While Riverdale has become even more of a hit this season on The CW, many fans were no doubt surprised when word came down that a somewhat spinoff featuring Sabrina the teenage witch was going to Netflix instead of The CW. There were many rumors and speculation about why this was.
It turns out that the surge in viewers that Riverdale is enjoying this season thanks to viewers binging it on Netflix over the summer had a part to play. In an interview with Deadline, The CW president Mark Pedowitz, who recently had his contract extended, shed some light on how the series went from being in development on his network to the streaming platform.
“It was a decision which I understood from a business point of view. Netflix offered them a two-year deal, we weren’t going to do that. Netflix has had great success and should get some credit for helping us get Riverdale binged, and our guys get a lot of credit from bringing the guys who binged (on Netflix) back to the network and our digital site. I wish them the best.”
Back in December Netflix gave the untitled Sabrina series, based upon the darker comic book series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, a 20-episode, two season straight-to-series order. Just last week the series found its Sabrina as they cast Mad Men‘s Kieran Shipka in the title role.
Previously rumors began to circulate that the upcoming Charmed reboot from Jane the Virgin creator Jennie Snyder Urman played a part in moving Sabrina to Netflix. Those rumors stated that the choice was made that there wasn’t room for two witch-related series, an idea that Pedowitz dismissed.
“The real similarities between the two shows is witches. They were very different concepts in how they will be handled — one has Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s patina to it, one has Jenny Urman’s — very different storytellers, very different versions of what the show should be.”
No firm release date has been given for the series yet, but it’s believed it will arrive later this year.