The Chicago “super station” tries its hand at original programming with “Salem” (WGN, 10 p.m.), an overheated return to witch hunting days with the caveat that the witches this time are real. TV series have lately sought to mine pre-Revolutionary times in “Sleepy Hollow” and “Turn,” but while it is understood (isn’t it?) that the Headless Horseman is fictional, the makers of the reckless “Salem” upturn 300 years of history by making the case that the murderous witch hunters there may have had a point.
Stealing historical names from Cotton Mather to Mary Sibley, it blithely upends the entire point of the witch trial stories — superstitious people can be ruthless and more murderous than those they are preventing — into something quite different — paranoids are right. All in the service of dim, entertainment scare value. So not only dark and dumb, “Salem” is also dangerous.
Katharine McPhee of “American Idol” and “Smash” returns to TV in a romantic Hallmark Hall of Fame movie about two people who dream about one another before they meet after drinking from a charmed fountain. “In My Dreams” (ABC, 9 p.m.) also stars Mike Vogel and JoBeth Williams.
On the actual Hallmark channel, they could have called the latest series “Dead Letter” — it would have been more descriptive of its pacing and acting. Instead the odd new show about a team of post office sleuths who do all they can to deliver mail (obvious a fiction) is stolen from Michelle Obama’s favorite song. “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” (Hallmark, 8 p.m.). Eric Mabius of “Ugly Betty” stars as the comically straight-laced head of the division; the network plans to bring in ancient