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Melissa Joan Hart – The Witch is Back

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

Melissa Joan Hart in "Melissa & Joey"

Melissa Joan Hart in “Melissa & Joey”

Melissa Joan Hart

The Witch is Back

by Landyn Gerace

From Sabrina Spellman to Mel Burke, Melissa Joan Hart has continued to entertain fans of all ages.

This week on ABC Family’s hit show Melissa and Joey, Hart has a blast from the past channeling her inner Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the show’s Halloween special. From black cats to familiar faces, Melissa and Joey will have a magical twist that will definitely please the audience. Beth Broderick, who played Aunt Zelda on Sabrina will return to the ABC Family sitcom for a second time helping Hart’s character Mel get in touch with her supernatural side.

“With this episode, we’re really giving a nod to Sabrina and my past and combining the two shows so completely,” says Hart. “I would say it’s more Sabrina than it is Melissa and Joey.”

Melissa Joan Hart stars in "Melissa & Joey"

Melissa Joan Hart stars in “Melissa & Joey”

Not only did the mother of three get in touch with an old character, but she also directed the episode “Witch Came First.”

“I directed the 100th episode of Sabrina and a few Halloween episodes of Sabrina – that was something I always liked…. I think it was always in the works for me to direct this episode,” Hart says.

She first began directing around the age of 20. Since then she has directed her own short film, Mute, and several Disney Channel shows.

Hart jokingly says “I guess I was always very bossy on set and I was just always wanting to learn new things.”

As an experienced director on both hit television series, Hart expresses how different directing both shows actually was for her. On Sabrina the Teenage Witch, there were a lot of special effects and a permanent green screen. “It was like shooting a small movie every week.”

Melissa Joan Hart and Joseph Lawrence star in "Melissa & Joey"

Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star in “Melissa & Joey”

Melissa and Joey is the first show Hart has directed in front of a live studio audience. With a live audience, Hart makes sure the show runs smoothly. It is apparent in the episodes she has done, and certainly will be in the ones she directs in the future.

Combining her two shows into a Halloween episode was both challenging and exciting for the cast and crew. “It was interesting to combine my two worlds together, but it was a lot of fun.”

Not only did Hart have the pleasure of working with Broderick again, but she was able to work with her current cast on the Halloween episode.

“It’s been such a great journey and so much fun. He’s such a pro,” Hart says on her costar Joey Lawrence. “We find each other very responsible and professional…. I think that just added to the chemistry.”

Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star in "Melissa & Joey"

Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence star in “Melissa & Joey”

Not only does Hart work alongside Lawrence, but also Taylor Spreitler and Nick Robinson, who play Lennox and Ryder respectively. Hart says both young actors have come out of their shells since the first season of the show and “come alive as actors.” She refers to the cast and crew as a family, “Together we just count our blessings and love to make people laugh!”

Along with the special Halloween episode airing October 22, Melissa Joan Hart has some of her own plans with her family to celebrate the spooky holiday. With her husband and three sons, the family plans to do fun Halloween traditions such as carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating, and a candy swap at the boys’ school. As for family costumes, that is yet to be decided.

“I really like to do a uniform costume for the family, have some kind of theme…. I’m trying to wait until just before so that I can make sure I know exactly what they want to be.”

Between balancing work life and family life, Melissa Joan Hart has worked hard to create an episode that will not disappoint. Be sure to watch what happens when Mel Burke clashes with Sabrina Spellman on ABC Family’s Halloween special of Melissa and Joey “Witch Came First.”

Copyright ©2014 All rights reserved. Posted: October 18, 2014.

Photos ©2014. Courtesy of ABC Family Channel. All rights reserved. 

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