‘The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’: Here’s Why Salem the Cat May Not Get Much Screen Time

Blame Kiernan Shipka


Sorry, ’90s kids, but you’re probably not going to see a ton of Salem on “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.”

Yes, the upcoming Netflix series is apparently not as cat-friendly as the Melissa Joan Hart-led “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” was — and you can blame Kiernan Shipka, the new titular teenage witch, for that change. Or at least her sinuses.

“I get a call that says, ‘Kiernan is allergic to the cat,’” “Sabrina” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published Friday. “It did go through my mind: Could Salem be a dog?”

Salem is for sure still a cat on Netflix’s new take on the Archie Comics’ teen witch. But it sounds like this kitty is probably going to get less screen time than the Nicky Bakay-voiced feline (pictured below); a man-turned-pet who doled out snarky advice to Sabrina (Hart) and her two aunts.


“We keep at a safe distance,” Shipka told EW of her and her co-star, joking that “it’s like, ‘Actors That Didn’t Get Along in Shows: Kiernan and the Cat Hated Each Other.’”

But Salem’s witty commentary may be less necessary to this series, which has been promoted as a much darker take on the character than the ’90s sitcom was.

“We’re not remaking ‘Sabrina, The Teenage Witch,’” Lucy Davis, who plays Sabrina’s Aunt Hilda, told EW. “This is a different thing.”

Aguirre-Sacasa added: “The idea was to do a dark horror version of Sabrina, something that was more of a slow-burn horror, like The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby and all those great satanic horror movies from the 1960s and 1970s.”

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” begins days before Sabrina’s 16th birthday, the day she has to decide between a human life and a magical one. And if she chooses her powers, she could lose her free will.

See the first teaser for the series here.

“Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” drops Oct. 25 on Netflix.