

In March 2022, Variety reported that Alexandra Daddario had been cast in the lead role of Dr. Rowan Fielding. Dan McDermott, president of entertainment and AMC Studios for AMC Networks, said "Alexandra is a singular talent who has lit up the screen in everything she's been in and we couldn't be happier to have her on board, leading the cast of a series that will be a centerpiece of an expanding Anne Rice universe on AMC+ and AMC. We found our Rowan and can't wait for her to meet viewers later this year".[9] Harry Hamlin joined the cast that same month as patriarch Cortland Mayfair.[10] In April 2022, AMC announced the casting of series regular Tongayi Chirisa as Ciprien Grieve, as well as Annabeth Gish as Deirdre Mayfair, Beth Grant as Carlotta Mayfair, Erica Gimpel as Ellie Mayfair and Jen Richards as Jojo, in recurring roles.[2][11] In May 2022, Jack Huston was cast as Lasher, described as one of Rice's "most mysterious and sensual characters—a powerful, shape-shifting entity who has been bound to the Mayfair witches for hundreds of years."[12][13]

Season 2

Alyssa Jirrels joined the second season as a series regular playing Rowan's cousin, Moira Mayfair. She is described as a mind reader, "who blames the family and Lasher for the death of her sister Tessa". Ted Levine was cast in a recurring guest starring role as Julien Mayfair, Cortland's father, and "a master manipulator". Thora Birch guest stars as Gifford Mayfair, "a self-deprecating tarot card reader". Ben Feldman was cast as the CEO of a genetics startup and Rowan's former boyfriend.[14][15]

Filming

Filming of season one of Mayfair Witches took place in New Orleans from April 25 to August 26, 2022.[16] Season two is scheduled to film from January 29 to April 5, 2024.[17]

Episodes

No.Title [18]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [18]U.S. viewers
(millions)
1"The Witching Hour"Michael UppendahlMichelle Ashford & Esta SpaldingJanuary 8, 2023 (2023-01-08)0.577[19]
San Francisco pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Rowan Fielding learns that her adoptive mother Elena's cancer has returned. When Rowan's chief surgeon refuses to help her get Elena into a clinical trial, she envisions the arteries inside of his head, and he collapses. Rowan's belief that she somehow caused the incident is dismissed by Elena, who secretly makes a call to the Talamasca for help. Empath Ciprien Grieve, the Talamasca agent assigned to Rowan, reassures Elena that "the man" remains in New Orleans. Rowan loses her temper, and this time the man she is arguing with dies. In New Orleans, Dr. Vernon Lamb secretively withholds Thorazine from a catatonic Deirdre Mayfair so he can give his new patient a proper psychiatric exam. Elena dies, and the entity Lasher, bound to Deirdre, appears to Rowan. In the past, young Deirdre is guarded closely by her stern aunt Carlotta, but Mayfair patriarch Cortland hires a young man to seduce her. She becomes pregnant and is saved from suicide by "the man", an entity known to the Mayfairs as Lasher. Deirdre gives birth, but Carlotta hands baby Rowan over to her niece, Elena, with strict instructions to disappear with the child and never return.
2"The Dark Place"Michael UppendahlMichael GoldbachJanuary 15, 2023 (2023-01-15)0.584[20]
A grieving Rowan learns that Elena lied about trying to find her birth parents, and spirals further. Though instructed by the Talamasca to only surveil Rowan, Ciprien approaches her and promises answers when the chaos around her escalates. He touches her and collapses from the empathic shock. Rowan looks through his phone and sees photos of Deirdre and Elena. Ciprien awakens in the ambulance and flees. Rowan makes her way to New Orleans just as Deirdre awakens, feigning catatonia for Carlotta. Dr. Lamb promises to help free her, but Deirdre cannot wait. Lasher, who has been kept closely bound to Deirdre due to her drugged state, reassures her that her daughter is alive and coming to her. The Mayfair maid Delphine lets Deirdre escape to Cortland, where she uses magic to see Rowan's location through Lasher's eyes. Carlotta is shocked when a lucid Deirdre enters the Pontchartrain Hotel. Deirdre dismisses Carlotta's attempt to bring her home, reminding Carlotta that if she is awake, so is Lasher. Ciprien arranges to meet Rowan at the hotel. On her way to the lobby to meet him, an elevator opens and Rowan comes face to face with Deirdre, who suddenly collapses, her throat slit.
3"Second Line"Axelle CarolynSarah CornwellJanuary 22, 2023 (2023-01-22)0.562[21]
In the wake of Deirdre's death, a blood-covered Rowan rebuffs Carlotta and leaves the hotel with Ciprien. He tells her about himself, the Talamasca, and Lasher. Carlotta and her sister Millie decide to have a wake for Deirdre to lure Rowan to them. A vengeful Lasher comes to a fearful Cortland, who reminds him that Rowan is the 13th Mayfair witch. Carlotta locks Delphine in the basement with the jeweled key necklace that bound Lasher to Deirdre. Rowan meets Ciprien's pregnant sister, Odette. Rowan receives a spiked drink at a carnival-like funeral on the street. This enables Lasher to come to her as a mysterious attractive stranger. He later impersonates Deirdre, but Rowan is not fooled for long. Lasher kills Delphine by making her bash her head against the cellar wall to free himself from her. Ciprien touches Deirdre's dead body at the morgue and has a vision of a man getting into the elevator with her.
4"Curiouser and Curiouser"Axelle CarolynLindsey VillarrealJanuary 29, 2023 (2023-01-29)0.530[22]
Carlotta finds Delphine's body, but the necklace is missing. Rowan and Ciprien attend Deirdre's funeral. At the Mayfair house on First Street, Carlotta confesses that she sent Rowan away to save her from Lasher. The Talamasca find the man hired to kill Deirdre, but Lasher tortures and then kills him. Rowan meets some of her relatives and learns from Cortland's daughter Jojo that she is the "designee", the Mayfair heir. Jojo explains that there were 12 before Rowan and shows her 12 paintings of these women wearing the key necklace. Cortland encourages Rowan to talk to Lasher. Carlotta is upset to see Rowan wearing Lasher's necklace, and has a servant lock herself and Rowan in the dining room with the paintings. She utters an exorcism-like prayer and sets the room on fire. Ciprien breaks through the door but is stabbed by Carlotta who was aiming for Rowan. Lasher appears to a fearful Carlotta, declaring that Rowan is already his.
5"The Thrall"Haifaa Al-MansourSean ReycraftFebruary 5, 2023 (2023-02-05)0.574[23]
Ciprien and Rowan are disoriented and trapped in the First Street house by Lasher's magic. Ciprien's stab wound has become infected, but Rowan cannot break out of the house. Lasher distracts Rowan by coming to her in the form of a healed Ciprien, but the spell is broken when she notices he is not wearing gloves, as Ciprien would. Ciprien has a vision of his predecessor Stuart Townsend, a Talamasca agent who had been assigned to Deirdre's mother, Antha Mayfair, but disappeared. Stuart warns Ciprien not to die in the Mayfair house, or Lasher will trap him there forever. Rowan sees a distraught Millie, who is revealed to be a ghost, and leads Rowan to Delphine's body in the basement. Rowan promises Lasher she will stay with him if he releases Ciprien, which he does. Odette finds a dying Ciprien in his apartment, and Samir, Ciprien's superior at the Talamasca, brings a healer to save him. Rowan resists Lasher's machinations and frees Carlotta from suspension. She then takes Rowan to a balcony and says the only way to escape Lasher is to commit suicide. Rowan realizes that Carlotta killed Antha (or at least encouraged her to jump from the balcony too) and angrily uses her powers to force Carlotta over the balcony to her death.
6"Transference"Haifaa Al-MansourMary Angélica MolinaFebruary 12, 2023 (2023-02-12)0.274[24]
Tessa Mayfair tells Rowan about a growing conspiracy against witches like them and encourages Rowan to use her new powers. Rowan wants nothing to do with any of it. She seeks advice from Cortland about getting rid of Lasher and realizes that Cortland has ALS. Cortland thinks his cousin Dolly Jean Mayfair may know how Lasher was once transferred from Mary Beth Mayfair to her brother Julien, Cortland's father. Ciprien touches Lasher's necklace, and has a vision of the Mayfair ancestor Suzanne, a healer, tried as a witch in 1681 Donnelaith, Scotland, by the Witchfinder. As a last resort, she uses "wicked words" of power, which summon Lasher. He stuns Cip, then strangles the Witchfinder with his own jeweled key necklace. Lastly, he gives Suzanne the key to unlock her cage. Jojo and Dolly Jean gather Tessa, Alicia, and other Mayfair women to perform a ritual that employs a fetish doll made from bones or hair from every designee, including Deirdre. Special words of power call Lasher, and Rowan chokes up the key necklace. The women believe Lasher has chosen Tessa as Rowan's successor and the necklace is placed on her. Losing the necklace traps Ciprien in the past. The anti-witch cult abducts Tessa, and Lasher does not come to her aid.
7"Tessa"Alexis OstranderSarah Cornwell & Esta SpaldingFebruary 19, 2023 (2023-02-19)0.490[25]
Rowan realizes she is pregnant. The cult holds Tessa in a cage as their captive at an old auto parts factory. She tries to use her power to coerce one of them, Keith, to unlock her but fails. Rowan seeks out Tessa but finds that she is missing. The Mayfairs summon a scry to find her. Rowan feels responsible for Tessa's predicament but refuses to try and summon Lasher to help them. Lasher tells Ciprien he will never escape the vision, but Ciprien poisons himself with henbane and wakes up in the present. Aware that Rowan is pregnant, Cortland calls his associate, Talamasca leader Albrecht, who stops Ciprien from intervening. Albrecht explains that Rowan is about to make a choice that will fulfill an ancient prophecy and begin "a new era". As the cultists threaten to burn Tessa alive, Rowan arrives and begins killing them. Rowan is shot but saves Tessa from the flames. Keith appears and shoots Tessa, mortally wounding her. Rowan puts on the necklace and calls Lasher.
8"What Rough Beast"Alexis OstranderEsta SpaldingFebruary 26, 2023 (2023-02-26)0.443[26]
Commanded by a wounded Rowan, Lasher burns Keith alive. Cortland refuses to tell Jojo the truth behind his obsession with Rowan. Ciprien discovers that Cortland ordered Deirdre's murder, and any psychic trace at the crime scene was wiped by the Talamasca. Lasher draws Rowan into a vision, where she learns she can heal herself and others, and they have sex. After Odette calls the Talamasca looking for a missing Ciprien, they erase her memories of recent events. Ciprien touches a mask owned by Cortland, learning that Cortland raped Deirdre and fathered Rowan. Jojo is horrified, and takes Ciprien to the First Street house. He touches the designee fetish doll, seeing a vision of Lasher's prophecy, "the 13th witch is the doorway". While Rowan is trapped in the vision counting down to midnight, "the witching hour", her pregnancy has accelerated and Cortland takes her unconscious body to the Mayfair mausoleum. Rowan awakens with the knowledge that Lasher will be reborn via her child. She goes into labor, and the spirit of Suzanne helps deliver the baby. Rowan turns Cortland to stone for raping Deirdre. Ciprien tries to take the child, but Rowan leaves with her baby.

Release

Like Interview with the Vampire, the series was originally set to premiere on AMC+ and the AMC linear network, with an intended release of late 2022,[5] and then on January 5, 2023.[27] The series premiered on AMC and AMC+ on January 8, 2023,[28] and consists of eight episodes.[29]

In Australia, ABC Television premiered the series on their free-to-air channel as well as streaming service ABC iview on May 5, 2023, along with Interview with the Vampire.[30][31]

Reception

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 43% approval rating with an average rating of 5.9/10, based on 35 critic reviews. The website's critics consensus reads, "Mayfair Witches has competent gloss and a likable lead in Alexandra Daddario, but this brew is made up of too many derivative elements to conjure a compelling spell of its own."[32] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 47 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[33]

Ratings

Viewership and ratings per episode of Mayfair Witches
No. Title Air date Rating
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Witching Hour" January 8, 2023 0.11 0.577[19] TBD TBD TBD 1.7[34]
2 "The Dark Place" January 15, 2023 0.11 0.584[20] TBD TBD TBD TBD
3 "Second Line" January 22, 2023 0.06 0.562[21] TBD TBD TBD TBD
4 "Curiouser and Curiouser" January 29, 2023 0.07 0.530[22] TBD TBD TBD TBD
5 "The Thrall" February 5, 2023 0.10 0.574[23] TBD TBD TBD TBD
6 "Transference" February 12, 2023 0.06 0.274[24] TBD TBD TBD TBD
7 "Tessa" February 19, 2023 0.11 0.490[25] TBD TBD TBD TBD
8 "What Rough Beast" February 26, 2023 0.08 0.443[26] TBD TBD TBD TBD

References

  1. ^ Schepp, Calie (October 6, 2022). "Mayfair Witches' Harry Hamlin admits he 'couldn't get through the whole' 50-hour audiobook". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on January 8, 2023. Retrieved January 7, 2023.
  2. ^ a b Rice, Lynette (April 28, 2022). "Anne Rice Projects at AMC Cast Annabeth Gish, Erica Gimpel, Jen Richards, Tongayi Chirisa & More". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 11, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  3. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (December 20, 2019). "Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles No Longer at Hulu; Is Being Shopped Elsewhere". Variety. Archived from the original on March 8, 2021. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (May 13, 2020). "Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, Lives of the Mayfair Witches Rights Land at AMC". Variety. Archived from the original on June 25, 2021. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 1, 2021). "Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches Series Ordered at AMC, to Follow Launch of Interview With the Vampire in 2022". TVLine. Archived from the original on April 15, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (December 1, 2021). "Anne Rice's Lives of the Mayfair Witches Gets Series Order, Joins Interview with the Vampire on AMC". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on April 22, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  7. ^ White, Peter (January 10, 2023). "Interview With A Vampire & Mayfair Witches Crossover Planned At AMC". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  8. ^ Bell, BreAnna (February 3, 2023). "Mayfair Witches Renewed for Season 2 at AMC". Variety. Archived from the original on October 3, 2023. Retrieved February 3, 2023.
  9. ^ Otterson, Joe (March 16, 2022). "Alexandra Daddario to Star in Mayfair Witches Series at AMC (Exclusive)". Variety. Archived from the original on November 6, 2022. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  10. ^ Grobar, Matt (March 23, 2022). "Harry Hamlin Joins AMC's Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches as Series Regular, Boards Paramount & Endeavor Content's Tom Brady Pic 80 For Brady". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on September 19, 2022. Retrieved March 25, 2022.
  11. ^ Swift, Andy (August 10, 2022). "Mayfair Witches: Alexandra Daddario, Harry Hamlin and More Bring Anne Rice Characters to Life on AMC — First Look". TVLine. Archived from the original on August 13, 2022. Retrieved August 13, 2022.
  12. ^ Maas, Jennifer (May 6, 2022). "Jack Huston Joins AMC's Mayfair Witches as Lasher". Variety. Archived from the original on October 18, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  13. ^ Petski, Denise (May 6, 2022). "Jack Huston to Play Lasher in Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches for AMC". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on October 18, 2022. Retrieved August 10, 2022.
  14. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (February 6, 2024). "A Status Check on AMC's Anne Rice Universe". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  15. ^ Cordero, Rosy (March 7, 2024). "Ben Feldman Joins 'Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches' For Season 2". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 8, 2024.
  16. ^ "Productions". Film New Orleans. Archived from the original on June 22, 2022. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  17. ^ "Productions". Film New Orleans. Archived from the original on January 13, 2024. Retrieved January 13, 2024.
  18. ^ a b "Shows A-Z - Anne Rice's Mayfair Witches on AMC". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  19. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 10, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 1.8.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 10, 2023.
  20. ^ a b Salem, Mitch (January 18, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 1.15.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 18, 2023. Retrieved January 18, 2023.
  21. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (January 24, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 1.22.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on January 24, 2023. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  22. ^ a b Salem, Mitch (January 31, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 1.29.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 1, 2023. Retrieved January 31, 2023.
  23. ^ a b Salem, Mitch (February 7, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 2.5.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 8, 2023. Retrieved February 7, 2023.
  24. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 14, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 2.12.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 14, 2023. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  25. ^ a b Salem, Mitch (February 22, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 2.19.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on February 22, 2023. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  26. ^ a b Metcalf, Mitch (February 28, 2023). "ShowBuzzDaily's Sunday 2.26.2023 Top 150 Cable Originals & Network Finals Updated". Showbuzz Daily. Archived from the original on March 1, 2023. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  27. ^ Swift, Andy (October 6, 2022). "Mayfair Witches Series Sets AMC+ Premiere Date — Watch Trailer". TVLine. Archived from the original on October 21, 2022. Retrieved October 6, 2022.
  28. ^ Scherer, Jenna (January 4, 2023). "Mayfair Witches Is a Dull Expansion of AMC's Anne Rice Universe". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on May 14, 2023. Retrieved October 19, 2023.
  29. ^ Rogers, Kaniya (January 6, 2023). "Mayfair Witches is a new horror series based on the books by Anne Rice—here's how to stream new episodes every week". Business Insider. Archived from the original on January 10, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  30. ^ Perry, Kevin (April 12, 2023). "ABC confirms Australian free-to-air premiere dates for supernatural series Mayfair Witches and Interview with The Vampire". TV Blackbox. Archived from the original on April 12, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
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  33. ^ "Mayfair Witches: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved January 18, 2024.
  34. ^ Maas, Jennifer (January 13, 2023). "Mayfair Witches Tops Interview With the Vampire as AMC+'s Biggest Series Premiere". Variety. Archived from the original on January 19, 2023. Retrieved January 19, 2023.