Newman commutes from Eureka to Eastwick

Jamie Ray Newman, who plays the recurring character Tess Fontana on Syfy's Eureka, will soon commute to a new town in ABC's new fantasy series Eastwick, but said she shouldn't have trouble juggling both roles.

Newman plays one of three witches in Eastwick, a series based on the 1987 movie and John Updike's original book The Witches of Easwick. She said that the creators of Eureka joked that they hoped she would remain all theirs.

"Jaime Paglia and Charlie Craig, the creators of the show, sent me an e-mail when Eastwick got picked up," Newman said in a group interview over the weekend in Pasadena, Calif. at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "They said, 'We hope you get canceled. Love, Charlie and Jaime.'"

In Eastwick, Roxanne (Rebecca Romijn), Kat (Newman) and Joanna (Lindsay Price)—three very different women—discover talents they never knew they had after a weird encounter in the park and a few martinis, and together they wish for their lives to change.

Joking aside, Newman said the shows' schedules would work out.

"They start up in March, I think, so hopefully we'll get to play the whole season [of Eastwick], and on hiatus I'd love to come back [to Eureka]."

The girl power of Eastwick's witches stands in contrast to Eureka, Newman said. "Eureka was definitely a male-centric show, but there are powerful, strong women on that series as well," she said. "It was a really easy transition for me. There were a lot of effects on Eureka, and we were working 16 hours every single day. So this is kind of a similar genre in that sense. But I am so grateful we're in L.A., because Eureka's in Vancouver. I like being home."

Eastwick has a more magic-based premise than Eureka, which is more sci-fi, and Newman will miss that. "I loved the science of Eureka," she said. "It was kind of an education in and of itself. Joe Morton was kind of our local scientist. He was our local encyclopedia. We'd always come to him, so I learned a lot on it."

Eastwick won't have the same level of visual effects as Eureka, she added. "Eureka has probably more," she said. "At the same time, it's a show that's been on for [three] seasons, so they've gotten to kind of find themselves and figure themselves out. We're just amping up. We're just finding our legs."

Eastwick premieres Sept. 23 and will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT this fall on ABC.

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