When it comes to Netflix's reboot The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Sabrina the Teenage Witch TV show star Melissa Joan Hart has some thoughts. After Riverdale became a hit for The CW, it was hardly surprising to hear they were exploring spin-off ideas. Most fans hoped that meant a return of Sabrina Spellman, the witch from Archie Comics who made the jump to TV in the '90s with Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Sure enough, plans soon emerged of a show based on the current run of comics, before Netflix ordered The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina to series.
The move from The CW to Netflix was a surprising one, but it makes sense given Riverdale's international audience consumes the show on the streaming site. And while it may rule out a Riverdale/Sabrina crossover for the time being, they're set to be two very different shows. The comic book of the same name sees Sabrina living a suburban life in the '60s while secretly practicing witchcraft. So while the teen drama angle will still be there, the time period and tone should be quite different. It's also that unique approach to the material that could separate the new show from the original one.
EW spoke with Hart, who played Sabrina back in the '90s, and asked for her thoughts on The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. And though she certainly has an opinion on what the series is attempting, she doesn't seem too concerned when asked how she feels about it:
“Indifferent, really. People kept asking for it, and they were already doing Riverdale, so I guess it made sense. I think they’re doing it in a smart way — change it up, don’t make it the same. If you’re going to do the same show, it probably would fall on its face, but I think what they’re doing is probably the smartest way to reboot something.”
As for whether Hart would appear on the new series if asked, her indifference seems tempered by a bit of curiosity:
“Never say never, but it would depend on the character they wrote. I just don’t know where I would fit in. I would definitely take a look at the material if they sent it along.”
Her initial answer seems dismissive, but Hart does point out that Netflix looks to be approaching the reboot in the best possible way. Of course, it's not really fair to call The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina a reboot in that it's merely another adaptation of the same character. And given the distinct source material and different tone, it really only shares a few character names in common with the TGIF series.
While Sabrina the Teenage Witch was certainly an entertaining sitcom for kids and teens, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina looks to be shooting for something more engrossing. The comics have been a critical hit and the show, under Netflix's purview, could become something rather unique given its aesthetic. As for those CW fans hoping for more magic on the network, there's always the Charmed reboot on the way.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premieres on Netflix later this year.