It’s official! Sabrina Spellman, a.k.a. Sabrina the Teenage Witch will be moving to Riverdale. That is, the town, not the show. Instead of adding her to the established hit, The CW is developing a ‘Riverdale’-adjacent spin-off called ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’, which “reimagines 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. … 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.” ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ and ‘The Exorcist’ were cited as influences.
From the beginning, fans have wondered about the possibility of Sabrina joining the cast of ‘Riverdale’. She has been a longtime part of the gang in comics, but her supernatural abilities make her extremely unique. Despite its quirkiness, ‘Riverdale’ (and the comics upon which it is based) is still grounded in reality. How could an actual magic-wielding witch work in such a setting?
Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead, replied, “[‘Riverdale’] is a show that knows the camp it sells. We understand the genres we’re fitting into and how to appeal to that audience. But everyone in the audience takes it super seriously. … It becomes increasingly more difficult if you have, like, a cat that talks.”
Camila Mendes, Veronica, added “We would need so much room in our storyline to add a character that absurd.”
The ‘Riverdale’ executive producers, Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater, will also e.p. ‘Sabrina’ and will be joined by Lee Toland Kreiger, who directed four episodes of ‘Riverdale’ Season One. Kreiger will direct the ‘Sabrina’ pilot, which will be written by Aguirre-Sacasa, who is also the chief creative officer of Archie Comics.
Keep in mind, another comic book-based series on The CW, ‘Arrow’ also began as a show grounded in reality, but has since embraced the fantastic. Not much was revealed about ‘Sabrina’ so it’s unclear whether the show will exist in its own bubble or if the character Sabrina will be introduced on ‘Riverdale’ first– the way that Barry Allen first debuted on ‘Arrow’ before spinning off into his own show, ‘The Flash’.
‘Riverdale’ has become a certified phenomenon with its target audience. The cast has landed the covers to ‘TV Guide’ and ‘Entertainment Weekly’, the latter of which was decided by a fan vote. The show won two Saturn Awards and seven Teen Choice Awards. The one TCA it didn’t win was for star K.J. Apa (Archie) who lost Choice Breakout TV Star… to Lili Reinhart (Betty). Hot Topic has recently launched a line of ‘Riverdale’ apparel.
Part of what may have fueled ‘Riverdale”s success is that The CW hasn’t had a strong teen soap opera since ‘Gossip Girl’. Now that ‘The Vampire Diaries’ is over, ‘Sabrina’ could likely fill the void as the reigning supernatural drama.
A few weeks ago, Disney star Dove Cameron tweeted a photo of Sabrina from the comics, leading to speculation that she was either vying for the role or had even landed it.
Obviously, with the new fall season getting ready to launch, it will likely be a year before ‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ premiers and that’s only if The CW is impressed with the pilot and wants to see more.
Would you like to see a new dark ‘Sabrina’ TV series with a ‘Riverdale’ tone? How connected should it be to the other Archie show?
Source: TV Line