We've known about plans to develop a live-action Sabrina the Teenage Witch series as a Riverdale spin-off for a while now. Well, today Variety dropped a bomb: 20 episodes of Untitled Sabrina Project are coming - but they'll be on Netflix. Here's the scoop:
The one-hour drama is based on the comic “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” which reimagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult, and witchcraft. The series is described as being tonally in the vein of horror classics like “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Exorcist,” and will see Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature as a half-witch, half-mortal while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family, and the daylight world humans inhabit.
As someone who watches Riverdale primarily for the twisted thrill of seeing a chaste old comic book from the 1940s reimagined as hypersexual, lurid trash, I was stoked to see what this Sabrina revamp looked like. Although the comics have been bridging this gap for a while, the last time I'd checked on Archie and his pals they were doing this shit:
Picking up from 40-odd years ago, I was shook, but also all about it. Moving Sabrina to Netflix from the CW* is surely going to give this project even more leeway in the sex & violence departments. But I have to say - it doesn't need it? The fun of Riverdale's attempts at being naughty is that it's this bubblegum teen thing trying to be provocative but still existing in the confines of broadcast TV. It's all very adorable, really. So I hope Sabrina's antics aren't spiced up just for the hell of it (hello, most Netflix Marvel shows).
Using the recent Chilling Adventures of Sabrina comic book as a blueprint sounds promising; Meredith did some speculating on how that might shake out here. The one variable that will tip this viewer into the pro or con column on Sabrina is whether the character will get to exist in the same universe as (and occasionally cross over into) Riverdale, something that Variety says is currently unknown. Though it'll largely be the same Riverdale creative team piloting things on Netflix, there are likely copyright and legal issues to navigate (you MCU fans know the drill). Here's hoping they can work it all out. I like a shared universe as much as anyone, and I was ready for things to get supernatural in season three of Riverdale.
*Jumping networks is in Sabrina's DNA; the Melissa Joan Hart series ran for several seasons on ABC before hopping over to the CW.