Over the past few years, The CW has earned a reputation as a safe haven for comics-inspired series.
It’s no secret, the network already has four interconnected DC Comics shows in its Arrowverse, that connective tissue opening the door to an expansive universe consisting of a mega-crossovers and musical episodes.
So it stands to reason that Riverdale – the new CW show based on Archie Comics – might look to establish a larger world beyond its core cast of characters.
Although Riverdale only recently aired its first episode, showrunner and Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa already has begun discussing the future. Talking with The Wrap, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that Sabrina Spellman (the title character of Sabrina the Teenage Witch) could join Archie, Jughead and the gang as soon as this current season.
“We could (see her in Season 1). As I say, never say never, but it’s certainly within the realm of possibility.
“The one thing that’s tricky is there will always be a genre, mystery element to this show, but it’s hard to introduce a supernatural element. I think there’s a way to introduce Sabrina in a way that’s not supernatural, but she is – she’s a witch.
“As dark as Riverdale is, the vision for Sabrina is even darker. Riverdale is on one side of the Sweetwater River, and Greendale – where Sabrina lives – is on the other. There’s sort of that mythic idea that on one side of the river there’s one reality and on the other side of the river there’s another reality. So who knows?
“But yeah, there’s definitely a universe where Sabrina pops up in Riverdale, or there’s a version of Sabrina that exists in her own witchy bubble.”
Thanks in large part to the hit sitcom that starred Melissa Joan Hart in the lead, Sabrina arguably remains one of the most recognizable characters from Archie Comics history. So it makes sense the Riverdale creative team would be eyeing to bring her back.
After all, Hart’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch did spend its final three seasons on The WB, one of two direct pre-cursors to The CW. Moreover, the inclusion of Josie and the Pussycats – another popular Archie Comics staple with a fanbase of its own – indicates the new show clearly has an eye on building something more ambitious than simply a single teen drama.
From a narrative standpoint, introducing Sabrina and her fantastical abilities into Riverdale this early on could compromise the show’s tone and alienate its burgeoning fanbase. However, the show always could explore the character without delving into her more fantastical abilities. All the writers would need to do is establish that Sabrina is aiming to keep her magic a secret for the time being, thereby allowing viewers to know there’s more to her than the other characters are witnessing.
This also would establish a proper starting point for a proposed spin-off show in line with female-led supernatural series like Charmed and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Time will tell if Sabrina actually joins the cast of the show this season, but if Riverdale succeeds, expect The CW to double-down on the Archie Comics world before too long.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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