Network: WGN America
Salem is an American television series loosely based on the historic Salem Witch Trials created by Brannon Braga and Adam Simon. In the United States, it premiered on WGN America on April 20, 2014 as the network's first original scripted series. Salem follows the lives of a community in Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century during the infamous Witch Trials, only this time it's the witches that are controlling them for their own wicked purposes. Mary Sibley (Janet Montgomery) leads a secret coven of witches, including Tituba (Ashley Madekwe) to turn the Puritans against one another to perform the Grand Rite, but things get complicated when Mary's lost love, John Alden (Shane West) returns to Salem, and Cotton Mather (Seth Gabel) closes in on the witches.

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General Information

Title: Salem
Original Network: WGN America
Original Run: April 20, 2014 - January 25, 2017
Episode Length: 45 minutes
Description: Set in the volatile world of 17th century Massachusetts, 'Salem' explores what really fuelled the town's infamous witch trials and dares to uncover the dark, supernatural truth hiding behind the veil of this infamous period in American history. In Salem, witches are real, but they are not who or what they seem.
Main Characters: Mary Sibley; John Alden; Anne Hale; Cotton Mather; Tituba; Mercy Lewis; Isaac Walton; The Devil; Sebastian Von Marburg; John Hale.
Similar Series: American Horror Story; Penny Dreadful; Damien
Availability: Basic Cable (or equivalent) in the US, disc media, streaming services

Content Information

Rating: TV-MA
Content Labels: Suggestive dialogue, Coarse Language, Sexual Content, Violence
Violence: Graphic and disturbing violence, blood and gore, mass murder, mutilation, and other horror-type imagery.
Language: Very mature language, innuendo, philosophical and religious arguments (which flow into blasphemy and atheism to the sensibilities of some viewers) are regularly featured.
Sexual Themes and Nudity: Sexual themes featured regularly, including masturbation, rape, and other types of sexual violence. On less than a handful of occasions sexual acts are implied and cast members are occasionally naked, however through camera angles and carefully placed items blocking the view no nudity is ever shown.
Drugs and Alcohol: Mild references to drugs and alcohol
Crude Humor or Comic Mischief: Mild

WGN Salem rating

Further information: TV Parental Guidelines


Black TV-MA-LSV icon

TV shows marked as "TV-MA" means that such program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.

This rating was originally TV-M prior to the announced revisions to the rating system in August 1997 but was changed due to a trademark dispute and in order to remove confusion with the Entertainment Software Rating Board's (ESRB) "M for Mature" rating for video games. This program may contain one or more of the following: crude indecent language (L), explicit sexual activity (S), or graphic violence (V).[1]

Canadian TV Ratings

Depending on the episode, S (explicit sexual activities) is present or not, while L (crude language) and V (graphic violence) are almost always present.

On Canadian rating system, Salem is labeled as 18+ – Programming intended for viewers ages 18 and older. Just as their US counterpart as TV-MA, 18+ programmes may contain explicit violence, extreme language, and sexual activity. Programming with this rating cannot air before the watershed (9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.).


  1. The TV parental guidelines: understanding the TV ratings.