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‘Sabrina’ still casts a spell over young fans

Times Staff Writer

Seven seasons is an eternity in television years, a standard of longevity that most series stars can only dream of. But although just getting through the half-hour comedy “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” might seem like an eternity for most adults, the series has stood the test of time by scoring big with the 8-to-18 set.

Star Melissa Joan Hart, who was out of her teens when she debuted as Sabrina Spellman in September 1996, has gone through enough changes to make even Michael Jackson’s head spin. Her hair has changed from blond to red to blond again, the series jumped from ABC to the WB after the fourth season, and legions of cast members have come and gone (most notably, and most recently, Caroline Rhea and Beth Broderick as Sabrina’s aunts). The only real constant has been Sabrina, who on her 16th birthday was told by her caretaker aunts of her witchy powers, the specifics of which remain a bit sketchy.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Feb. 07, 2003 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Friday February 07, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 10 inches; 365 words Type of Material: Correction
Actor’s name -- A review of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” in last Friday’s Calendar misspelled the first name of actor Donny Most as Donnie.

Now sharing a household this season with roommates Roxie (Soleil Moon Frye) and Morgan (Elisa Donovan), Sabrina continues her murky brand of mumbo-jumbo tonight at 8:30 with an episode that delivers an extra helping of fantasy, as she is transformed into Alice of Wonderland to help solve a romantic puzzle.

“Happy Days” alums Anson Williams and Donnie Most make guest appearances, although Williams (who also directed) is only on screen for a few seconds and Most is unrecognizable in his rabbit costume.

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The plot twists are almost incomprehensible, but Hart races through her lines so fast you might not notice. And the younger viewers evidently won’t mind a bit.


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