There has been no ‘behind the scenes’ programmes for Charmed and there is a reason for that. However, for historical purposes, archives of TV shows are made available to historical researchers, such as myself, 15 years after the show started. Charmed is one such show.
The plot of Charmed is that some people are doing magic and trying to vanquish evil demons and whatnots. When you think about it, it’s a pretty thin and lame plot. That’s why the investors of the show knew they had to have a plan B for how the show would develop. They took a big gamble of shooting the entire first season before airing it.
That was part of the reason why the investors har to insist that the cast had to be 3 young, beautiful women. And, as we know now, the investors got their way with Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano and Shannen Doherty.
Contrary to what you might think while reading this, the investors did not want to make the Charmed show into some soft porn show. However, they also did want to protect their investment, so they had to take some precautions.
To make sure they had some interesting scenes to draw a larger audience, they shot several versions of the same scenes. For example, here is a scene which didn’t make it into the second episode of the first season.
The story did not fully explain why Alyssa Milano’s breasts had jumped out of her bra or even why she wasn’t wearing a blouse, so the director cut the scene out. But it was a good example of what was to come for the actresses of Charmed.
There are several examples of scenes like this that was later re-shot without the nudity. The scene below featured Piper and Prue in a back story sequence where they were having a bottomless party.
Again, it was not properly explained why they had to be bottomless at this party. The director told Shannen Doherty and Holly Marie Combs that it might be integral to their character.
But why did these three actresses accept to do nude shots in this TV show? Well, if you think about their history, it’s not really that weird.
You may not know it now, but this was actually Alyssa Milanos big break. Before this, she had a terrible role in Melrose Place and even before that, she was in Poison Ivy, a softcore horror flick – and “Embrace of the Vampire” from which the following scene comes.
Yes, Alyssa Milano was indeed used to nudity in movies.
Shannen Doherty was less familiar with nudity – but she was looking to bounce back from Beverly Hills 90210. She had been removed from the series finale of Beverly Hills 90210 and had also been in anger management in the following years. She was sentenced to 10 days in jail for drunk driving. She was caught writing $32000 of bad checks.
All of this behaviour made the investors insist on special precautions if Shannen Doherty were to participate in the show.
Shannen Doherty had already done some nudity when she appeared in Playboy in December 2003.
That is of course part of the reason why Shannen Doherty was not foreign to the concept of posing nude in front of a camera.
Holly Marie Combs
The least known of the three stars at this time.
She was previously in a few small movies, one of them being “A Reason to Believe” which featured some nice nudity with this soon-to-be Piper
Holly Marie Combs was ready to repeat and do a little nudity, although she had no idea just how much. She was happy to learn later on, that all the nudity was kept out of the show and so was kept out of the eye of the public.
Until the publication of this documentary, of course.
But before we get into that, let’s see some of the scenes that WERE in Charmed, but where they cut out the most revealing parts of the scenes.
Shots that made it into the show
Here are some of the shots that made it into the show.
A nice cleavage shot of Alyssa Milano. In one deleted scene, her nipple slipped out of her blouse.
In this scene, she pulled her shirt over her head and revealed her breasts to the demon as a distraction.
This scene shows some nice pokey nipples through her sweater. The real show was full of these scenes, which is a testament to the amount of nudity that the investors had in stock when editing the show.
Here is a scene where Piper and Phoebe is getting naked with the other witches to get closer to nature. In the final edit, they managed to not show any scenes where their actual nudity was shown, which made the scene pretty confusing to most viewers.
Shannen Doherty also showed some pokey nipples in more than a few scenes.
One scene showed Shannen Doherty after she got unconscious. The deleted scene following this scene, shows that witches do not wear underwear.
This amazing scene of Shannen Doherty was in Charmed season 3. It was really too revealing for the show at that point, but they decided to keep it on the show, to not destroy the plot.
Holly Marie Combs did some sexy scenes in their night club where she acted much like a stripper. In the final edit, she did not strip, but in the archived footage, the scene is taken a little further.
Next time we will look at some of the promotional material that never made it public, when the producers and investors chose to keep the show clean, by editing the nudity out just before airing.