|Sabrina #38 where the series underwent a soft reboot to bring the teenage version back.|
Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch was the sixth series based on Archie Comics’ teenage witch, and the first to be rendered in CGI with characters designed by Trevor Wall. Developed by the veteran writing team of Pamela Hickey and Dennys McCoy, Secrets took the majority of its inspiration from the third ongoing series of Sabrina comics in the early 2000s after it changed formats from adapting Sabrina: the Animated Series back to the classic teenaged version with issue #38.
|Sabrina with Enchantra, Zandra, Londa and Veralupa.|
Secrets focused on the life of teenager Sabrina Spellman (Ashley Tisdale) who lived in the town of Greendale. Because she was a half-witch, she spent half of her time in the Witch World learning about her magic in witch school. To extend the day, Sabrina utilized the Hourglass of Horus which slowed down time in the mortal realm to an hour for every eight she spent in Witch World. Unlike other versions of Sabrina, this one was prophesized to be a witch princess destined to rule Witch World. As a result, her headmistress, Enchantra (Kathleen Barr), took whatever underhanded steps were necessary to try and steal Sabrina’s powers in order to become queen herself.
|Sabrina with aunts Hilda and Zelda about to drive into her kitchen portal to Witch World.|
Sabrina lived with her two witch aunts, Hilda (Tabitha St. Germain) and Zelda (Erin Mathews). Although they kept their more human-like appearances from the later Sabrina comics rather than their initial traditional witch looks, they were given their original physical attributes: Hilda was tall and slender while Zelda was short and chunky with glasses. Unlike other versions of Sabrina, the Spellmans resided above a bakery they owned and operated. Living with the Spellmans was a black cat named Salem (Ian James Corlett, doing a Paul Lynde impression). Salem was different from previous versions in that the Spellmans didn’t know his origins as a wizard and that he served as a reluctant spy for Enchantra, with designs to make Sabrina’s life in the mortal world as miserable as possible.
|Harvey at Greendale High.|
Following the core Sabrina characters was Harvey Kinkle (Matthew Erickson). Usually depicted as athletic and Sabrina’s main romantic interest, Harvey instead was nerdy and just one of her very good friends. Harvey’s normal attributes, and Sabrina’s interest, was switched over to the new character of Jim (David Kaye). Sabrina’s mortal best friend was another new character, Jessie (Mathews), who knew of Sabrina’s double life. Her chief rival was the spoiled brat Amy (Maryke Hendrikse), who always tried to one-up Sabrina whenever possible.
|Shinji and Professor Geist.|
Over in Witch World, Sabrina’s classmates consisted of her cousin Ambrose (Andrew Francis), who had appeared previously in other shows but for the first time was depicted as being relatively close to Sabrina’s age; Veralupa (St. Germain), a half-werewolf half-witch who was Sabrina’s best friend in Witch World; and twins Zanda (Barr) and Londa (Hendrikse). Shinji Yagami (James Higuchi) was Enchantra’s son and often aided her in her schemes against Sabrina. Shinji was a braggart who took every chance to show off his magic and belittle his classmates, which usually ended up in some magical trouble. Their primary teacher at witch school was Professor Geist (Corlett, using a Scottish accent), a powerful witch whose lower half resembled that of a ghost.
|Sabrina surfs away from Witch School.|
Sabrina: Secrets of a Teenage Witch was initially planned for a summer 2013 debut, but was delayed until October 12, 2013 on The Hub. The series was produced in cooperation with Archie Comics, MoonScoop Group, DSK Group India, Laughing Lion and Telegael Teoranta. Writers included Sylvie Barro Morincome, Dean Batali, Benoit Grenier, Jimmy Hibbert, Darren Jones, Sandrine Laprevotte, Peter Lawrence, Maud Loisillier, Christopher Panzner, Robin Stein, Alastair Swinnerton, Dan Wicksman and Nuria Wicksman, along with Hickey and McCoy. Veteran voice actor Charlie Adler served as the U.S. voice director. Noam Kaniel and Nicholas Varley composed the series’ music, with the theme performed by Bridgette Hammers with backing from Kaniel.
|Sabrina DVD cover.|
After a single season of 26 episodes, the show was quietly cancelled during the transition period when The Hub became Discovery Family after Discovery Communications took back a controlling interest in the network from the financially-struggling Hasbro. Lionsgate released two three-episode compilations on DVD in 2014 and 2015 called A Witch and the Werewolf and Magic of the Red Rose.
Originally posted in 2016. Updated in 2018.
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