Ah, what it means to be a witch, to be a mortal, to be a teenager...and to get good network ratings.
E!'s True Hollywood Story, airing today, Nov. 22, dives deeper into ABC's T.G.I.F. lineup in the 1990s, including Family Matters, Step By Step, Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place, Full House and Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The coming-of-age sitcom, helmed by Melissa Joan Hart, especially marked a new network foray into showcasing different types of families on-screen.
"Sabrina just added something different to the T.G.I.F. lineup in that you now had this character who's just learning about her abilities as a witch," journalist Josh Sorokach explained in an exclusive sneak peek of the special. "Sabrina was able to merge real teenage life with fun, silly, supernatural elements and a talking cat. It's always fun to have a talking cat around."
Sorokach added, "The first episode of Sabrina, she's the new girl in school and she has a problem with the school bully. That's a very relatable aspect, but she accidentally turns the school bully into a pineapple."
As the executive producer and creator of ABC's T.G.I.F. Jim Janicek noted, Sabrina had a "pretty significant" premiere with 17 million viewers tuning in.
But Sabrina star Hart pointed to a distinct reason why the sitcom was such a success: "A lot of the time on T.G.I.F., you had families. So this was just a different kind of family: aunts raising their niece," Hart revealed. "There was a lot of female power on that show."
The Mistletoe in Montana lead joked that she "took advantage of being in L.A. and being 20 and then 21 and going to the parties and going to the clubs" back in the day. And ahead of the premiere of her film Drive Me Crazy, Hart made headlines with a steamy Maxim cover shoot and interview that cited wild Playboy mansion parties.
How did that impact Sabrina and its fans? Watch the revealing clip above!