'Sabrina' Begins Production on its Pilot Episode

Per a tweet from showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it appears as though Netflix has begun [...]

Per a tweet from showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, it appears as though Netflix has begun principal photography on their as-yet-untitled Riverdale spinoff based on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

The series, which was developed at The CW, will have an initial order of 20 episodes -- two, ten-episode seasons -- at Netflix 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 at the time named the series simply Sabrina.

The script page, which names the pilot "October Country," confirms previously-reported information that the pilot would be written by Aguirre-Sacasa and directed by Lee Toland Krieger, who helmed both the Riverdale pilot and The CW's upcoming pilot for Life Sentence.

"The October Country" is a 1955 short story anthology from acclaimed author Ray Bradbury.

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.

There were also reports that Warner Bros. Television decided they could make more money on the Archie Comics adaptation by bringing it to Netflix rather than The CW, where they would have to share revenue with their co-owners at CBS.

Netflix is an obvious spot for a show like this to go; the streaming giant gets 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.

There is no official release date yet for Sabrina, although it is expected to launch its first ten-episode season in 2018.

Earlier this month, Netflix announced that Kiernan Shipka, best for her role as Sally Draper in AMC's Mad Men, has been tapped to play Sabrina Spellman in the new series.