WGN’s Salem Lands Nikita’s Shane West for Lead Role

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WGN's Salem Lands Nikita's Shane West for Lead RoleA few days ago we learned who the main cast members are for WGN America’s first original scripted series, “Salem” from Brannon Braga (“24,” “Star Trek: TNG,” “Terra Nova”) and Adam Simon (The Haunting in Connecticut), and now we know who’s in the lead.

Per TV Guide, Shane West (“Nikita,” “ER,” “Once and Again,” The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) is set to play the male lead, John Alden, in the 17th century-set drama that centers on the Massachusetts town’s infamous witch trials.

Alden is a “tough, pragmatic, wry-humored” war veteran who doesn’t suffer fools. After spending a decade on the battlefield and being held in captivity at the hands of the Indians, John returns to his native Salem, where he finds his hometown gripped in witch-hunt frenzy, led by Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel). John also has a history with Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery), the beautiful and ruthless, yet vulnerable, wife of the ancient, ailing, but very wealthy George Sibley, one of the town’s Selectmen.

Tamzin Merchant (“The Tudors”) will play Anne Hale, a talented and fearless artist who’s attracted to John Alden and soon becomes Mary’s enemy. Another “Nikita” alum, Xander Berkeley, will appear in the recurring role of Magistrate Hale, a company man and member of Salem’s Selectmen who believes in pomp and circumstance.

The 13-episode series is set to premiere next spring.

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