The news that Riverdale Season 3 is casting a blonde frenemy for Betty Cooper (Lili Reinhart) set off a flurry of speculation online. Could this mean that Sabrina Spellman, teenage witch, is coming to the town of Riverdale this October? It would certainly fit with the spooky Fall month; but the answer is a little more complicated than that.
First of all, the character breakdown (which is still very much a rumor) is for classic Archie Comics character Evelyn Evernever. Granted, that could be code for another character, or the name could change. But as of now, there’s no reason to think that Evelyn is actually Sabrina, despite being described as, “Otherworldly, seemingly omnipresent, and a bit odd.”
The other thing throwing a little bit of a wrench in this idea? Sabrina Spellman has already been cast. The character, famously portrayed by Melissa Joan Hart on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, will be played by Mad Men star Kiernan Shipka on Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
So no, Evelyn Evernever is not Sabrina Spellman. But that still doesn’t answer the question of whether Sabrina Spellman will magically appear on Riverdale Season 3.
The short answer? Right now, there are no plans for a crossover between the two series. Sabrina was originally planned as a companion series for Riverdale on The CW. But instead, Netflix picked it up with a straight to series order. So technically, since Netflix and The CW are unaffiliated – and have vastly different broadcast strategies – you wouldn’t think the two shows would be tied together in any way.
However, there’s also a long answer that will give you crossover fans some hope! Greendale, home of Sabrina, has been mentioned multiple times on Riverdale. Usually, there’s some vague reference to dark goings-on, or overt references to something supernatural about the town. Where Riverdale is just weird and murdery, Greendale seems to have a legit portal to Hell.
Additionally, though Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are on two different networks/platforms, they share production companies. Riverdale is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Berlanti Productions. Sabrina is produced by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions for Netflix. To make a crossover work, you’d have to clear it with Netflix, of course. And CBS producing Riverdale makes things a little tricky, since they have no financial stake in Sabrina. But Warner Bros. and Berlanti Productions are the key companies, and depending on how the rights are distributed (add in that Archie Comics is involved in both) and it becomes conceivably doable that Archie (KJ Apa) could make a surprise appearance on Sabrina.
There’s another good reason to make this crossover work. While Riverdale is broadcast weekly in the United States on The CW, internationally it shows up weekly on Netflix. And the individual seasons have been a big hit for the streaming service, which might be why they picked up Sabrina to begin with. So creating that connectivity for fans could up excitement — and more importantly for Netflix, subscriptions. As for The CW? Riverdale is a huge hit by the network’s standards, but the Netflix audience is vastly larger. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.
And there’s one weird factor that might make this impossible. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is based on the comic of the same name by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. In the book, Betty and Veronica are supporting characters – but in a vastly different way than on Riverdale. In fact, they’re part of Mrs. Grundy’s coven from Riverdale in the book, and end up helping the series’ main antagonist Madam Satan. Given Grundy (both of them) are dead on Riverdale, and Betty and Veronica (Camila Mendes) are not secret witches… Will the Netflix series recast them? Or change the characters entirely?
That said, Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater revealed on a panel that a crossover isn’t part of the current plan, though didn’t rule it out entirely. So if you’re looking for Sabrina Spellman to show up on Riverdale Season 3, better cast some dark magic and hope it happens.
Be sure to check our our Riverdale podcast, Riverdale After Dark, which updates right after every episode airs!