Salem's second season adds a genre TV vet

In a bit of exciting casting news, WGN announced today that former Warrior Princess and Cylon Lucy Lawless had been cast in the upcoming second season of its supernatural drama series Salem, which is executive-produced by Star Trek’s Brannon Braga.

Lawless is set to play a witch called “Countess Marburg,” and she’ll appear in a special recurring guest-star capacity. She’ll be joined by former Lestat actor Stuart Townsend (Queen of the Damned, XIII: The Series). Other new cast members include relative newcomers Joe Doyle (Raw) and Oliver Bell.

The actress, who’s been a fan favorite since her early, ass-kicking days on Xena: Warrior Princess, has raked up a pretty nifty list of starring and guest-starring turns over the years since the show ended in 2001, in such notable geeky series as Battlestar Galactica, Spartacus, Parks and Recreation and, most recently, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Here’s the official press release:

SHREVEPORT, LA, (Jan. 14, 2015) – Lucy Lawless, Stuart Townsend, Joe Doyle and Oliver Bell have joined the cast of WGN America’s hit supernatural thriller “Salem,” which begins production on its second season today in Shreveport, LA.  The new season of the series called “perversely entertaining” by The New York Times and “a sexy good time” by The Hollywood Reporter, centers on Salem’s most powerful and ruthless witch Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery, “Made In Jersey,” “Human Target”) as she faces off against new and old adversaries vying for control of the embattled 17th-century village.  Created and written by award-winning Brannon Braga (“Cosmos,” “24”) and Adam Simon (“The Haunting in Connecticut”), the gripping one-hour drama, produced by Fox 21, will return to WGN America in April 2015.

Special recurring guest star, Lawless (“Xena: Warrior Princess,” “Spartacus”), plays “Countess Marburg,” one of the last remaining survivors of the legendary line of ancient German witches.

Townsend (“Betrayal,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”), in a recurring guest role, portrays English aristocrat “Samuel Wainwright” – a doctor looking to uncover the secrets of “Salem” and keep his own from those who would seek to discover them.

Doyle (“Raw”) joins the cast as a series regular in the role of “Baron Sebastian Marburg,” the charming and cultured son of the Countess.

Also added as a series regular is Bell, who reprises his role as the long-lost son of Mary – long believed to be dead, but who was revealed to have been secretly kept alive by Mary’s witches at the end of season one.

Returning as leading cast members are Janet Montgomery, Shane West (“Nikita,” “ER”) as  Captain John Alden, Seth Gabel (“Fringe”) as Cotton Mather, Ashley Madekwe (“Revenge”) as Tituba, Tamzin Merchant (“Jane Eyre”) as Anne Hale, Elise Eberle (“The Astronaut Farmer”) as Mercy Lewis and Iddo Goldberg (“Mob City”) as Isaac Walton.

The expansive “Salem" set, which covers 30 acres in Shreveport, LA, where the historic village has been recreated with astonishing detail, has been further expanded in season two to include a new port and intricate buildings in an area known as “Knocker’s Hole.”

Joining Braga, Simon and Prospect Park’s Josh Barry and Jeff Kwatinetz as executive producers are Kelly Souders and Brian Peterson, who previously served as showrunners on “Smallville” and co-showrunners on “Beauty and the Beast.”  Also new to the creative team for “Salem” season two is Nick Copus (“Arrow,” “Nikita”), who directs and serves as co-executive producer. 

Are you excited for Lucy Lawless’ upcoming, witchy role on the second season of Salem? If you haven’t tuned in yet for this supernatural series, will her casting make you give it a go come April?

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