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Horror Take on 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch' Coming From 'Riverdale' Creators

by John Rosca / Sep 21, 2017 09:26 AM EDT
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The classic Archie Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch is coming back to network TV in a big way. Many viewers are familiar with the character from the magical sitcom "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" that starred Melissa Joan Hart. But the new Sabrina series under development at the CW will pursue a much darker direction.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the grim new take on "Sabrina" will skew closer to the gothic horror of "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Exorcist" than the wacky humor of the former TV show. It will be a dark coming-of-age story with occult elements.

Deadline reports that the show is called "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," based on the comic book of the same name published by Archie Horror, a division of Archie Comics. It is a project by the same development team behind the CW's "Riverdale" series that includes Archie Comics' chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and "Arrow" executive producer Greg Berlanti.

Aguirre-Sacasa and Lee Toland Krieger, who respectively wrote and directed the "Riverdale" pilot, have been tapped to collaborate once more on the "Sabrina" pilot episode. Although the character of Sabrina has not appeared on "Riverdale" so far, her show is viewed as being a companion series to the "Archie" TV adaptation.

"Riverdale" offered a noir-tinged approach to the world of "Archie," packing it with a murder-mystery angle as well as nostalgic callbacks to pop culture a la "Stranger Things." A darker version of "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" wouldn't stray very far from the "Riverdale" mood and aesthetic.

The comic book source material of "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" was itself a spin-off that took the teenage witch from the "Afterlife with Archie" comics that imagines a Riverdale threatened by a zombie apocalypse. Both horror series were conceived and written by Aguirre-Sacasa. The Mary Sue describes "The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" as downright macabre and steeped in doom and gloom.

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