Before you get your hopes up, we’re (sadly, oh so sadly) not here to announce a Harry Potter spin-off series. Although I really think someone needs to get on that real quick. I’m looking at you, J.K.!
Even outside of that phenomenal fandom though, the realm of magic is so vast that there’s a plethora of potential creative inspirations to explore and expand. I mean, who said that magic was limited to tricks, illusions, and witches? After all, doesn’t magic pretty much cover what we’d perceive to be unexplainable, supernatural, and mysterious? That could include spells, incantations, potions, sure – but also superpowers, unexplained phenomena, and the occasional vampire, werewolf, or demon, too!
We all need a little magic in our lives every once in a while, even if it is just vicariously through our favorite enchanting TV shows. With that in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive collection of TV series about witches and magic that explore all types of magic!
The Magicians (2015 – 2020)
Welcome to Brakebills University, a secret and magical institution intended to educate its students in all aspects of magic.
Unbeknownst to the twenty-something-year-olds who just want to be regular magicians and enroll at Brakebills, the magical world they thought to be fiction is in fact based on truths – truths that were part of a book series they read as children. Suddenly aware of the all-too-real danger this world poses on their reality, the young magicians fight to strengthen their abilities and protect the world.
Charmed (2018 – present)
This 2018 series is a reboot of the original Charmed that ran from 1998 to 2006 and will always be a cult classic amongst those who love the magic/supernatural genre.
The CW’s reboot features sisters Maggie and Mel who, along with their long-lost half-sister Macy, discover that they’re what’s called The Charmed Ones, an extremely powerful trio of witches. Using their newfound powers of telepathy, telekinesis, and the ability to freeze time, they must accept their destiny to protect the innocent from demons and other dark forces that roam the Earth – including the one that killed their mother.
Once Upon a Time (2011 – 2018)
ABC’s Once Upon a Time takes a deep dive into the world of magic, borrowing favorite characters from Disney, mythology, and fairy tales (like Rumpelstiltskin, Elsa and Anna, Captain Hook, Aladdin, Hades, and many others) as the residents of the fictional town of Storybrooke.
They don’t know it, but they were transported into the real world – our world, that is – and robbed of their memories by the Evil Queen Regina. Only Emma, the show’s main protagonist and daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, can lift the curse to save the fairy tale characters.
Shadowhunters (2016 – 2019)
In the world of Freeform’s Shadowhunters, there’s a special group of humans imbued with the blood of angels who are tasked with finding and ridding the world of demons while staying under the radar of “mundanes”, or regular humans.
These warriors are called shadowhunters, each is skilled with a weapon of choice and an arsenal of runes tattooed all over their body that have special powers when activated. Joining the Shadowhunters in their quest to bring light over darkness are the “downworlders”: werewolves, vampires, seelies (similar to fairy folk), and warlocks.
Merlin (2008 – 2012)
Contrary to the popular legends that picture Merlin as an older man, BBC One’s Merlin reimagines him as a younger contemporary to the future King Arthur.
He is forced to keep his powers a secret as magic has been outlawed in Camelot, but he soon discovers that his destiny is to protect Arthur, who in turn is fated to unite Albion and return magic to the kingdom. Though initially wary of each other, the two young men soon develop a friendship as their journeys unwind to fulfill their connected destinies.
The Shannara Chronicles (2016 – 2017)
Where there are demons, there’s magic strong enough to overpower them. Wil Ohmsford is the last remaining member of the ancient Shannara family, a bloodline destined to save those living in the fictional Four Lands.
With his allies Amberle and Eretria, as well as their mentor Allanon, they are determined to protect the ancient tree called Ellcrys and prevent it from dying, because it’s the only thing stopping all the banished demons from returning to the Four Lands.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (2018 – present)
You may have read some of the original Archie comics of the same name that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was based on, or even the late 90s light-hearted adaptation. However, this Netflix reimagining is anything but light as it homes in on the more supernatural and horror aspects of witchcraft.
Sabrina is a teenaged half-human, half-witch who, after choosing to fully embrace her witching side, must learn to maintain the balance between her friends in the real world and those on the dark side – even as those two worlds start to collide.
Locke & Key (2020 – present)
Following the murder of the Locke family patriarch by a former student, his widow and their three kids are forced to move into his family estate in the fictional town of Matheson, Massachusetts. In Keyhouse, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode discover a number of mysterious keys that access different magical parts of the house, each holding its own secrets and powers.
However, one of those secrets includes a demonic entity named Echo who, after manifesting into a beautiful woman, attempts to use Bode, the youngest of the Locke children, to find the keys that she wants to use for her own evil purposes.
Witches of East End (2013 – 2014)
Lifetime’s Witches of East End is based on the series of novels of the same name written by Melissa de la Cruz, which the series adaptation closely follows the plotline of.
In it, we follow the Beauchamp women – Joanna, her sister Wendy, and Joanna’s two daughters Freya and Ingrid – in the fictional seaside town of East End. Ingrid and Freya are initially unaware of their magical ancestry but eventually, they join their mother and aunt in battling the forces of evil despite the limitations in their abilities due to the Beauchamp family’s involvement in the famed Salem witch trials.
The Order (2019 – present)
Jack Morton may seem like your regular college freshman at Belgrave University, but he’s hiding some pretty dark secrets under that façade. He seeks to avenge his mother’s death and sets out to join the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose – a secret organization that teaches its recruits to practice magic.
They’ve been able to stay under the radar so far, even within the university, but Jack soon receives an invitation to be initiated into the Order. The further into the network Jack delves, however, the more he finds out about an ancient rivalry between those who practice the dark arts and the werewolves.
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (2015)
In the alternate history setting of BBC One’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the art of magic is known and accepted in society but has since largely died out in practice. This is something that Mr. Norrell is determined to change, so he heads to London and stirs up interest in the craft when he resurrects the dead wife of a high government official.
Elsewhere, Jonathan Strange is made aware of his predilection to magic and begins his studies. With Strange under the apprenticeship of Mr. Norrell, the two brilliant men set off to make magic respectable once again.
Good Witch (2015 – present)
Hallmark’s Good Witch follows the story of Cassandra Nightingale, a charming witch who resides at Grey House in the fictional town of Middleton. It’s a direct spin-off and continuation of the original TV movie series of the same name, of which there were seven films that establish the storyline continued in the TV series.
Cassie’s powers are pretty extensive, and she shares the gift of enhanced insight and intuition with her teenaged daughter, Grace. Though the residents of Middleton were initially hostile towards Cassie, they eventually welcome her, her family, and her shop full of magical herbs and elixirs into their community.
The Secret Circle (2011 – 2012)
A short-lived but definitely worthy entry on this list of the best shows about magic is The CW’s The Secret Circle.
The series begins with Cassie Blake moving to the town of Chance Harbor to live with her grandmother after her mother’s death. Only to discover that she comes from a long line of witches and is the missing member of the town’s secret coven. Now Cassie not only hast to accept her new-found powers but also battle dark forces that are attracted to Cassie’s powers. All while dealing with the inner drama of the coven.
A Discovery of Witches (2018 – present)
Diana Bishop is a brilliant historian and tenured academic from Yale who is currently studying alchemy and science at the University of Oxford. She’s also a witch, but that’s a part of her heritage that she has chosen to keep out of her life – until now.
While in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, she comes across a mysterious manuscript that forces her into the world of witches, demons, and vampires. Helping her uncover the manuscript’s secrets and keep the peace between the world’s known and unknown inhabitants is Matthew Clairmont, a vampire with plenty of secrets of his own.
American Horror Story: Coven (2013 – 2014)
Coven is the third season in the critically acclaimed horror anthology series, American Horror Story and this time, focuses on the horror genre trope of witches.
The descendants of the Salem witch trials’ survivors remain to this day but must hide their identities and abilities from society. In order to protect them, Cordelia Foxx runs a private all-girls boarding school in New Orleans where the young women are taught to strengthen and control their powers. When a young witch is burned by the townspeople, this sparks a series of events that prompt the modern-day coven to protect themselves against witch hunters and their long-time rivals: the voodoo practitioners.
True Blood (2008 – 2014)
HBO’s True Blood, like AHS: Coven, adopts a truly dark atmosphere to the fantasy and supernatural genres. The show primarily follows Sookie Stackhouse, a telepathic waitress in Bon Temps, Louisiana who falls in love with a vampire just a few years after their presence was made known.
While the first season centers mostly on vampires, the later seasons unfold to reveal many other magical creatures who inhabit our world: faeries (of which Sookie shares a bloodline with and explains her telepathic powers), shapeshifters, werewolves, maenads, and witches. Season 4, in particular, introduces a new coven of witches that cause trouble through the dangerous practice of necromancy.
Misfits (2009 – 2013)
Five troublesome youths in a community service program are forced to work together at a community center when a freak electrical storm jolts them with a bolt of lightning, granting them all supernatural powers related to certain aspects of their personality – immortality, telepathy, invisibility, turning back time, and an enhanced sex drive with a single touch.
As they each try to test the limits of their powers, they eventually meet others that were affected by the storm and try to figure out to what end they were given their powers – for good or evil?
The Umbrella Academy (2019 – present)
In 1989, dozens of women all over the world gave birth simultaneously and almost miraculously, as none of them showed any signs of pregnancy until that very day. Seven of these gifted children were adopted and subsequently studied by an eccentric billionaire, who turned them into a young superhero team named The Umbrella Academy.
After a falling out, the estranged step-siblings are reunited when their adoptive father passes away. As they attempt to uncover their family’s long-hidden secrets, they also learn of an impending apocalypse that they may or may not have the ability to stop.
Legacies (2018 – present)
Like its parent series The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, Legacies explores the lives of witches, vampires, and werewolves. With this series, in particular, concentrating on the students of the Salvatore School for the Young and Gifted. The same school that was established by Alaric Saltzman and Caroline Forbes for their witch daughters Josie and Lizzie and other supernatural beings.
At the forefront of the series is Hope Mikaelson, a part-witch, part-vampire, part-werewolf student of the school and the daughter of the notorious Klaus Mikaelson. Who, alongside Lizzie, Josie and the rest of the Super Squad, battle a new monster every episode and try to figure out the bigger threat – Malivore – that’s releasing all these new beings into the world.
Motherland: Fort Salem (2020 – present)
As of writing, Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem is just a few episodes into its first season but holds a lot of promise as a supernatural drama with strong doses of the occult and feminism.
Set in an alternate America, the persecution of witches was halted after a deal was struck with the government to have the witches fight for the country. In the present day, that means the soldiers fighting on the front lines are not only all women, but all witches, too. The show primarily follows a group of young recruits as they experience “basic training in combat magic” up until their deployment against threats using the magic they’ve learned.