In her book, Peterson goes on to mention that “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” emerged a few years after her show was scrapped, and its glaring similarities made the whole CBS ordeal sting a hell of a lot more. While “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” may have been based on the 1962 Archie Comics of the same name, there’s an undeniably strong resemblance to the “Elvira Show” formula and contemporary setting. Does Peterson believe that someone attached to the 1996 iteration of “Sabrina” ultimately took her idea and ran with it? She seems downright convinced.
“Not only do I just believe it, I’ve talked to executives from that network who’ve said, ‘They just started thinking you were too old to really be the center. And if they skewed it younger, they would get a lot more audience,'” she told Looper. “So I’ve been told that. I didn’t just make it up. I know that’s true. So that’s a super big drag, because I freaking loved doing that show. And Katherine Helmond. I loved working with her. She was so freaking great. She was just awesome.”
For years, diehard fans had to track down bootleg VHS copies of “The Elvira Show” on eBay and Elvira herself would sometimes show the unaired pilot as pre-show entertainment during her stage show at Knott’s Scary Farm. Now, the episode can be found on YouTube. Do you think “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” ripped off “The Elvira Show?” Judge for yourself.
Cassandra Peterson’s “Yours Cruelly, Elvira” is now available from Hachette Books.