‘Riverdale’: These 2 ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Actors Almost Starred in the CW Teen Drama
If Chilling Adventures of Sabrina never existed, the cast of Riverdale might have looked very different. The CW’s teen drama has starred Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes, and Madelaine Petsch for six seasons. However, two of those spots were almost taken by Chilling Adventures actors before Netflix picked up the witchy series. Here’s what happened.
How ‘Riverdale’ and ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ are connected
Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina exist on two different networks — the CW and Netflix, respectively — but they share a creator: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The screenwriter adapted Riverdale from Archie Comics in 2017, followed by CAOS one year later (based on Archie Comics’ Sabrina the Teenage Witch). However, their connection runs much deeper than the person behind the scripts.
Fans of Riverdale have likely noticed several mentions of “Greendale” throughout the series. That neighboring town is actually the setting of CAOS. Despite taking place in the same universe, Riverdale and CAOS didn’t cross over until last year — after CAOS had already ended its four-season run on Netflix.
‘Chilling Adventures’ stars Kiernan Shipka and Chance Perdomo almost starred in ‘Riverdale’
Lili Reinhart stars as Betty Cooper in Riverdale, and many fans can’t imagine anyone else in the role. However, that part almost went to Kiernan Shipka, as Aguirre-Sacasa revealed to TVLine in 2018. The writer said he loved Shipka in Mad Men (she got her start as Sally Draper when she was just 6 years old) and thought of her to play Betty in Riverdale. However, Shipka expressed interest in playing Sabrina Spellman in CAOS.
“From the second [the casting director] said that, for me, it was like, ‘OK, she’s Sabrina. I’m writing this for Kiernan,'” Aguirre-Sacasa recalled.
In addition to Shipka, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina star Chance Perdomo had a chance to star in Riverdale. In 2019, he told The Hollywood Reporter that he auditioned for the role of Jughead Jones, which eventually went to Cole Sprouse.
“One of my first auditions actually was for Riverdale. Did some self-tapes and I got quite a few rounds and I had no idea how close I got,” Perdomo said. “They kept me in mind and I had no idea until later Roberto was like, ‘Brother, do you know how close you got? … It was almost you.'”
Aguirre-Sacasa felt so impressed with Perdomo that he created a CAOS character just for him: Ambrose, Sabrina’s cousin. The warlock often had mischievous ways, but he helped Sabrina learn more about magic and her family history.
Kiernan Shipka appears as Sabrina Spellman in ‘Riverdale’ Season 6
Sabrina Spellman finally paid a visit to her neighboring town in Riverdale Season 6 — well, an alternate version of it. She helped Cheryl Blossom (Petsch) perform a soul-switching spell in Rivervale, a parallel dimension to Riverdale. Fans can see Sabrina in Riverdale again during episode 19, where she’ll perform a resurrection spell.
Riverdale airs on Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.