(Warning: This post contains spoilers through the series finale of Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and the first three episodes of Season 6 of The CW’s “Riverdale.”)
Even a cancellation and death can’t stop Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina from finally fulfilling “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “Riverdale” fans’ long-held dreams of a crossover. But the very fact Sabrina Spellman (Shipka) is coming to “Riverdale” Season 6 next week, as part of its five-episode “Rivervale” event, raised some eyebrows when the guest appearance was first announced in October, because, as we said, she’s, you know, dead.
“The end of ‘Sabrina’ is definitely alluded to and referenced,” “Riverdale” and “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” creator and showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap ahead of “Riverdale’s” Season 6 premiere, which was the kickoff to its alternate-universe “Rivervale” event series. “And I will say, no, Sabrina is not appearing just because we’re in ‘Rivervale.'”
For those who don’t remember, “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” came to an end last December 2020 with a fourth and final season finale that saw Sabrina Spellman die to save her friends, family and the entire world, and the subsequent suicide of her boyfriend Nicholas Scratch (played by Gavin Leatherwood), who killed himself to join her in the afterlife.
Before “Sabrina” was canceled at Netflix, Aguirre-Sacasa had been continuously trying to work out a way to cross over the two Archie Comics shows, both of which are produced by Warner Bros. TV, but “Sabrina” streamed on Netflix and “Riverdale” aired on The CW. It just so happens the way he finally got it was by losing one show first, and then being able to come up with a huge event to launch the sixth season of his other show.
“It started with everyone wanted [a crossover]. At the same time, The CW was excited by the possibility, Netflix was excited about the possibility, Warner Bros. has always been excited about the possibility,” Aguirre-Sacasa told TheWrap. “And you want to make these events special. And in terms of the most special thing that could have happened, the most meaningful appearance of a character, or the most meaningful crossover, in the most meaningful overlapping storyline, is Sabrina. It’s not a question. Of anyone you could bring back or bring to, there’s no one. We brought Josie and the Pussycats back. But what everyone has always asked is, when is Sabrina coming to ‘Riverdale’? So it felt like OK, if we want to really make this an event and kind of make sure that it’s special, that’s the one thing, if we can figure out how to do it, that’s the one thing we should really try to do. And by the way, Kiernan was such a trooper. She was doing a million other things. But it was great and it’s kind of perfect. She makes so much sense. It was pretty cool.“
While you won’t find out exactly what brings Sabrina to Rivervale — and how it relates to the end of “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” — until next week’s episode of “Riverdale,” titled “The Witching Hour(s),” we do know it has something to do with combining powers with Cheryl Blossom (Madelaine Petsch) in this alternate world that will eventually affect the real Riverdale.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, once the “Rivervale” event concludes this fall and Season 6 of “Riverdale” resumes in the spring, Sabrina could come back again.
“Without saying or spoiling anything I can say, yes, there is a chance we will see Kiernan as Sabrina later on in ‘Riverdale.’ Yes, there’s a chance.”
“Riverdale” airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.