Netflix announced today a Sabrina the Teenage Witch Series, based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. We first reported on this series back in September, when it was believed that the show would be a Riverdale spin-off, that would potentially introduce the Sabrina character in Riverdale Season 2. But now that the show has a new home on Netflix, it seems unlikely there will be any connection to Riverdale.
This Untitled Sabrina series imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, this adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature, half-witch, half-mortal, while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit. The show is based on the Archie Comics characters and coming on the heels of the success of Riverdale, which is also based on characters from Archie Comics.
The show has been given a 20-episode order, although it isn't clear if that will be split between two 10-episode seasons, or if the Netflix original series will debut an extended 20-episode season all at once. The show hails from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, with the pilot episode for this one-hour drama written by Executive Producer/Writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who serves as the Chief Creative Officer for Archie Comics, who also created The CW's Riverdale. The pilot will be directed by Executive Producer/Director Lee Toland Krieger (The Age of Adaline, Celeste and Jesse Forever), with Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter serving as executive producers for Berlanti Productions), alongside Jon Goldwater for Archie Comics.
There had been rumors that Sabrina the Teenage Witch could appear in Riverdale right from the beginning, since Sabrina Spellman's hometown of Greendale was featured in the Riverdale pilot, since this town on the opposite side of Riverdale is the last place Jason Blossom was seen, right before his brutal death. Riverdale has also brought in other Archie Comics characters like Josie and the Pussycats, but now it seems unlikely that these shows will cross over, barring some sort of an unprecedented deal between Netflix and The CW Network.
Now that this Archie Comics series is set at Netflix, fans will be keeping a close eye on casting, to see who Netflix will choose as Sabrina. Melissa Joan Hart played Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the family-friendly TV series of the same name, which ran for seven seasons between 1996 and 2003. It would be interesting to see if the show will bring back Melissa Joan Hart in a completely different role, but we're likely still a long ways away from casting talk at this time. Hopefully we'll hear more from Netflix about this new series soon.