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News > Archive > April 2004

 DVD Collection 13 April 30 2004 

Dark Shadows DVD Collection 13 is now confirmed for release on July 27 2004. The set features episodes 696-735, beginning the 1897 flashback, along with the return of Laura Collins. The bonus interviews have yet to be announced. are currently listing the title at a 30% discount with free shipping:

Pre-order Dark Shadows DVD Collection 13 from

 Three Weeks and Counting... April 27 2004 

Post production work on the Dark Shadows pilot is now well underway, with just three weeks left until the WB network's announcement on May 18. Speaking to fans at last week's Dan Curtis event, executive producer Mark Verheiden confirmed that editing work has been taking place throughout the shoot.

At some point in the next two weeks, WB executives will view an assembled version of the pilot, reaching a verdict by the weekend of May 15-16. Their chosen Fall line-up will then be unveiled to the press and advertisers at New York's Sheraton Hotel on Tuesday May 18, as previously reported.

Based on recent history, pundits seem agreed that the WB will pick up two drama pilots for the season. Competing alongside Dark Shadows are The Robinsons: Lost in Space directed by John Woo, Prodigy, The Mountain and Jack and Bobby.
With thanks to VictoriaWinters and TVTome

 Dan Curtis Photographs April 27 2004 

Thanks to the generosity of the Museum of Television and Radio, we are delighted to present some official photographs from last week's reception for Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis. Click on the thumbnails to view the full-size images:

. . .

Photographs courtesy of © Amy Tierney/Lee Salem Photography, Inc. Reproduced with permission
With thanks to the Museum of Television and Radio and VictoriaWinters

 Curtis Approves April 26 2004 

The Dark Shadows pilot "looks pretty good" according to creator Dan Curtis, speaking at last week's Museum of Television and Radio seminar. Zap2it reports Curtis' comments on the new project, along with highlights from the evening. To read more, click here.
With thanks to Lum Edwards and Taeylor Gabriel

 Dan Curtis Reception April 23 2004 

The Los Angeles Museum of Television and Radio hosted their reception for Dark Shadows creator Dan Curtis yesterday evening, with archive footage from his career, followed by discussion with Curtis on stage.

Amongst the Dark Shadows colleagues at the event were David Selby (Quentin) with his son, Return to Collinwood scribe Jamison Selby, John Karlen (Willie), Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie), Roger Davis (Jeff) and Barbara Steele (1991 Julia).

Notably, a number of faces from the WB pilot were present, making their first appearances at a Dark Shadows-related event. Kelly Hu (Julia), Ivana Milicevic (Angelique), Jason Shaw (Joe), Jenna Dewan (Sophia), Alexander Gould (David), Michael D Roberts (Sheriff Patterson) and writer Mark Verheiden were some of the attendees from the new project.
With thanks to Darren Gross, Fran Robert and Criseyde. Photograph courtesy of VictoriaWinters

 Dan Curtis Book Released April 23 2004 

MPI Home Video's coffee table book Produced and Directed by Dan Curtis is out now, following its official debut at yesterday's Los Angeles reception for the Dark Shadows creator.

Edited by Jim Pierson and Kathryn Leigh Scott (Maggie Evans), the 224 page hardcover features over 300 photographs from Curtis' career, with other information and notes. War and Remembrance scribe Herman Wouk provides a foreword, Night Stalker expert Mark Dawidziak contributes an introduction, plus many past colleagues and actors also pay tribute.

Click on the cover thumbnail for a larger view. The book is not available from stores and can be ordered for $24.95 plus shipping by calling MPI on 1-800-323-0442.
With thanks to ShadowGram and Kathyn Leigh Scott

 Pilot Updates April 23 2004 

It's been a slow week for news on the Dark Shadows pilot. Principal filming is scheduled to wrap later today, as post production begins in earnest for submission to WB. We would like to wish the production's cast and crew the best of luck for the network's decision next month.

Readers should expect more details on the production soon. In the meantime, here are some brief updates for the cast and crew:

Alec Newman (Barnabas) returns to the WB's departing Angel for its May 12 episode Power Play. Alec reprises Drogyn, the character he played earlier this season.
Speaking on her official website, actress Jenna Dewan (Sophia) comments briefly on Dark Shadows, enthusing: "It is my first principal acting role and I'm really excited!"
Pilot director PJ Hogan's acclaimed live action Peter Pan adaptation comes to DVD on May 4. Hogan wrote and directed the fantasy epic, which heavily uses the vivid colour palettes hinted at for Dark Shadows. Order it from by clicking here.
With thanks to James Marco

 Casting Updates April 16 2004 

ShadowGram has confirmed that Michael D Roberts joins the cast of the Dark Shadows pilot in the supporting role of Sheriff George Patterson. The 46 year old actor brings a wealth of television experience, with guest roles in Friends, Beverly Hills 90210 and Seinfeld, amongst others. His film credits include Manhunter, Rainman, Suckers, Hitman's Run and The Golem.

ShadowGram also reports that stalwart characters Sam and Maggie Evans were scripted to appear in the pilot, but have been casualties of timing cuts. However, both characters will appear if a series follows. Similarly, despite appearing in the early drafts of the pilot script, the ghost of Sarah Collins has not been cast, most likely for similar reasons.
With thanks to ShadowGram. Photograph courtesy of VictoriaWinters

 Production Notes April 16 2004 

ShadowGram has issued some production information on the Dark Shadows pilot. Following the recent location shoot for Collinwood scenes at the Greystone Mansion, filming now continues at Warner Bros Studios and other locations until April 23.

The Old House facade and interiors will not be represented by Greystone, unlike the 1991 series. These scenes are instead filming on location elsewhere. San Pedro's picturesque Ports O' Call village (seen left) once again stands in as the town of Collinsport, as it did in 1991.

As suggested by the recent attempts to lure Jonathan Frid (Barnabas) for a cameo, the production team have confirmed that the projected series will actively attempt to incorporate classic cast members where possible. Interestingly, original series actor John Karlen (Willie) has already paid the set a visit.
With thanks to ShadowGram

 Kelly Hu is Julia Hoffman April 14 2004 

Variety has confirmed the final lead cast signing for the Dark Shadows pilot, unveiling the Kelly Hu as "new look" Julia we reported earlier today.

The 36 year old Hawaiian-born actress has worked extensively in television and film. Best known for her lead roles in Martial Law and Nash Bridges, her other television work includes Sunset Beach, Murder One and many guest spots. Her films include The Doors, X-Men 2, The Scorpion King and Cradle 2 the Grave.

 New Look Hoffman? April 14 2004 

Speaking on a comics forum earlier today, Dark Shadows pilot executive producer Mark Verheiden gave an update on the shoot's progress and an interesting hint about the casting of Dr. Julia Hoffman:

"Everything's going well and I can't wait to see the footage cut together! There will be one last piece of casting announced today, for the Dr. Julia Hoffman part. It may surprise a few fans - it's definitely a new look - but I'm thrilled... keep your eyes peeled!"

 Pilot News Round-up April 13 2004 

Further to our report last month that the WB Dark Shadows had been pre-sold to German broadcaster and distributor Tele Munchen, a follow-up article in Variety suggests that the deal has met with skepticism from the local media.

Citing Dark Shadows, the article suggests that the slate of television acquisitions are "too many for [the buyer's network] RTL" to exploit effectively, given its previous strategy to "cherry-pick the few US titles it does air." Pundits suggest that sub-licensing shows locally will be crucial to the deal, with one Munich media executive warning that "a very narrow profit margin" lies ahead.

Meanwhile, Zap2it suggests that competition for new drama pilots on the WB will be particularly strong this year due to a high number of returning shows. With many renewals already confirmed, they predict that Angel's current 9.00pm Wednesday position and the 9.00pm Sunday slot are the only available times for new dramas in the Fall lineup. To read the full article click here.

 Greystone is Collinwood Location April 10 2004 

The crew of the WB Dark Shadows pilot recently finished filming at their first location. The Collinwood residence is represented in the new production by Beverly Hills mansion Greystone, located in Beverly Hills, California.

The property will be familiar to many fans, having provided exteriors and interiors for Collinwood and the Old House for the 1991 Dark Shadows revival. The crew have shot a number of interior and exterior scenes for Collinwood over the past week. Filming now continues elsewhere in the Los Angeles area.

The expansive Tudor-style mansion was built by oil tycoon Edward Doheny in 1928 at a cost of more than four million dollars. The house and its grounds have appeared in countless films and television series. Click on the thumbnail images below for some larger views of the house:

. . . .

With thanks to David Ciminello. Photography courtesy of Bob Issel

 Starting in Style April 9 2004 

The Dark Shadows pilot will feature a rich new visual style, according to a story published today. United Press International reports that: "The new [show] will be 'highly stylized', using vivid lighting and colours to communicate tension and fear." These qualities were very evident in director PJ Hogan's recent Peter Pan movie. To read the full article click here.
With thanks to James Marco

 Frid Passes on Pilot April 8 2004 

Jonathan Frid (Barnabas) has declined the offer of a cameo role in the WB Dark Shadows pilot. Jonathan was approached to make a brief appearance, which he formally passed on earlier this week. While this news may disappoint fans, it does indicate that the producers are keen to incorporate classic Dark Shadows actors in the new series.
With thanks to Nancy Kersey

 Series Hints April 8 2004 

While appearing at last month's Creation Grand Slam convention Mark Verheiden, the writer and executive producer on the Dark Shadows pilot, gave some interesting hints of what's in store:

The tone of the show will apparently be very dark throughout and, contrary to concerns expressed by fans, will not be pitched exclusively to the WB's traditional youth audience.

Mark suggested that the serial format would be revised for the show's scripts. Instead, episodes will be self-contained stories with overall narrative arcs for each season, a format used successfully in Buffy and Smallville. If Dark Shadows is picked up, he intends to relinquish his current role on Smallville to concentrate on the show full-time.

He also suggested that Robert Cobert's classic signature tune would probably be retained, though since Cobert is semi-retired it is unlikely that he will provide incidental music within the regular episodes.
With thanks to VictoriaWinters

 Reinventing Shadows April 8 2004 

Today's issue of The New York Post features an article about the new series, with an unnamed source from the production discussing some of the aims of the project:

"It's not going to be Buffy and it's not going to be Angel... There's nothing on TV right now that's truly scary." While acknowledging that times have changed: "This is not going to be your mother's Dark Shadows," graphic horror is apparently not the order of the day. "I don't think you need to see things to make them scary, it's more about what might be behind a door than actually seeing exactly what's there."

To read the complete article click here.
With thanks to James Marco

 Tarantino's Devotion Covered April 8 2004 

Kill Bill director Quentin Tarantino wears his fan credentials (literally) on his sleeve for the May issue of the UK's Film Review magazine. Quentin is pictured on the cover posing with Barnabas' wolf's head cane. Click on the image for a larger view. The cult director counts himself a firm fan of Dark Shadows; During his recent "drunk" appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, he proudly wielded the cane and mentioned the show.

 Alexis Thorpe Speaks April 8 2004 

Posting on her official message board, newly cast Alexis Thorpe (Kelly Greer) has been the first member of the WB Dark Shadows cast to speak publicly about the series:

"I am so excited... I am set to do a guest-starring role for the pilot, and the character is nicely set up to come back and start a lot of trouble for the small town."

Alexis confirmed that she begins filming on April 13. To visit her message board, where she posts regularly, click here.

 Spoof Shadows April 6 2004 

The Waxahachie Daily Light reports the production of Misty Dawn, a Dark Shadows parody video produced in Texas by David E Moore. The first episode was recently recorded, with further scripts awaiting production. For more information, visit the producer's website by clicking here.

 More Cast Announcements April 5 2004 

ShadowGram has announced three new Dark Shadows cast signings:

Tommy Hilfiger model-turned-actor Jason Shaw will play Collinsport fisherman Joe Haskell. Jason has modelled for Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Gap and Ralph Lauren, along with appearing in dozens of commercials. More recently he has worked as a fashion presenter for E!, along with appearing in the film Save Me A Seat. Joe will be his first major acting role.

23 year old daytime drama actress Alexis Thorpe has been cast as Kelly Greer, a new character with a crucial role to play. Alexis is best known for her leading role as Cassie DiMera on Days of Our Lives. She has also appeared on The Young and the Restless, along with the movies American Wedding and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

24 year old Jenna Dewan will play Sophia, the new maid at Collinwood. Jenna's background is primarily as an accomplished dancer, including tours with Janet Jackson, P. Diddy, Ricky Martin and Toni Braxton. She has appeared on Boston Public Television and the films The Hot Chick and Hip Hopera: Carmen. Dark Shadows will be her first principal television credit.
With thanks to ShadowGram

 Monster Makers April 5 2004 

As filming on the Dark Shadows pilot continues, further crew details have emerged. Make-up will be supervised by Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Todd McIntosh. Todd's Emmy-winning character designs, as seen right, became a signature for Buffy throughout its run. Todd is a long-time fan of the original series, and even attended the 1996 Dark Shadows Festival, where he transformed an attendee into old Barnabas for the crowds.

Assisting Todd will be Steve Anderson. One particularly ambitious set-piece in the pilot will employ prosthetics created by Andrew Clement of Creative Character Engineering. Hair will be handled by experienced stylists Gloria Casny and Lisa Marie Rosenburg-Alpert, both of whom also worked on Buffy.
With thanks to BarnabasUndead

 Blair Brown is Elizabeth Collins Stoddard April 2 2004 

Reuters reports that Tony-winning stage and screen actress Blair Brown will portray Elizabeth Collins Stoddard in the new Dark Shadows pilot. The 55 year old actress has starred in several hit Broadway shows, including Copenhagen, James Joyce's The Dead and Cabaret. She received five Emmy nominations for her television series The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd. Her films include Altered States, Space Cowboys and the upcoming Dogville, with Nicole Kidman.

 Filming Begins April 2 2004 

Today sees the first filming on the Dark Shadows pilot take place, as the new cast and crew begin shooting in the Los Angeles area. As some fans will notice, April 2 is the date the final episode of the original series broadcast on ABC. A good omen? Let's hope so!

Elsewhere, Dark Shadows may have a potential rival next season in Point Pleasant, a Fox drama pilot from onetime Buffy executive producer Marti Noxon. The show concerns a quiet beachside community that is turned upside down when a mysterious girl washes ashore, described as "Peyton Place meets The Omen" by The Hollywood Reporter.

 New Look DVDs April 2 2004 

The ongoing range of Dark Shadows DVDs gets a revamp with this week's new release. Dark Shadows DVD Collection 11 introduces a slimmer outer case, along with a new CGI menu sequence exploring the Collins mausoleum, seen below. The release can be ordered online by clicking here.

. .

With thanks to Simon Wiles. Screengrabs courtesy of VictoriaWinters

 Pennock in Hamlet April 1 2004 

Fans in California can currently see Chris Pennock (Jeb Hawkes) as Claudius in Hamlet, which plays at Hollywood's Tamarind Theatre until May 30. Showtimes are 8.00pm from Wednesdays to Sundays, with a 2.00pm Sunday matinee. For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 323-465-7980.
With thanks to Fran Robert

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