After learning a few days ago that Riverdale spinoff The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina landed a two-season order at Netflix, it's now known why Warner Bros. chose the streaming service over The CW as the home for Sabrina's new series. The Chilling Adventures comic - which first came out in 2014 - follows witch Sabrina Spellman during her teenage years in the 1960s living with her aunts Hilda and Zelda, as well as her cousin Ambrose, in the town of Greendale.
After Warner Bros. TV gained the rights to Archie Comics last summer, the studio has been hard at work bringing the famous comic book characters to life with hit series Riverdale. The CW teen drama quickly became the network's most-watched and critically acclaimed series last year, with viewership rising 60-percent for its second season premiere this October. With that in mind, it’s no surprise The CW was looking to create an extended universe with the Archie stories, like the network’s DC-based Arrow-verse series. Reports of a Sabrina series airing on the network have been floating around for awhile now, so it was a surprise to hear that Warner Bros. decided to bring the developing project over to Netflix instead.
According to THR, it makes a lot of sense why Sabrina is moving to the streaming giant. The article explains that while in development at The CW, the series was originally going to be a co-venture between Warner Bros. and CBS, but the network was more focused on another witch-centric drama series - the Charmed reboot by Jennie Snyder Urman. The switch to Netflix allows Warner Bros. to retain 100 percent ownership of the series, and thus 100 percent of the profits. If the series would have stayed at The CW, half of the earnings would have had to go to CBS - similarly to Riverdale - which is a co-production between both companies.
Another reason for the move - according to a statement made this fall by Rick Haskins, The CW's executive VP of marketing and digital - was that many people watching Riverdale on Netflix were likely thinking that it was a Netflix series, since the two networks have a deal that the streaming service has a deal to stream CW shows very soon after they air on TV.
Going to Netflix directly will likely to be a fantastic thing for the Sabrina series, considering that lots of people now enjoy binge-watching their shows, and more people may watch the series knowing that they can see multiple episodes at a time. That said, other potential Riverdale spinoffs that are being looked at could still reportedly end up calling The CW home.