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The Secret Circle (TV series)

The Secret Circle
Genre Supernatural drama
Teen drama
Based on The Secret Circle by
L. J. Smith
Developed by Andrew Miller
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Liz Friedlander
Supervising producers
Don Whitehead
Holly Henderson
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Running time 42 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Original channel The CW
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) – May 10, 2012 (2012-05-10)

The Secret Circle is an American supernatural teen drama that aired on The CW from September 15, 2011, to May 10, 2012. It is based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith.[1] Set in the town of Chance Harbor, Washington, the series focuses on Cassie Blake who, after moving to Chance Harbor, discovers that she is a hereditary witch and soon after joins a secret coven of five others. The series was developed by Andrew Miller and was picked up on May 17, 2011, by The CW.[2] On October 12, 2011, The CW ordered a full 22-episode season of the series.

On May 11, 2012, The CW canceled the series. The ratings decline in the second half of the season, the expensive cost of special effects, and dramatic locations were cited as reasons for the show's cancellation.[3]


Following the death of her mother, Cassie Blake (Britt Robertson) moves to Chance Harbor, Washington, to live with her grandmother. Her attempts to adjust to the new town are crushed when five of her classmates, Adam Conant (Thomas Dekker), Diana Meade (Shelley Hennig), Faye Chamberlain (Phoebe Tonkin), Melissa Glaser (Jessica Parker Kennedy), and Nick Armstrong (Louis Hunter), reveal to Cassie that she comes from a long line of witches and is the final member of their coven; with her they are able to unlock the full extent of their powers. Initially Cassie refuses to believe that she is a witch, even after Adam helps her to unlock her powers. It is only after she discovers an old leather-bound book of spells left to her by her late mother, Amelia, that Cassie begins to accept her power. Inside the book is a message to Cassie explaining that she kept their real family history and her powers a secret in order to keep her safe; as the circle soon finds out, their powers attract dark and dangerous forces that constantly puts them in harm's way.


Circle members

  • Cassie Blake (played by Britt Robertson) is a newly discovered Witch who, since the death of her mother, Amelia, has resided in the town of Chance Harbor, Washington. While Cassie initially dislikes the idea of being a witch, she later begins to accept her destiny and her family's heritage of magic. Her mother's side goes all the way back to the beginning of witchcraft, while her father, John Blackwell, comes from a long line of dark witches. She is Diana's older half-sister through John Blackwell.
  • Adam Conant (played by Thomas Dekker) is a natural born witch and one of the two male members of the Circle. Adam is instantly attracted to Cassie Blake, despite his relationship with Diana Meade. It is Adam who helps Cassie unlock her powers and encourages her to join the Circle. The attraction that he and Cassie share causes a strain in his relationship with Diana.
  • Faye Chamberlain (played by Phoebe Tonkin) is an eccentric and free-spirited witch who uses her powers recklessly and selfishly. Frequently brash and irresponsible, Faye often challenges authority and is best friends with Melissa Glaser. She does not believe that Diana Meade deserves to be the leader of the Circle and resents the fact that Diana has found her family's Book of Shadows while she hasn't.
  • Diana Meade (played by Shelley Hennig) is a witch and the responsible, but strict leader of the Circle. Diana is good friends with Cassie Blake, despite the attraction between Cassie and Diana's long-term boyfriend, Adam Conant. Diana is the first member of the Circle to discover witchcraft and, as of the series' start, the only member to have found her family's Book of Shadows before Cassie found hers. She is also Cassie's younger half-sister through their father, John Blackwell. She also has dark magic and Balcoin blood.
  • Melissa Glaser (played by Jessica Parker Kennedy) is the fourth female witch of the Circle. She is Faye Chamberlain's closest friend and the former girlfriend of Nick Armstrong. In contrast to her counterparts, Melissa is more quiet and keeps to herself, but she is responsible and loyal to the Circle.
  • Nick Armstrong (played by Louis Hunter; regular episodes 1–5, recurring 20-21) is the second male member of the Circle. Prior to the start of the show, he and Melissa Glaser developed a sexual relationship. He showed reluctance to make it anything more than just about sex. After being threatened by Faye Chamberlain, however, he began to act nicer to Melissa and their relationship deepened.
  • Jake Armstrong (played by Chris Zylka; guest episodes 6-13, regular 14-22) is Nick's older brother. He used to work for a group of witch hunters, thinking that witch-craft was responsible for the death of his family, before finding out that his parents were dead because the witch hunters killed them. He has an interest in Cassie Blake but sexual relationship with Faye Chamberlain throughout the show.


  • Charles Meade (played by Gale Harold) is Diana's father, he is a member of the previous generation of the Circle. Following the fire at the Boat Yard, Charles' powers are stripped from him, along with the other surviving members of his Circle. In episode 1, he kills Cassie's mother with magic he got from the crystal.
  • Jane Blake (portrayed by Ashley Crow) is the grandmother of Cassie Blake and mother of Amelia. While initially she acts as though she does not know about the Circle, Cassie eventually realizes that they need her help and tells her the truth.
  • Dawn Chamberlain (played by Natasha Henstridge) is Faye Chamberlain's mother, the principal of Chance Harbor High School, and a member of the previous generation of the Circle. While she and Charles act as a team, she is the leader and the more vindictive of the two. When she can, she will sit back and let Charles do the dirty work, including murdering Amelia Blake.
  • Grant (played by Tim Phillipps) is Diana's love interest later in the season, he is an Australian who claims to own a boat only late we find out he only works on a boat as part of the crew.


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U.S. viewers


On October 28, 2010, L. J. Smith announced that the series had been optioned for a TV series by The CW. On February 8, 2011, The CW picked up The Secret Circle with Dawson's Creek creator and The Vampire Diaries co-creator/executive producer Kevin Williamson now attached. However, he told The CW that The Vampire Diaries companion series he was helming had been put on hold in order to focus on The Secret Circle.[4] Williamson worked on an original script penned by Andrew Miller, creator of the Emmy-nominated web series Imaginary Bitches, with writer credit shared by both men.[4] On February 16, 2011, The Secret Circle booked Liz Friedlander to direct the pilot. Friedlander also directed episodes for The Vampire Diaries, Pretty Little Liars, 90210 and One Tree Hill.[5]

On October 12, 2011, The CW ordered a full season of twenty-two episodes.[6] On May 11, 2012 The CW cancelled the series.


Critical reception

The pilot has been met with mixed reviews, with Metacritic giving a score of 55 out of a 100 based on 20 critics.[7] Lloyd Roberts of the Los Angeles Times thought the pilot was "splendidly rendered; effective in the expected ways in a way that makes you forget you expected them." He then wrote "Director Liz Friedlander aims not just for creepiness but for a tremulous sense of beauty that reflects the heightened sensibilities and hair-trigger sensitivities of adolescence" and appreciated the actors "who are good to look at, but also bring a little soul to their roles."[8]

Phoebe Tonkin's performance was well received by critics; she was featured on Variety's list of new faces to watch[9] and named one of 2011 Breakout TV Stars by E! Online.[10]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Outcome
2011 E! Golden Tater Awards[11] New Fall Show You're Most Excited For The Secret Circle Nominated's Best of 2011[12] Best New Series
Best Sci-Fi or Fantasy
2012 People's Choice Awards[13] Favorite New TV Drama
Saturn Awards[14] Best Youth-Oriented Television Series
PAAFTJ Television Awards[15] Best Main Title Theme Music

Cancellation and fan campaign

On May 11, 2012, the CW cancelled the series, despite being the network's third-highest rated performer. Following the show's cancellation, a formal fan-led campaign website titled 'Save The Circle' was launched.[16] A letter-writing campaign, targeted at the CW,[17] aimed to encourage the CW to re-consider bringing back the show for a midseason slot. Campaigns were also launched at other TV networks whose target demo matched those of The CWMTV,[18] ABC Family,[19] and Syfy. Fans donated between $1–10 to the Make a Wish Foundation in the name of MTV; this aimed to attach a good cause to the campaign while getting MTV's attention. The Secret Circle executive producer, Andrew Miller, auctioned a signed poster of the show's cast in support of the campaign. In the end, over $7,000 was raised.[20] The campaign targeted at ABC Family asked fans to donate money to fund a delivery of 325,000 golden plastic coins to the network's headquarters. The coins were symbolic of a 'cloaking coin' that belonged to one of the main characters, Adam Conant's grandfather in the episode "Traitor". The metaphor was that The CW 'cloaked' the show by cancelling it, and fans wanted ABC Family to 'uncloak' the show by picking it up.[21][22]

A letter-writing campaign to Syfy was also launched, but ultimately the 'Save The Circle' campaign leaders decided against pursuing the network further due to budgetary concerns. Following the announcement that Warner Bros. had unsuccessfully entered talks with ABC Family about picking up the show and that the series would not be shipped to another network, campaigning targeting potential networks for a pick-up ceased.[23] Nevertheless, a new campaign,[24] aimed at Warner Bros, was launched following the announcement that the series' first season would not be released on DVD or Blu-ray.[25] As of September 2012, The Secret Circle is available on Netflix for immediate streaming.[26] A music project was launched, with the aim of developing and distributing a full-length album of 10 fan songs online and making them available for free download. Fans were asked to either submit an audio recording of themselves singing their own songs, or send in lyrics for potential use.[27] Petitions were also set up, in hope that they will bring back the series. The three main campaigns together, as of June 24, 2012, amass over 85,500 signatures.[28] Since the show was canceled, fans have voted it "the show that will be missed most" or "Most Shocking Cancellation" in a number of polls, including E!,[29] Clique Clack,[30] Hypable,[31] Spoiler TV,[32] TV Fanatic,[33],[34] and Zap2it.[35]

International broadcasts

Country Network
23x15px Portugal TVSeries
23x15px Turkey CNBC-e
23x15px Argentina Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Greece Star Channel[37]
23x15px Australia Fox8[38]
23x15px Belgium VIJF
23x15px Bolivia Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Bulgaria bTV Cinema
23x15px Brazil Warner Channel[36] / SBT[39]
23x15px Canada MuchMusic[40]
23x15px Quebec Vrak.TV
23x15px Chile Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Colombia Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Costa Rica Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Croatia Doma TV[41]
23x15px Czech Republic TV Nova
23x15px Dominican Republic Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Ecuador Warner Channel[36]
23x15px El Salvador Warner Channel[36]
23x15px France NT1[42]
23x15px Germany SuperRTL
23x15px Guatemala Warner Channel[36]
Template:Country data Honduras Honduras Warner Channel[36]
Template:Country data Hong Kong Hong Kong TVB
Template:Country data India India Zee Cafe[43]
Template:Country data Republic of Ireland Ireland Sky Living[44]
Template:Country data Israel Israel Hot 3
23x15px Italy Mya
23x15px Mexico Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Malaysia 8TV
23x15px New Zealand TV2[45]
23x15px Nicaragua Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Panama Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Paraguay Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Peru Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Philippines ETC
23x15px Sri Lanka Zee Cafe[43]
23x15px Sweden TV11[46]
23x15px United Kingdom Sky Living[44]
23x15px United States The CW Television Network
23x15px Uruguay Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Venezuela Warner Channel[36]
23x15px Poland AXN Spin HD
23x15px Galicia Televisión de Galicia
23x15px Singapore MediaCorp Channel 5 [47]
23x15px South Africa DStv [48]
23x15px KSA MBC4
23x15px Mauritius MBC 1


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  2. ^ CW Orders 'Secret Circle,' 'Hart of Dixie,' 'Ringer' Broadcasting & Cable May 17, 2011
  3. ^ "'Secret Circle' says goodbye: Britt Robertson tells us Season 2 just is 'not happening'". Zap2It. June 5, 2012. Retrieved June 24, 2012. 
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  5. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2011-02-16). "Pilots ‘Weekends At Bellevue’ And ‘Secret Circle’ Book Directors –". Retrieved 2011-09-16. 
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  9. ^ Malcom, Shawna (September 9, 2011). "Tonkin no fish out of water on CW's 'Secret Circle'". cds. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Bricker, Tierney (December 29, 2011). "2011 Breakout TV Stars: The Secret Circle's Phoebe Tonkin Bares All (Thanks in Part to a Necklace Shirt)". E! Online. Retrieved January 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Who Won the 2011 Tater Top Awards?". E!. July 6, 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  12. ^ "'s Best of 2011". December 13, 2011. Retrieved January 4, 2012. [dead link]
  13. ^ "Cast Your Votes Now". People's Choice Awards. November 2011. Retrieved November 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ "2012 Saturn Award Nominees Announced". February 29, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  15. ^ "2012 'Community', 'Mad Men' Top Inaugural PAAFTJ Television Awards Nominations". June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Website of the secret circle fan campaign.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Letter Writing Campaign to the CW to re-renew The Secret Circle for a second season.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ "MTV/Save A Witch Campaign.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 17, 2012. 
  19. ^ "Cloak Uncloak ABC Family (Part 2) Campaign". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 22, 2012. 
  20. ^ ""The Secret Circle Fan Campaign Continues To Make Magic" - Interview with Campaign Leader". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 31, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Fans deliver 325,000 plastic golden coins to ABC Family". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  22. ^ "film footage of the delivery of 300 lbs of plastic gold coins to ABC Family offices in Burbank.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  23. ^ "The Secret Circle Campaign: Dear Witchy Warriors". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "Campaign for The Secret Circle to be released on DVD and Blu Ray.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Britt Robertston says "Season 2 just is not happening" and Warner Bros. will not be releasing The Secret Circle on DVD or Blu Ray.". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012. 
  26. ^ "The Secret Circle". 
  27. ^ "The Secret Circle Song Campaign". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 14, 2012. 
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  29. ^ "What Show will you miss most?". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 18, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Which canceled show will you miss the most? – Poll". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Poll: Which TV Series ending or cancellation of 2012 was most upsetting?". May 24, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2012. 
  32. ^ "POLL : Which Cancellation so far has shocked you the most?". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Cancelled Shows: Which Will You Miss Most?". June 24, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  34. ^ "The Secret Circle Is the Recently Canceled Show You'll Miss the Most". June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
  35. ^ Carina Adly MacKenzie (June 4, 2012). "Zap2it Awards: Which canceled show will you miss the most? Vote!". Zap2it. Retrieved June 26, 2012. 
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  37. ^ "The Secret Circle". Star Channel. 
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  39. ^ "SBT estreia serie o circulo secreto". Series da tv aberta. Retrieved November 18, 2012. 
  40. ^ Gagne, Emily (September 30, 2011). "'The Secret Circle' debuts". TV Guide (Canada). TC Transcontinental. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. 
  41. ^ Cite error: The named reference Doma_TV was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  42. ^ "Diffusions - The Secret circle". NT1. 
  43. ^ a b "The Secret Circle comes to India". Zee Cafe India. November 28, 2012. Archived from the original on November 28, 2012. 
  44. ^ a b Watson, Keith (September 28, 2011). "The Secret Circle, Series 1, Episode 1: TV Review". Metro (Associated Newspapers). Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. 
  45. ^ "The Secret Circle". Throng. Throng Ltd. October 9, 2012. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. 
  46. ^ "The Secret Circle". TV11. October 9, 2012. [dead link]
  47. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  48. ^ "The Secret Circle". TVSA. Retrieved 5 February 2013. 

External links