Warner Bros. Television and Archie Comics will take The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the Teenage Witch to Netflix, where the horror-themed Riverdale spinoff already has a two-season order in place.
The series, which was developed at The CW, will have an initial order of 20 episodes -- two, ten-episode seasons -- and is now listed as being an "untitled Sabrina project" based on the graphic novel that gave its name to the initially announced Chilling Adventures....
A press release from Archie names the series simply Sabrina.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the writers' room for the series opens up tomorrow, with production expected to begin in February. No lead has yet been cast, but executive producers are reportedly looking at the list of candidates that had already been assembled at The CW and deciding where to go from there.
There is no word on why the series moved on from The CW, although the network's critical and ratings success in the last few years has created an environment where few of their shows are being cancelled from year to year, which makes committing to new series fraught.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina seemed like a perfect fit for the genre-heavy CW, which boasts a total of six comic book TV shows (and more to come) as well as Supernatural, arguably the network's most recognizable original series. One roadblock, though, may have been the hardcore horror elements that appear in the comics on which the series is set to be based. If showrunner Roberto-Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie's chief creative officer and the writer of both the comics and the series pilot, were determined to retain that level of gore and frights, it may not fit into a younger-skewing network at 9 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Netflix is an obvious spot for a show like this to go; the streaming giant get new, weekly episodes of Riverdale in a number of markets that The CW does not serve, and the show has proven to be a powerhouse for both Netflix and The CW.
How a network change might impact the crossovers that fans have been hoping to see between the two Archie Comics dramas is anyone's guess. Part of the original series sell for Riverdale was that they might have an annual "Treehouse of Horror"-style, non-canonical "Afterlife With Archie" episode, and the comics on which that story is based heavily featured Sabrina. Neither of the show's first two seasons have had such an episode, but if it is renewed -- which it is widely expected to be -- that might be a solution for a potential crossover.