Ryan Reynolds Appeared in the Unofficial ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ Pilot

Sabrina the Teenage Witch is probably one of the most famous fictional characters to exist. Over the years, audiences have enjoyed countless productions and versions of the iconic persona such as TV shows. More recently, Kiernan Shipka has appeared on screen as Sabrina Spellman in Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

However, typically, Melissa Joan Hart is best remembered for taking on the legendary role in ABC’s Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Nevertheless, some Sabrina Spellman fans might be surprised to learn that before the television series there was actually a whole movie, and, interestingly enough, Ryan Reynolds just happened to be in it. 

A glance back ABC’s ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’

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ABC first began airing Sabrina the Teenage Witch in September of 1996, and as Hart has explained in interviews, the network viewed the show as more of a side project. ABC was excited for the launch of Clueless, the television series that aired right before Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but it soon became clear that audiences and viewers preferred Hart and the rest of the magical cast. 

In the series, Sabrina lived with her two aunts as viewers watched her navigate life as both a teenager and a witch. Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick were the talented actresses who played Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda and Aunt Zelda that some many fans loved. Nate Richert, Jenna Leigh Green, and Martin Mull were some of the other remarkable individuals who were cast in Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

After seven seasons the series came to an end in 2003. However, some fans might be interested to find out how it all started. 

The story of how ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ came to be

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Since the series’ end, Mental Floss has been one of the many platforms that have shared fun facts and tidbits about Sabrina the Teenage Witch. In “15 Magical Facts About Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” Mental Floss shared the details of how the beloved television series came to be. Hart explained in an interview that it was actually her mother who played a key role in making it all happen. 

It all began with a comic book. Archie’s Madhouse was the animated series responsible for bringing the legendary character of Sabrina to life. Archie’s Madhouse #22 was first published in 1962, and it marked the very first appearance of Sabrina the teenage witch.

However, three decades later, Hart’s mother received a copy of the comic on the playground and then actually convinced Showtime to make a movie based on it. 

Ryan Reynolds appeared in the unofficial ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ Pilot

Ryan Reynolds
Ryan Reynolds | Jason Mendez/WireImage

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In April of 1996 Showtime premiered Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Since the film came before the television series, many people consider the movie to be the “unofficial pilot”. However, though Hart played Sabrina, the cast that so many know and love as her co-star didn’t appear alongside her.  Sherry Miller was cast as Aunt Hilda and Tobias Mehler played Sabrina’s love interest, Harvey. However, the most surprising star to appear in the film was Reynolds. 

In Showtime’s spin of Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Reynolds took on the character of Seth. Sabrina’s crush on Seth led her to use her magical powers to try to get him to fall for her. However, by the end of the movie, Sabrina realized she had a genuine connection for Harvey and let her mischievous plan fall by the wayside. Though Seth’s character didn’t make the cut for the well-known series, Hart’s mother used footage and clips from this very film to convince ABC to turn Sabrina the Teenage Witch into a television series.