Fans of the popular ’90s ABC series Sabrina The Teenage Witch may be wise to take a modicum of heed before diving right into the upcoming Netflix re-imagining of the franchise.
For one, Melissa Joan Hart is not going to reprise her role, and as far as known details go, she will not be assuming any role at all in the new adaptation.
The fact that Hart won’t reprise such a role likely makes perfect sense to fans, considering she’s no longer “teenage.” However, perhaps the biggest reason fans of the ABC series may want to approach the reboot with caution, is that reports say the new series will be much darker and more horror oriented than its lighthearted, comedic predecessor.
According to a recent report from Variety, Netflix’s upcoming series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will deal with a much darker depiction of witchcraft and also feature themes of the occult. Kiernan Shipka will be stepping into the lead role of Sabrina.
Also starring in the upcoming series is the star of a different ’90s sitcom, as the Bronson Pinchot is included in the cast list. Pinchot is the Perfect Strangers actor who portrayed Balkie, and he is also noted for his role in the made-for-TV movie The Langoliers, an adaptation of a Stephen King story.
Other cast members include Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Miranda Otto, Jaz Sinclair, Michelle Gomez, Chance Perdomo, Richard Coyle, Tati Gabrielle, Lachlan Watson, Adeline Rudolph, and Abigail Cowen. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on an Archie Comics property and will officially debut on Netflix on October 26, 2018.
Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the new series and also serves as executive producer. He is most well-known as one of the masterminds behind the hit-show Riverdale.
The original ABC series, Sabrina The Teenage Witch, officially began in 1996 and was part of the network’s T.G.I.F. lineup, a block of hit sitcoms that appeared on ABC every Friday night. Sabrina The Teenage Witch was extremely successful in terms of viewership and ran for seven seasons, though with a notably rotating cast.
Other series regulars included Caroline Rhea, Beth Broderick, and Martin Mull.
ABC’s prior adaptation of Sabrina The Teenage Witch was also based on the Archie Comics property, though the upcoming Netflix adaptation is based off a more recent version of the comic, which was also written by showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa.
Netflix has officially ordered two seasons of the series, which will reportedly span ten episodes each.