Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery
Source: Bewitched YouTube

The sitcom “Bewitched” was one of the most popular shows on television during the eight seasons that it ran on ABC from 1964 until 1972. Though the show was renewed for seasons nine and ten, its star Elizabeth Montgomery decided to walk away and end it, and the reason behind this has just been revealed.

‘Bewitched’ Comes To An End

Peter Ackerman, whose father Harry Ackerman executive produced “Bewitched” and other popular shows, has recounted his Hollywood upbringing in the new memoir  “Mom, Dad, Me, and Classic TV – Growing Up with Classic Television’s Harry Ackerman and Elinor Donahue.” While promoting this book, Ackerman revealed why Montgomery decided that it was time to leave “Bewitched” in 1972.

“The ratings I believe were going down,” Ackerman told Fox News. “I remember someone at the time commenting how silly it was getting – it was something I overheard the adults say. So there was talk, ‘Was there going to be another season?’ Elizabeth was spinning down a little bit. And then for one particular episode, it wasn’t her husband Bill Asher directing. It was a different fellow.”

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Montgomery Wants Out

Ackerman went on to explain that the set was very different without Asher directing, something that he noticed himself even though he was just a child.

“I think she was wearing jeans at the time,” Ackerman recalled. “She was pretty much bent over. So her rear end was sticking out a little bit. The director said, ‘Oh Liz honey, I could look at that all day.’ Everybody kind of laughed at it. I was, what you say today, weirded out.”

“My mother was an actress. And this was my Aunt Liz,” he added. “How could anyone make that kind of comment? I thought, ‘Surely, no one would ever make a comment like that to my mother on set.’ It really bothered me.”

Asher later remembered Montgomery calling his father on the phone and saying “that the studio wanted to continue with the series.”

“The network wanted to continue with the series,” he added. “However, she would only do it if my dad would agree to basically fire her soon-to-be ex-husband. They had broken up at that point and hired this other fella who was directing that episode to be the new director. My dad said, ‘Liz, Bill Asher is my partner. I’m not going to do that to him.’ And she said, ‘Well then, ‘Bewitched’ is done.'”

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Montgomery Moves On

Montgomery was ready to move on, both as an actress and from her marriage to Asher, so “Bewitched” ended in 1972 and she divorced him the next year. Montgomery focused on more dramatic films and television projects for the rest of her career before she sadly died of colon cancer at the age of 62 in 1995.

Nearly thirty years after her death, Ackerman has never forgotten the woman who he knew as “Aunt Liz.”

“She may have been the first actress who I met and got to know who was very much like her character,” he said with a laugh. “She had this pixie attitude. Her eyes glimmered and sparkled. Perhaps those were boyhood memories… But she really was Samantha. When I see Samantha on screen today, I’m seeing Elizabeth, Aunt Liz.”

“When I see her on TV today, I still see Aunt Liz,” he concluded. “She truly was lovely. She made people feel good. She was magic. My father knew it – we all knew it.”

“Bewitched” is a show that has stood the test of time, as it is still enjoyed by new generations to this day with reruns frequently being shown on television. It truly is a timeless classic, and the world would be a better place if there were more shows like it on TV today!

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