Salem Saberhagen, the talking cat from the Sabrina the Teenage Witch series, is ready for his closeup. This week the creator of the CW‘s “Riverdale” series, and EP of the new show Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, posted a picture of the soon-to-be famous feline as a teaser for the untitled Netflix series based on the Sabrina character.
Older readers might remember the ’90s TV series of the same name starring young Melissa Joan Hart, in that series the show often switched between an actual cat and an animatronic puppet to bring Salem into the story. In the new series, Kiernan Shipka (above) will be playing the role of Sabrina, but the series still doesn’t have an official title or a premiere date. We do know that the show will be much darker than the 90’s version, and will be based on the Archie Comics graphic novel The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
In this new version Sabrina Spellman is half-human and half-witch, and she is just beginning her dark education as a sorceress. While a witch, Sabrina is also trying to be an average sophomore at Baxter High. In the announcement for the series Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said, “We’re all such huge fans of Kiernan’s work that when we started talking about who this new incarnation of Sabrina could be, her name was on everyone’s wish list. This is a darker, more macabre version of Sabrina, and we’re incredibly excited for people to see Kiernan make this iconic character her own.”
Shipka most recently appeared opposite Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange in the hit event series Feud: Bette and Joan, in which she played B.D., the strong-willed teenage daughter of Bette Davis (Sarandon). She is perhaps best known for playing the role of Sally Draper for seven seasons of the acclaimed Emmy-winning drama series Mad Men, opposite Jon Hamm and January Jones.
The show itself is from Berlanti Productions, in association with Warner Bros. Television. Netflix has ordered 20 episodes for now, and the show will be in the popular one-hour drama format. You can get a look at the black cat playing Salem below.
— RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) February 9, 2018
The Untitled Sabrina Project imagines the origin and adventures of Sabrina the Teenage Witch as a dark coming-of-age story that traffics in horror, the occult and, of course, witchcraft. Tonally in the vein of Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist, this adaptation finds Sabrina wrestling to reconcile her dual nature — half-witch, half-mortal — while standing against the evil forces that threaten her, her family and the daylight world humans inhabit.