How 'Bewitched' Star Elizabeth Montgomery Ended The Show With An Ultimatum

The series could have gone on for longer than eight seasons, but its lead shut things down with one demand.

Memoirist Peter Ackerman says the TV classic, “Bewitched,” came to an early end after a major demand from star Elizabeth Montgomery.

In a new book, Ackerman recalls how being the son of executive producer Harry Ackerman gave him an unparalleled look into life behind-the-scenes.

“Bewitched” premiered in 1964, following young witch Samantha Stephens as she tries to keep her magical powers a secret from her mortal husband.

The show had eight solid seasons before wrapping, and according to Ackerman, it could have gone on longer if not for an ultimatum from Montgomery.

While talking to Fox News Digital about “Mom, Dad, Me, and Classic TV - Growing Up with Classic Television’s Harry Ackerman and Elinor Donahue,” the author relayed a conversation he overheard between his parents after a phone call between his father and the “Bewitched” star.

Elizabeth Montgomery in a 1969 episode of "Bewitched" titled "Samantha's Secret Spell."
Elizabeth Montgomery in a 1969 episode of "Bewitched" titled "Samantha's Secret Spell."
ABC Photo Archives via Getty Images

Ackerman told Fox his dad said, “The network wanted to continue with the series” but Montgomery “would only do it if my dad would agree to basically fire her soon-to-be ex-husband,” aka director Bill Asher.

“They had broken up at that point and hired this other fella who was directing that episode to be the new director,” Ackerman explained.

That idea was a non-starter for Ackerman’s father.

“My dad said, ‘Liz, Bill Asher is my partner,’” his son said. “‘I’m not going to do that to him.’ And she said, ’Well then, ‘Bewitched’ is done.’ That’s what my dad told my mom.”

Montgomery kept her word, and by 1972 the series was no more.

One year later, Montgomery and Asher were officially divorced.

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