Sabrina Spellman was almost the antagonist in Riverdale season 2 before the show became a huge hit. Riverdale stars K.J. Apa, Lii Reinhart, Camila Mendes, and Cole Sprouse. The show is based on the Archie comic books, which premiered in 1941 and are still going to this day.
While she hasn't been around as long as Archie, Sabrina was also introduced as a character for Archie Comics. She first appeared in Archie's Madhouse #22 in October 1962. The character played a recurring role in the Archie series and also got her own set of comic books starting in 1971. Apart from the comic book world, Sabrina has also gotten several TV shows, both animated and live-action. Her first TV appearance came in an animated form in the '70s but only lasted for one season. The character got a few other animated series over the years, but the most popular version of the character came in 1996 with Melissa Joan Hart playing Sabrina. A new live-action version of the character will be coming to Netflix starring Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina, but the character apparently almost came to Riverdale.
When talking with EW, comic writer and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that Sabrina almost appeared at the end of Riverdale season 1 and would have been the antagonist in season 2. Aguirre-Sacasa stands as the showrunner for both Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The showrunner explained that season 2 of Riverdale almost had a horror theme and could have been compared to the Afterlife With Archie comic books. Aguirre-Sacasa further explained the decision to not include Sabrina in Riverdale was made because Riverdale had, "found its footing as more crime show" and that "magic should exist in Greendale, but not in Riverdale".
Even though Sabrina didn't appear in Riverdale, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be a companion show to Riverdale. Aguirre-Sacasa was originally developing Sabrina on The CW, but eventually, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina moved to Netflix and got a 2-season order. The show found its star with Shipka, with Ross Lynch playing Sabrina's love interest Harvey Kinkle. Also, Sabrina's two aunts will be played by Miranda Otto (Aunt Zelda) and Lucy Davis (Aunt Hilda).
While it may be disappointing that Archie and Sabrina won't share the screen right now, Riverdale clearly didn't need the extra character to succeed. The show has been doing very well on The CW with the third season set to premiere next week. It should also be noted that Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina could potentially have a crossover at some point since Aguirre-Sacasa is the showrunner for both shows. Even though that might not be on the table right now, fans can look forward to Sabrina making her comeback when Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres at the end of October.