'Riverdale' and 'The Watcher In the Woods' Have a Surprising Thing In Common

riverdale watcher in the woods
(Photo: The CW)

Like all episodes of Riverdale, tonight's "Chapter Sixteen: The Watcher in the Woods" takes its name from a classic genre movie, in this case 1980's The Watcher in the Woods. However, tonight's episode doesn't just keep with The CW's naming convention. It also has an interesting tie to 1990's series Sabrina The Teenage Witch.

Last week a remake of Watcher in the Woods debuted on Lifetime. The film, centered around an American family who moves to Wales for summer whose daughters find themselves in embroiled in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of their host's daughter in the woods surrounding her home decades before, was produced by Hartbreak Films for the network and was directed by Melissa Joan Hart.

As some may recall, Hart starred as Sabrina Spellman in the series Sabrina the Teenage Witch which ran from 1996 to 2000 on ABC with three additional seasons airing on The WB (a predecessor to The CW) from 2000 to 2003. The sitcom was a humorous take on the Archie Comics Sabrina series that took a lighter approach to the magical teenager living with her 600-year-old aunts and magical talking cat, Salem.

Since Riverdale premiered last year, fans have wondered if the show would have some sort of Sabrina connection, either by bringing a version of the comic book character into the show or with cameo appearances. Hart herself even suggested in an interview last year a reboot was being discussed.

While it's not clear if the Sabrina the Teenage Witch connection via Hart is intentional -- the majority of episode titles this season refer to movies from the 1980s -- it's still a nice connection to the Archie Comics character's television past, especially with The Chilling Tales of Sabrina being developed as it's own show next season.


Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.