The actress opens up to ET about filming the new season of the Hallmark Channel series without her TV daughter by her side.
Catherine Bell is hoping this isn't the end of Bailee Madison's time on Good Witch.
Madison exited the long-running Hallmark Channel series in the season five finale, which aired Aug. 18, after playing Bell's teenage daughter, Grace Russell, since 2015. In addition to appearing on all five seasons, the 19-year-old actress starred in four Halloween-themed television movies.
Bell, who is already in production on the sixth season in Toronto, Canada, admitted it's been different not having Madison around.
"I love Bailee. We're dear friends. We still talk, still check in all the time. That was a really tough decision, I know, for her. There are different reasons -- just life going by, location -- that it made sense for her [to leave]," Bell, 51, told ET. "My dream is that she gets to come back for a couple of episodes. I don't know schedule-wise when it'll happen, but I know that she's working on some great projects right now."
When asked what she missed most about the absence of her TV daughter, who spent her last days in Middleton before going off to college, Bell quickly answered: "So many things."
"She's such a beautiful, dear spirit. She really is. She's like a bright light when she's on set. She's fun and funny and very alive," she continued. "She reminds me of my own daughters, always very personable in that way, and she's just really special. Like, someone who just gets everyone and is so grateful for everything and acknowledges the cast and the crew and every single person around here in the most beautiful way."
"I definitely miss hanging out with her," Bell confessed, adding that the duo often went to the airport and workout class together, and had meaningful chats "about life or boyfriends."
Before her final episode of Good Witch, Madison shared the news of her departure with her fans, writing a heartfelt note expressing her gratitude toward those who have been on this journey with her.
"The feeling couldn’t be more bitter sweet [sic]. Thank you so much for loving and watching Grace (and in a way, me) grow up on your screen for the last 5 years, and thank you for tuning in tonight to wish her a farewell," Madison wrote in August. "I am so beyond grateful for the memories these last 5 years have provided me, and as this chapter ends tonight I celebrate all that was and all that is ahead."
With Good Witch and When Calls the Heart two of the longest-running original series currently airing on Hallmark, naturally the question of a potential crossover surfaced.
"That's a good idea!" Bell exclaimed, sharing that When Calls the Heart leading lady Erin Krakow played her daughter-in-law on the Lifetime series, Army Wives.
"We're buddies. I have to talk to her, that would be so fun," she said. "She could come play a witch. I know she'd do really well. And maybe [JAG's Mac, Bell's breakout role,] could go onto When Calls the Heart with her military uniform!"
Good Witch returns for season six in 2020 on Hallmark Channel.
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