The Expanding Archie Comics TV Universe

More characters from the Archie comic series are making the jump from page to screen, expanding the universe in new (and hopefully exciting) ways. After finding success with the first adaptation of the beloved teenage gang with Riverdale and the dark reimagining of everyone’s favorite coming-of-age witch in the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The CW is bringing another Archie Comics character to life — and seemingly cast towards a very different audience.

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Pretty Little Liars alum Lucy Hale will star as pin-up queen Katy Keene. Photo courtesy Comicbooks.com

Katy Keene, both the star and titular character, will helm this latest offshoot of the Riverdale universe. Many details have yet to be released, but some key clues point to a very different vibe than what Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa imagined for his Archie universe. Both shows play heavily into a dark, mystery-driven plot with plenty of gloomy fog and high school drama to go around. The plot for Katy Keene, helmed by director Maggie Kiley, is currently being described as “four aspiring artists from Riverdale trying to make it on Broadway” and promises comedy, drama, and musical numbers (of course – it’s Broadway).

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Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy – Photo courtesy Riverdale Wiki

Viewers will find one recognizable face in this new New York City crowd as Josie and the Pussycats frontwoman, Josie McCoy, played by the musically talented Ashleigh Murray, crosses over into the new show. Pretty Little Liars fans will be excited to see Lucy Hale step into the high heels of Katy Keene, described in the original comics as “America’s queen of pin-ups and fashions.” The president of The CW told reporters that Katy’s story picks up several years after Riverdale, meaning further crossovers could get tricky. But there’s plenty of talent behind the new show, including Aguirre-Sacasa as co-writer (his background working with Glee will likely be a huge factor in the tone of Katy Keene’s musical-dramedy.) and Kiley, who has also worked on episodes of Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The life stage of Katy Keene’s characters will likely attract many Riverdale fans but also those slightly older and perhaps beyond high school antics.

As a long-time Archie Comics fan (it’s truly how I learned to read and what likely stunted my sense of humor), the expansion of the beloved Riverdale universe is exciting. As any OG fan will tell you, the shows share very, very little with the comic books but have grown the characters in ways that couldn’t have been imagined or accepted in the golden days of Archie comics. I’m excited to see how deeply the sense of darkness emanating from Riverdale and Greendale could permeate Katy Keene’s universe or if this new adaptation will forge a path separate from both its comic predecessor and television cousins. Katy Keene is currently in post-production and is slated air sometime between the Fall of 2019 and Summer 2020.

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