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Riverdale resurrects Kiernan Shipka’s Sabrina for season 6 crossover

The Chilling Adventures star will join the CW series, fulfilling a longtime fan theory

Kiernan Shipka sits in a Riverdale set chair in her Sabrina costume giving a little smile that silently says “I’m back.” Photo: Warner Bros. TV
Sadie Gennis is the managing editor of Polygon. She’s been covering TV and entertainment for nearly 15 years, with her work appearing in TV Guide, Variety, and Vulture.

Sabrina Spellman is back from the dead (again). On Thursday, Warner Bros. TV announced that Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Kiernan Shipka will reprise the role of the teenage witch in the upcoming Riverdale season 6.

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series was originally developed for The CW by Riverdale creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who also writes the CAOS comics. However, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was eventually moved to Netflix, and fans never got to see any crossovers between the two Archie Comics series. Aguirre-Sacasa threw in a number of Easter eggs and references in CAOS for Riverdale fans to appreciate, but it just wasn’t the same as seeing the Fright Club meet up with the Vixens, Red Circle, Gargoyle Gang, or whatever name our favorite Riverdale kids were going by at the time.

According to Aguirre-Sacasa, there was finally supposed to be a crossover between the two series in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s fifth season. The storyline, which will be detailed in the new CAOS comics, would have followed a witch war that seemingly pits characters from both shows against one another. However, after Netflix opted to end Chilling Adventures of Sabrina after the fourth season, the anticipated crossover fell through.

And while it’s unlikely that Shipka’s appearance in Riverdale’s sixth season will be the full-scale witch war Aguirre-Sacasa originally imagined — unless a lot more casting news is to come — it’s still an extremely exciting development for fans of the Hot Archie Cinematic Universe. At the same time, it’s also a slightly confusing one, seeing as Chilling Advntures of Sabrina ended with both Sabrina Spellman and her doppelgänger Sabrina Morningstar deceased after sacrificing themselves to save the universe. But death has always been relatively meaningless in both Riverdale and Sabrina, so we’re mainly just curious to see what wild explanation they come up with to bring ‘Brina back from heaven.