Netflix has picked up a show based on the character of Sabrina the teenage witch — but don’t expect it to bear much resemblance to “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.”
The streaming service has given a two-season, 20-episode commitment to the series, which was originally developed at The CW as a companion to “Riverdale.” It comes from the same team behind “Riverdale”: creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, producer Greg Berlanti and director Lee Toland Krieger.
The series will be based on Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2014 graphic novel “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” a decidedly darker take on the character than the ABC-WB sitcom that ran from 1996-2003 and starred Melissa Joan Hart.
It still focuses on Sabrina Spellman and her growing awareness of her powers, but in the book she also must decide whether to embrace her witch roots or become fully mortal, while fighting dark forces that would harm the everyday world.
The project started as a pilot in development for The CW for next season. Both “Riverdale” and “Sabrina” are based on Archie Comics properties, and there presumably would have been opportunities for characters to cross over between the two shows had it landed at the network.
An upfront commitment to make 20 episodes right out of the gate, however, would have been far less likely on The CW.