Netflix has ordered a new television series based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. According to Deadline, the project had originally been in development at The CW as a possible companion show to the Archie series Riverdale, but Netflix was so eager to jump on board it agreed to order two 10-episode seasons right out of the gate.
The new series will be far from the light-hearted Sabrina the Teenage Witch that aired on ABC and The WB starting in the late 1990s. Instead, it is envisioned as a “dark coming-of-age story,” with Sabrina Spellman battling evil forces while also trying to be a normal half-human / half-witch teenager. According to the report, the show will be created by many of the same people who worked on Riverdale, with creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writing the pilot and Lee Toland Krieger directing, just as the duo did for the previous show.
As Deadline points out, the shift from The CW to Netflix is likely a response to Riverdale’s popularity on the streaming service. Live ratings from the second season premiere jumped 60 percent from the first, according to The Hollywood Reporter, in large part because many new viewers had watched the first season on Netflix. "Probably more people watched it on Netflix thinking it was a Netflix show," Rick Haskins, CW’s executive vice president of marketing and digital platforms, said in October.
No release date has been set for the new Sabrina series yet.