Sabrina the Teenage Witch was one of those shows back in the day that everyone would run home from school to watch. We just loved seeing Melissa Joan Hart play the role of the goofy teenager, who suddenly discovered she was a witch with magical powers (as you do). Along with her two aunts and cat, Salem, Sabrina aimed to remain the typical teen, but with all that going on, it was just never going to happen, was it?
You may have thought you knew everything about this classic 90’s show, but here are some interesting facts you probably weren’t aware of:
1. Hart wasn’t first choice to play ‘Sabrina’
Before the series went into production, Melissa Joan Hart was never intended to play the role of Sabrina initially. So, what we may know of Sabrina today may have been a completely different story if another actress had been selected for the role.
Yeah, we were pretty shocked too, Melissa.
Producers were keen to secure Sarah Michelle Gellar for the role, however, the actress turned down the part and decided to go with Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead.
Sarah Michelle Gellar in her leading role as Buffy
It’s fair to say that wasn’t an entirely bad move, considering the huge success Buffy turned out to be, so Sarah can’t grumble too much about having to turn down the part, I suppose.
You don’t regret that decision now do you, Sarah?
It’s strange to think what Sabrina would have been like if Sarah had portrayed the leading role, instead of Melissa. Oh, if only we could have seen how it would have all planned out.
2. Hart’s little sister played her cousin
It’s not unusual for family members to feature in the same film or TV show, therefore it may come as no huge surprise that Melissa’s younger sister Emily Hart played Sabrina’s cousin, Amanda on various occasions.
She looks just like her big sis, doesn’t she?
We just hated the little brat, but in real life, i’m sure she’s super lovely? Emily was in fact, the only actress to appear in all seven seasons of the series.
Awww, sisterly love!
There were even talks of having Emily have her own spin-off show in her role of Amanda when the series finished in 2003, but nothing ever came of it.
Look at Emily all grown up now!
Like her sister, Emily carried on acting and has since gone on to work on various film and TV projects. She is now aged 32 and lives in New York.
3. Hart was way older than her character
Sabrina was a 16-year-old high school kid with a load of teenage issues to deal with, but at the time of filming the first season, Hart was in fact, aged 20.
She definitely pulled off the teenage look…
Even Melissa’s co-star, Jenna Leigh Green who played the role of Libby was 22 years-old. You would never have guessed it though, as she also seemed to have held onto her youth pretty well.
Jenna, you could’ve fooled us…
Nate Richert who played Sabrina’s ultimate heartthrob, Harvey, and Lindsay Sloane who played the role of Valerie, were the only two teenage actors in Sabrina’s squad – all the rest were fully-fledged adults at the time of filming.
Oh, we’re still swooning over Harvey to this very day
These days, Nate looks completely different to his days on Sabrina. Instead of swishy locks and a clean-shaven face, he sports a bald head and beard – yes really. Look him up.
4. Salem was played by multiple cats…and toys?
While we imagine Salem to be played by the same cat throughout the entirety of the seven seasons, he was in fact played by four different cats – they fooled ya!
So, which cat is this then?
The real-life cats were named Lucy, Elvis, Witch and quite ironically, Salem. On a number of occasions, a puppet was used to create some scenes, which we think is pretty hilarious.
Noticing any differences yet?
Apparently, Hart wasn’t even a fan of her furry co-star, and said she was more of a ‘dog person’. A slightly alarming concept to say she was stuck on-set with the cat for a lengthy seven series.
They still had a cute on-screen partnership though
Talking at her the launch party of her book Melissa Explains it All in 2013, Melissa said: “Being around that Salem cat too much…the set was covered in cat food. So yeah, I can’t do cats anymore.”
5. Salem’s voice actor was also the writer of the series
So while the actual cat that played Salem changed fairly frequently, the voice actor who constantly made those sarcastic and witty remarks stayed very much the same.
He sure delivered some cracking lines
Not only was Nick Bakay famous for giving Salem his iconic voice, but he was also one of the main writers during the show’s entirety; from season one to seven. What a talented guy.
Nick and Salem having a cuddle…sweet.
Bakay isn’t just known for voicing Salem though; he is also notable for voicing the character of Norbert in The Angry Beavers and has also had a successful career in both acting and producing.
What’s he up to now?
These days, Nick is a sports writer who regularly makes appearances on ESPN. He still writes scripts and produces for TV and film on the occasion.
6. Sabrina’s address had an important hidden meaning
Again, you may not have looked into such a minor detail, but it was discovered that Sabrina’s address had a clever hidden meaning that many people wouldn’t have even thought of.
It is has a pretty freaky connection really
The postcode for the house was 01970, which was the very same postcode in the town of Salem; best-known for the witch trials of the 1600s. When you think about it, it’s a bit of a dark aspect to say it’s a comedy show.
Remember the Spellman household?
You may have also noted the link with the name of Sabrina’s cat, Salem – Clever huh? Well, Salem was originally a human witch, sentenced to the witch’s council to spend life as a cat with no magical powers. However, he never did return back to human form.
So, that’s where the name came from…yikes.
Salem had always been a huge part of the witch culture, so it’s no shock that there were many links within the series associated to the town.
7. There is a Turkish version of the show
It seemed the popularity of the show branched worldwide, as a Turkish version of the show was created, named ‘Acemi Cadi” which simply translates to “Novice Witch”.
The three main characters in place of Zelda, Sabrina and Hilda
The premise of the show was pretty much the same as the U.S version, apart from a few name changes. The series was based around the main character, Ayşegül, who lived with her two aunts, Melda and Selda and her cat, Duman.
A brunette Sabrina? It just doesn’t seem right, does it?
The Turkish version of the show ran two years after Sabrina the Teenage Witch came to an end. It aired from the years 2005-2007 on a nationwide Turkish TV channel, known as Star TV.
The show didn’t go down too well with viewers though
It seemed there was a lot to live up to when it came to keeping up with the U.S version and the show was rated a disastrous 3.5/10 on IMDB.
8. A reboot is about to happen
Since the show came to an end in 2003, there has been constant speculation as to whether there would be a reboot with the original cast members.
Here’s the cast now!
However, while fans got their hopes up for some big news, Melissa Joan Hart put the rumours to bed and claimed this wouldn’t be the case. She said: “There’s no reboot, just so you know – that’s all rumours. There’s nothing going on. I do think there will be a lot of people interested in doing it should something come about.”
However, while we may not be seeing the original cast members get back together, there is a brand-new version of the show set to be released on Netflix very soon.
The new series will be ‘dark’ and ‘chilling’
The role of Sabrina will be played by Mad Men actress Kiernan Shipka, while her beloved Harvey Kinkle will be played by Ross Lynch. We can’t wait to see their relationship unfold!
While there has been no official release date confirmed, it is expected to be out before the end of 2018 – so keep your eyes peeled for news and updates.