Riverdale (2017 TV series)
Riverdale is an American teen drama television series based on the characters of Archie Comics. The series was adapted for The CW by Archie Comics' chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and is produced by Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, in association with Berlanti Productions and Archie Comics. Originally conceived as a feature film adaptation for Warner Bros. Pictures, the idea was re-imagined as a television series for Fox. In 2015, development on the project moved to The CW, where the series was ordered for a pilot. Filming takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia.
by Archie Comics
|Developed by||Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa|
|Narrated by||Cole Sprouse|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||47 (list of episodes)|
|Producer(s)||J. B. Moranville|
|Production location(s)||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Running time||42–46 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original network||The CW|
|Original release||January 26, 2017 –|
The series features an ensemble cast based on the characters of Archie Comics, with KJ Apa in the role of Archie Andrews; Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, and Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, the series' narrator. The cast also features Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Charles Melton and Ross Butler as Reginald "Reggie" Mantle and Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz. Other characters in the series include the parents of the main characters: Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper, Marisol Nichols and Mark Consuelos as Hermione and Hiram Lodge, and Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones.
The series debuted on January 26, 2017, to positive reviews. A 22-episode second season premiered on October 11, 2017, and concluded on May 16, 2018. On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered on October 10, 2018. On January 31, 2019, The CW renewed the series for a fourth season.
Cast and characters
- KJ Apa as Archie Andrews: A high school football player who has a passion for music. He is best friends with Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper.
- Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper: A smart girl with a longtime crush on Archie, she becomes friends with Veronica Lodge to help upend her perfect life.
- Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge: A former wealthy socialite from New York City who moves to Riverdale and becomes friends with Archie, Betty, and Jughead.
- Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones: A philosophically inclined social outcast who is Archie's best friend.
- Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge: Veronica's mother, who has returned to Riverdale with her daughter following the incarceration of her husband Hiram Lodge.
- Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom: A wealthy, entitled, and manipulative girl who is a classmate of Archie and his friends. Cheryl becomes romantically involved with Toni in season two.
- Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy: The lead singer of Josie and the Pussycats and a classmate of Archie and his friends.
- Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper: Betty and Polly's mother, who is the editor of the local paper.
- Luke Perry as Fred Andrews: Archie's father, who owns a construction company.
- Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge: Veronica's father, who was recently incarcerated for illegal activities. Consuelos joined the cast for the second season after his character was only mentioned by name in season one.
- Casey Cott as Kevin Keller: An openly gay high school student who is friends with Archie, Betty and Veronica and is the son of Riverdale's sheriff. Cott was promoted to series regular in the second season.
- Skeet Ulrich as F. P. Jones: Jughead's estranged father and the leader of the Southside Serpents, a gang of criminals that live and operate on the fringes of Riverdale. Ulrich was promoted to series regular in the second season.
- Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle: Archie's long-time friend and rival, a football player at Riverdale High and town prankster. Melton was cast to take over the role of Reggie in the second season after the departure of Ross Butler, who played Reggie in the first season; Melton was then promoted to series regular in the third season.
- Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz: A bisexual member of the Southside Serpents, who befriends Jughead in the second season. She is in a relationship with Cheryl. Morgan was promoted to series regular in the third season.
|Season||Episodes||Originally aired||Nielsen ratings|
|First aired||Last aired||Rank||Average viewers|
(in millions inc. DVR)
|1||13||January 26, 2017||May 11, 2017||154||1.69|
|2||22||October 11, 2017||May 16, 2018||173||2.11|
|3||TBA||October 10, 2018||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Warner Bros. began development on an Archie feature film in 2013, after a pitch from writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and director Jason Moore that would have placed Archie's gang into a teen comedy feature film in the John Hughes tradition. The duo brought the project to Warner Bros., where a VP recommended a more high-concept direction involving time travel or interdimensional portals, suggesting Louis C. K. to portray an older Archie. Dan Lin and Roy Lee became producers on the project, which eventually stalled as priorities shifted at the studio towards larger tentpole films, and was reimagined as a television series. The series Riverdale was originally in development at Fox, with the network landing the project in 2014 with a script deal plus penalty. However, Fox did not go forward with the project. In 2015, the show's development was moved to The CW, which officially ordered a pilot on January 29, 2016. On March 7, 2017, The CW announced that the series had been renewed for a second season. On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered October 10, 2018. On January 31, 2019, The CW renewed the series for a fourth season.
Casting Archie was a difficult process, with Aguirre-Sacasa stating "I think we literally saw every redheaded young guy in L.A. It certainly felt that way." The production team found KJ Apa just three days before they had to present screen tests to the network, which created tension in the last few days leading up to the studio presentation.
In April 2017, it was announced Mark Consuelos had signed on for the second season to play Veronica Lodge's father, Hiram Lodge. The role was in second position to his existing role on Pitch but the cancellation of that series was announced on May 1, 2017. The next month, it was announced Charles Melton was cast to take over the role of Reggie from Ross Butler in season 2 due to his status as a series regular on 13 Reasons Why. It was also announced that Casey Cott, who played Kevin Keller, was promoted to a series regular. In July 2017, it was announced that True Blood star Brit Morgan had been cast in the recurring role of Penny Peabody, an attorney the Southside Serpents call in case of any run-ins with the law. In August 2017, it was announced Graham Phillips had been cast to play Nick St. Clair, Veronica's ex-boyfriend from New York.
In March 2018, Andy Cohen appeared in the sixteenth episode of the second season as himself. In the series, he and Hermione are friends. He previously offered her a role as a cast member on The Real Housewives of New York City; however, Hermione turned down the offer to keep things private for the Lodge family. In May 2018, it was announced that Charles Melton and Vanessa Morgan, who play Reggie Mantle and Toni Topaz, respectively, would both be promoted to series regulars in the third season. At New York Comic Con 2018, it was announced that both Gladys Jones and Jellybean "J. B." Jones, played by Gina Gershon and Trinity Likins respectively, would appear in the third season
On November 7, 2018 it was announced that Kelly Ripa, the wife of Mark Consuelos who portrays Hiram Lodge, will appear in an upcoming role as Hiram's mistress. It was also announced that Michael Consuelos, Kelly and Mark's son, will make a guest appearance in a flashback episode as a younger Hiram.
Filming of the pilot began on March 14, 2016, and ended on April 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia. Production on the remaining 12 episodes of season one began on September 7, 2016, in Vancouver. Sets include Pop Tate's Chock'lit Shoppe, a copy of the functioning diner used in the pilot that is so realistic a truck driver parked his 18-wheeler there, believing that it was open. Season two was also filmed in Vancouver and the nearby Fraser Valley. The aerial view of Riverdale is actually drawn from stock footage used in the series Pretty Little Liars and Gilmore Girls, and the landmark setting are the same used in both of the aforementioned series as well as in Hart of Dixie. Filming for the second season started on June 22, 2017, and concluded on March 27, 2018. Filming for the third season started on July 6, 2018.
Homages to other films and TV series
Several reviewers have noted that the series' episode titles are often taken directly or slightly altered from the titles of older films. For example, De Elizabeth of TeenVogue points out that Riverdale's pilot episode was named "River's Edge" after the 1986 film of the same name, and the season finale takes its name from 1997's The Sweet Hereafter. Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa notes that this is a deliberate choice, in order to hint at what will happen in that episode. References to the fictional setting of the Black Mirror episode "San Junipero" can be seen in viewed in season one as well as heard amongst dialogue in season two.
Additionally, Katie-Kouise Smith, of Popbuzz, notes that the opening credits for Riverdale mirror those of the Twin Peaks television series, and are intended as an homage to that series' co-creator, David Lynch.
Musical performances are featured throughout the series, a blend of cover versions and originals. Songs performed in episodes are released as digital singles after broadcast; WaterTower Music released a digital compilation of the season 1 songs on May 12, 2017.
|Riverdale: Season 1 (Original Television Soundtrack)|
|1.||"The Song That Everyone Sings"||KJ Apa||3:46|
|2.||"Fear Nothing"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield and Hayley Law||2:37|
|3.||"All Through The Night"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield and Hayley Law||2:37|
|4.||"Dance Dance Dance"||KJ Apa||1:00|
|5.||"Candy Girl (Sugar Sugar)" (Cover of the Inner Circle version feat. Flo Rida; full-length version, Petsch is not heard on the aired version.)||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law and Madelaine Petsch||2:19|
|6.||"I Feel Love"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law and Camila Mendes||3:11|
|7.||"I'll Try"||KJ Apa||3:15|
|8.||"I Got You"||KJ Apa and Hayley Law||3:32|
|9.||"Kids in America"||KJ Apa and Camila Mendes||2:55|
|10.||"Our Fair Riverdale"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law||1:19|
|11.||"Astronaut"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law and Camila Mendes||3:28|
|12.||"These Are the Moments I Remember"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law, Camila Mendes and KJ Apa||2:58|
|Riverdale: Season 1 (Original Television Score)|
|2.||"If You Love Me"||Blake Neely||2:06|
|3.||"Viral Gossip in Town"||Blake Neely||3:08|
|4.||"Everyone a Suspect"||Blake Neely||2:33|
|5.||"Receiving the Jersey"||Blake Neely||1:56|
|6.||"Doubts and Accusations"||Blake Neely||2:24|
|7.||"All is OK With Milkshakes"||Blake Neely||2:48|
|8.||"Long Reach"||Blake Neely||3:47|
|9.||"Ended Up Drowning"||Blake Neely||4:11|
|11.||"So Many Questions"||Blake Neely||2:42|
|12.||"A Gift / Forced to Leave"||Blake Neely||3:23|
|13.||"Not Making the Play"||Blake Neely||3:25|
|14.||"Overwhelming Evidence"||Blake Neely||3:53|
|16.||"Do You Feel Guilty?"||Blake Neely||2:38|
|17.||"Into the Woods"||Blake Neely||3:21|
|18.||"Name of the Game"||Blake Neely||3:38|
|19.||"Angry and Vulnerable Girls"||Blake Neely||2:52|
|20.||"Results of the Father"||Blake Neely||4:39|
|21.||"Your Father Was Arrested"||Blake Neely||2:44|
|22.||"The Recording"||Blake Neely||4:12|
|23.||"Oh, Mommy!"||Blake Neely||3:51|
|24.||"What Floats Beneath"||Blake Neely||3:29|
|25.||"Never Safe"||Blake Neely||1:59|
|Riverdale: Season 2 (Original Television Soundtrack)|
|1.||"Milkshake"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield and Madelaine Petsch||2:56|
|2.||"Out Tonight"||Ashleigh Murray, Asha Bromfield, Hayley Law and Camila Mendes||3:47|
|4.||"Mad World"||KJ Apa, Camila Mendes and Lili Reinhart||3:08|
|5.||"God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen"||Ashleigh Murray and Casey Cott||2:10|
|6.||"Union of the Snake"||Camila Mendes, Asha Bromfield and Hayley Law||2:43|
|7.||"Bitter Sweet Symphony"||Ashleigh Murray and Camila Mendes||4:05|
|8.||"Sufferin' Till Suffrage"||Ashleigh Murray and Camila Mendes||1:42|
|9.||"You'll Never Walk Alone"||Madelaine Petsch||1:50|
|Season||DVD and Blu-ray release dates|
|Region 1||Region 2||Region 4|
|1||August 15, 2017||August 14, 2017||October 10, 2017|
|2||August 7, 2018||August 20, 2018||TBA|
Netflix acquired the exclusive international broadcast rights to Riverdale, making the series available as an original series to its platform less than a day after its original U.S. broadcast.
In July 2016, members of the cast and the executive producers attended San Diego Comic-Con to promote the upcoming series, where they premiered the first episode "Chapter One: The River's Edge". The first trailer for the series was released in early December 2016. The CW also sponsored multiple Tastemade videos, where they cooked several foods that are popular in the Archie universe.
Along with heavily promoting the TV series in their regular comics since January 2017, Archie Comics are planning to release a comic book adaptation of Riverdale, featuring auxiliary story arcs set within the television series' own continuity. The comic book adaptation is being headed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa himself, along with various other writers from the show. Alongside a one-shot pilot issue, illustrated by Alitha Martinez, released in March 2017, the first issue of the ongoing Riverdale comic book series was set to release starting April 2017.
In addition to the adaptation, Archie Comics are releasing a series of compilation graphic novels branded under the title Road to Riverdale. This series features early issues from the New Riverdale reboot line, introducing the audience of the TV series to the regular ongoing comic series that inspired it. Archie Comics plans to re-print the volumes of Road to Riverdale in subsequent months as digest magazines. The first volume was released in March 2017.
|1||88% (61 reviews)||68 (36 reviews)|
|2||88% (15 reviews)||TBD|
|3||93% (45 reviews)||TBD|
The first season of Riverdale received a generally positive response from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a fresh rating of 88% based on 61 reviews, with a weighted average of 7.27/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Riverdale offers an amusingly self-aware reimagining of its classic source material that proves eerie, odd, daring, and above all addictive." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Dave Nemetz of TVLine gave the series a "B+" saying that it turned, "out to be an artfully crafted, instantly engaging teen soap with loads of potential."
Some writers have criticized the series for its handling of minority characters. While reviewing the first season, Kadeen Griffiths of Bustle declared "the show marginalizes and ignores the [people of color] in the cast to the point where they may as well not be there." In an article for Vulture, Angelica Jade Bastien discussed the show's treatment of Josie and the Pussycats (who are each played by African Americans), noting, "They're not characters so much as they are a vehicle for a Message. Josie and her fellow pussycats are positioned to communicate the message that Riverdale is more modern and inclusive than teen dramas of the past, even though it has yet to prove it beyond its casting." Monique Jones of Ebony noted, "Despite the show's multi-racial casting choices, it seems like Riverdale is still a mostly white town." She also expressed fondness for the relationship between Archie Andrews and Valerie Brown, but declared "Archie shouldn't be what makes Valerie interesting to us".
The show has also faced backlash from the asexual community for its deliberate decision not to portray Jughead Jones as asexual, despite the character being identified this way in some of the comics, and despite being urged by Jughead actor Cole Sprouse to represent the character's asexuality. Furthermore, the show received additional criticism regarding the queerbaiting of certain characters.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||First aired||Last aired||TV season||Rank||Avg. viewers
|1||Thursday 9:00 pm||13||January 26, 2017||1.38||May 11, 2017||0.96||2016–17||154||1.69||0.7/2|
|2||Wednesday 8:00 pm||22||October 11, 2017||2.34||May 16, 2018||1.28||2017–18||173||2.12||0.8|
|3||TBA||October 10, 2018||1.50||TBA||TBD||2018–19||TBD||TBD||TBD|
Awards and nominations
|2017||Leo Awards||Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series||Tyler Harron (for "Pilot – Chapter 1")||Nominated|||
|Saturn Awards||Best Action-Thriller Television Series||Riverdale||Won|||
|Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series||KJ Apa||Nominated|
|Breakthrough Performance||KJ Apa||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout TV Show||Riverdale||Won|||
|Choice Breakout TV Star||KJ Apa||Nominated|
|Choice Drama TV Actor||Cole Sprouse||Won|
|Choice Drama TV Show||Riverdale||Won|
|Choice Hissy Fit||Madelaine Petsch||Won|
|Choice Scene Stealer||Camila Mendes||Won|
|Choice TV Ship||Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse||Won|
|2018||Dorian Awards||Campy TV Show of the Year||Riverdale||Nominated|||
|MTV Movie & TV Awards||Best Kiss||KJ Apa and Camila Mendes||Nominated|||
|Best Musical Moment||Riverdale||Nominated|
|Scene Stealer||Madelaine Petsch||Won|
|Show of the Year||Riverdale||Nominated|
|People's Choice Awards||Drama Show of 2018||Riverdale||Won|||
|Drama TV Star of 2018||KJ Apa||Nominated|
|Female TV Star of 2018||Camila Mendes||Nominated|
|Male TV Star of 2018||Cole Sprouse||Nominated|
|Saturn Awards||Best Action-Thriller Television Series||Riverdale||Nominated|||
|Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series||KJ Apa||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Awards||Choice Breakout TV Star||Vanessa Morgan||Won|||
|Choice Hissy Fit||Madelaine Petsch||Won|
|Choice Drama TV Actor||KJ Apa||Nominated|
|Choice Drama TV Actress||Camila Mendes||Nominated|
|Choice Drama TV Show||Riverdale||Won|
|Choice Liplock||Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart||Won|
|Choice Scene Stealer||Vanessa Morgan||Won|
|Choice TV Ship||KJ Apa and Camilla Mendes||Nominated|
|Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse||Won|
|Choice TV Villain||Mark Consuelos||Won|
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
In September 2017, it was reported that a live-action television series based on the comic series Chilling Adventures of Sabrina was being developed for The CW by Warner Bros. Television and Berlanti Productions, with a planned release in the 2018–2019 television season. The series, featuring the Archie Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch, would be a companion series to Riverdale. Lee Toland Krieger directed the pilot, which was written by Aguirre-Sacasa. Both are executive producers along with Berlanti, Schechter, and Goldwater. In December 2017, it was reported that the project had moved to Netflix under a new title. In January 2018, CW president Mark Pedowitz noted that, "at the moment, there is no discussion about crossing over" with Riverdale. Aguirre-Sacasa added that no crossovers were planned initially so that each series could establish "their own identities and own set of rules". Filming for first season began on March 19, 2018, just as filming of the second season of Riverdale concluded, which allowed the same crew members to work on both series.
In the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Moses Thiessen reprises his role as Ben Button from Riverdale. Regarding a proper crossover, Aguirre-Sacasa said in October 2018 he would "hate for [a crossover] to never happen" between the two series, adding a potential idea for one could see the characters of Riverdale "hear[ing] about a haunted house in Greendale and try to break in and it’s Sabrina’s house". He also felt since each series was already established, a crossover could happen in a standalone film with both casts, potentially titled Afterlife with Archie, based on the Archie Horror comic of the same name.
In August 2018, Aguirre-Sacasa revealed that another spin-off was in the works at The CW. He said that the potential spin-off would be "very different from Riverdale" and that it would be produced "in [the 2018–19] development cycle." On January 23, 2019, The CW issued an official pilot order for the series that will "[follow] the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters — including fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. This musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio." On February 4, 2019, it was announced that Ashleigh Murray, who currently stars in Riverdale, had been cast in a lead role in this series, exiting Riverdale.
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