Good news fans of Riverdale! While we count down the days until Season 2 hits our TV screens, the CW has announced it is plowing ahead with a Riverdale spinoff about Sabrina The Teenage Witch. So exciting! Fans have been very upset that the character, who once had her own show back in the day on the WB, was not included in the series. Instead, it'll be giving her her own.
Riverdale has a rather extensive cast, featuring tons of cameos from the original Archie comics, which made Sabrina's omission last year so surprising, espeically since in the opener, Jason Blossom traveled to the Greendale side of the river, and Sabrina's side of the tracks, before getting killed. Some wondered if the older '90s era show, which starred Melissa Joan Hart as the titular witch, might have been an issue with getting rights to the characters, even though that show aired on the CW forerunner channel, the WB.
Rumors have been swirling all summer than a new Sabrina would be cast soon, and the character would become at least a guest star next season, if not a recurring character. Instead, it turns out those casting rumors aren't for Riverdale, they're for her own show!
According to Entertainment Weekly, the new show will be entitled The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Here's a synopsis:
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina 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. 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.
That sounds very dark indeed. Riverdale itself is definitely not all the sunshine and rainbows and happy faces from the original Archie comics, having taken a dark and dramatic license with the story (while managing to avoid feeling like a gritty reboot of some sort.) But this spinoff being "in the vein of The Exorcist" is another kettle of fish.
Not that I think anyone expects the cheery, laugh-track laden remake of the 1990s version of Sabrina -- if nothing else they'll update Salem to be digital, if not motion capture, instead of the animatronic animal he was in the WB version.
In the original series, Sabrina does not discover her witch abilities until her 16th birthday. It's not clear if the show will stick with that either, though the sudden ability to do magic and losing one's "normal" life certainly feels like the sort of thing that might work here.
It will be a wait before The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina arrives on our screens. This is still in the beginning stages, and is being planned for the 2018–2019 TV season. Robert Aguirre-Sacasa, one of the executive producers for Riverdale, will be moving over to take the reigns of creating the new show. He wrote the original Riverdale pilot, and will be penning the one for Sabrina. Riverdale pilot director Lee Toland Krieger will also be coming aboard with him to direct the Sabrina pilot.
In development, the plan is to follow the same method of spinning off a series like the CW did with Arrow from the popular DC comic show The Flash. It'll be filming a stand-alone pilot to determine if the show will go to air, and if so, most likely will start seeding the premise for the spinoff's opening episodes into the Riverdale storyline, with a couple of guest appearances by Sabrina in the Riverdale world to introduce her to audiences ahead of the show's debut. Looks like Sabrina will be coming to Riverdale after all...