The ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ Remake You’ve Probably Never Heard Of
Archie Comics has provided its audience with favorites like Riverdale and the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. However, before viewers today walked through the chilling forest of Greendale, there was another light-hearted sitcom that had almost a similar plotline to Netflix’s CAOS. Sabrina the Teenage Witch, was among the popular TV shows to have aired in the late ’90s.
The show was so popular that it inspired a remake that you’ve probably never heard of.
The premise of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, revolved around a 16-year-old girl who, on her 16th birthday, finds out that she hails from a long line of witches. Sabrina fights with this information but soon comes to accept her fate to be a witch. As a newbie in witchcraft, Sabrina’s spells often go awry.
However, her 600-year-old aunts Zelda and Hilda walk her through how to manage her newfound powers. They also counsel her on the proper use of magic while giving her some much-needed moral advice. Hilda and Zelda also take care of a black cat called Salem Saberhagen, who happens to be a witch who was turned into a cat after trying (and failing) to take over the world.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch, often incorporated some pop culture references to its storylines. Sabrina often mentions that she likes listening to No Doubt and Britney Spears. The show also notes some historical events, such as the 1600s Salem witch hunt.
According to Sabrina’s aunt Zelda, the Salem witch trials were not a hunt for real witches. In one episode, Hilda tells Sabrina that a bunny ruled England for two months forcing witches to turn back time to reference that mortals are ignorant. In the animated comic book series, Sabrina’s story is set in the fictional Greendale, but in the show, Sabrina resides in a fictional suburb in Boston.
The show faced some major hurdles
Although Sabrina the Teenage Witch ran for seven seasons, it faced some major issues along the way. For starters, actor Melissa Joan Hart’s mother had to shop around for networks to find a home for the beloved show. Hart said that her mother Paula was given the Archie Comic book and sold it to Viacom.
Hart pointed out that although her mother believed the script would be fantastic, many networks didn’t want to pick it up. She eventually found a home for the show with ABC. Another issue was that ABC didn’t think Sabrina the Teenage Witch would be a ratings juggernaut and instead counted on Clueless to be a hit.
Hart said that Sabrina the Teenage Witch ended up being a fan favorite, even pushing Everybody Loves Raymond to a different night of the week. Another hurdle was Pat Robertson, a renowned minister, and TV personality, who complained about the show. According to Robertson, the series was “an example of insidious New Age thinking.”
To make matters worse, Sabrina the Teenage Witch got accused of copying their plotline from another show. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, said that Sabrina the Teenage Witch plagiarized a lot of material from her failed CBS pilot, The Elvira Show. Elvira explained that the ABC show had a similar concept to her own, from the talking back cat to two old aunts and a teenage girl.
There was a ‘Sabrina’ remake you probably didn’t know about
Most fans might be unaware of this, but there was another remake of Sabrina the Teenage Witch in Turkey. According to Mental Floss, the show was called Acemi Cadi or Novice Witch for the English-speaking audience.
Acemi Cadi recalled the story of a teenage girl who realizes that she’s a witch through her aunts Melda and Selda. She also discovers that her cat Duman (reminiscent of Sabrina’s Salem) could talk. The show ran from 2005 until its cancellation in 2007.