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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.

Based onCharacters
by Archie Comics
Developed byRoberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Narrated byCole Sprouse
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes57 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Jon Goldwater
  • Sarah Schechter
  • Greg Berlanti
  • Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Producer(s)J. B. Moranville
Production location(s)Vancouver, British Columbia
  • Stephen Jackson
  • David Lanzenberg
  • Paul Karasick
  • Harry Jierjian
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time42–46 minutes
Production company(s)
Original networkThe CW
Original releaseJanuary 26, 2017 (2017-01-26) –
present (present)
Followed byKaty Keene
Related showsChilling Adventures of Sabrina
External links

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 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, however, reception has been mixed as the series progressed. In January 2019, The CW renewed the series for a fourth season, later to be revealed of 22 episodes. The fourth season is set to premiere on October 9, 2019.



The series follows Archie Andrews' life in the small town of Riverdale and explores the darkness hidden behind its seemingly perfect image.[3]

Cast and characters


SeasonEpisodesOriginally airedNielsen ratings
First airedLast airedRankAverage viewers
(in millions inc. DVR)
113January 26, 2017 (2017-01-26)May 11, 2017 (2017-05-11)1541.69[20]
222October 11, 2017 (2017-10-11)May 16, 2018 (2018-05-16)1732.11 [21]
322October 10, 2018 (2018-10-10)May 15, 2019 (2019-05-15)166TBA
422[22]October 9, 2019 (2019-10-09)[23]TBATBATBA



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.[24] 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.[25] 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.[24] The series Riverdale was originally in development at Fox, with the network landing the project in 2014 with a script deal plus penalty.[26] However, Fox did not go forward with the project. In 2015, the show's development was moved to The CW,[27] which officially ordered a pilot on January 29, 2016.[28] On March 7, 2017, The CW announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.[29] On April 2, 2018, The CW renewed the series for a third season, which premiered October 10, 2018.[30][31] On January 31, 2019, The CW renewed the series for a fourth season, later to be consisting of 22 episodes.[32][33][34] The fourth season is set to premiere on October 9, 2019.[35]

"Chapter Forty-Nine: Fire Walk with Me" was the first to be dedicated to Luke Perry, who died two days before the episode aired.[36][37]


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."[38] 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.[38]

In April 2017, Mark Consuelos signed on for the second season to play Veronica Lodge's father, Hiram Lodge.[39] The role was in second position to his existing role on Pitch but the cancellation of that series was announced on May 1, 2017.[40] The next month, 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.[18] Casey Cott, who played Kevin Keller, was promoted to a series regular.[41] In July 2017, True Blood star Brit Morgan was cast in the recurring role of Penny Peabody, an attorney the Southside Serpents call in case of any run-ins with the law.[42] In August 2017, Graham Phillips had been cast to play Nick St. Clair, Veronica's ex-boyfriend from New York.[43][44]

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.[45] In May 2018, Charles Melton and Vanessa Morgan, who play Reggie Mantle and Toni Topaz, respectively, would both be promoted to series regulars in the third season.[46] By the time of New York Comic Con 2018, Gina Gershon and Trinity Likins, respectively, had been cast as Gladys Jones and Jellybean "J. B." Jones for the third season[47]

In November 2018, Kelly Ripa, the wife of Mark Consuelos, who portrays Hiram Lodge, was cast for a guest role as Hiram's mistress.[48] Michael Consuelos, Kelly and Mark's son, was cast to make a guest appearance in a flashback episode as a younger Hiram.[49]


The Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe set in Vancouver, Canada

Filming of the pilot began on March 14, 2016, and ended on April 1 in Vancouver, British Columbia.[50][51] Production on the remaining 12 episodes of season one began on September 7, 2016, in Vancouver.[52] 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.[53] Season two was also filmed in Vancouver and the nearby Fraser Valley.[54] 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.[55] Filming for the second season started on June 22, 2017,[56] and concluded on March 27, 2018.[57] Filming for the third season started on July 6, 2018.[58] Filming for the fourth season is expected to begin on July 8, 2019 and end on April 4, 2020.[59]

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.[60][61] 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.[62] Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa notes that this is a deliberate choice, in order to hint at what will happen in that episode.[62] 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 and three.[63]

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.[55]


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 for season 1 songs on May 12, 2017 ; season 2 on May 18, 2018 and season 3 on May 17, 2019.[64][65][66]

An album of Blake Neely's scoring for season 1 was released on compact disc by La-La Land Records, and simultaneously on download by WaterTower Music, on July 18, 2017.[67] The season 2 album with scores from Blake Neely and Sherri Chung was released on digital by WaterTower Music on Novembre 16, 2018.[68]

WaterTower Music released the songs performed in the musical episodes on separates digitals albums. The Carrie: The Musical episode soundtrack was released April 19, 2018[69] followed by a vinyl edition released at Urban Outfitters stores on July 13.[70] The Heathers: The Musical episode soundtrack was released March 21, 2019.[71]

Season 1

Season 2

Season 3


Season DVD and Blu-ray release dates
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 August 15, 2017[75] August 14, 2017[76] October 10, 2017[77]
2 August 7, 2018[78] August 20, 2018[79] TBA
3 August 13, 2019[80] TBA TBA


Netflix acquired the exclusive international broadcast rights to Riverdale,[1] making the series available as an original series to its platform less than a day after its original U.S. broadcast.[2]


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".[81] The first trailer for the series was released in early December 2016.[82] The CW also sponsored multiple Tastemade videos, where they cooked several foods that are popular in the Archie universe.[83][84][85]

Comic-book adaptation

Along with heavily promoting the television series in their regular comics since January 2017, Archie Comics releases a comic book adaptation of Riverdale, featuring auxiliary story arcs set within the television series' own continuity. The comic book adaptation is headed by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa himself, along with other writers from the show. Alongside a one-shot pilot issue, illustrated by Alitha Martinez, released in March 2017,[86] the first issue of the ongoing Riverdale comic book series was released starting April 2017.[87]

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.[87]


Critical response

Season Critical response
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 88% (61 reviews)[88] 68 (36 reviews)[89]
2 88% (15 reviews)[90] TBD
3 84% (6 reviews)[91] 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 7.26/10. 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."[88] On Metacritic, the season has a score of 68 out of 100 based on 36 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[89] 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."[92]

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."[93] 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."[94] 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".[95]

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.[96][97] Furthermore, the show has received additional criticism regarding the queerbaiting of certain characters.[98][99]


Season Timeslot (ET) Episodes First aired Last aired TV season Rank Avg. viewers
18–49 rating
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
1 Thursday 9:00 pm 13 January 26, 2017 (2017-01-26) TBD May 11, 2017 (2017-05-11) TBD 2016–17 154 1.69 0.7/2[100]
2 Wednesday 8:00 pm 22 October 11, 2017 (2017-10-11) TBD May 16, 2018 (2018-05-16) TBD 2017–18 173 2.12 0.8[101]
3 22 October 10, 2018 (2018-10-10) TBD May 15, 2019 (2019-05-15) TBD 2018–19 TBD TBD TBD

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2017 Leo Awards Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series Tyler Harron (for "Pilot – Chapter 1") Nominated [102]
Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series Riverdale Won [103]
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series KJ Apa Nominated
Breakthrough Performance KJ Apa Won [104]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Show Riverdale Won [105]
Choice Breakout TV Star KJ Apa Nominated
Lili Reinhart Won
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 [106]
Leo Awards Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series Brendan Uegama (for "House of the Devil") Won [107]
Best Costume Design in a Dramatic Series Rebekka Sorensen-Kjelstrup (for "Death Proof") Nominated
Best Dramatic Series Riverdale Nominated
Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series Tiera Skovbye (for "The Outsiders") Nominated
Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series Tony Wohlgemuth (for "A Kiss Before Dying") Won
Best Sound Editing in a Dramatic Series Brian Lyster (for "Tales From the Darkside") Nominated
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss KJ Apa and Camila Mendes Nominated [108]
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 [109]
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 [110]
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series KJ Apa Nominated
Lili Reinhart Nominated
Cole Sprouse Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Breakout TV Star Vanessa Morgan Won [111]
Choice Hissy Fit Madelaine Petsch Won
Choice Drama TV Actor KJ Apa Nominated
Cole Sprouse Won
Choice Drama TV Actress Camila Mendes Nominated
Lili Reinhart Won
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
2019 Dorian Awards Campy TV Show of the Year Riverdale Nominated [112]
Kids' Choice Awards Favorite TV Drama Riverdale Won [113]
Leo Awards Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series Brendan Uegama (for "A Night To Remember") Won [114]
Ronald Richard (for "The Midnight Club") Nominated
Best Production Design in a Dramatic Series Tony Wohlgemuth (for "Red Dahlia") Won
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Kiss Charles Melton and Camila Mendes Nominated [115]
Best Show Riverdale Nominated
Saturn Awards Best Action-Thriller Television Series Riverdale Pending [116]
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Television Series KJ Apa Pending
Cole Sprouse Pending
Teen Choice Awards Choice Drama TV Actor KJ Apa Nominated
Cole Sprouse Won
Choice Drama TV Actress Camila Mendes Nominated
Lili Reinhart Won
Choice Drama TV Show Riverdale Won
Choice TV Ship Madelaine Petsch and Vanessa Morgan Nominated
Lili Reinhart and Cole Sprouse Won

Shared universe

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.[117] 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.[118] Aguirre-Sacasa added that no crossovers were planned initially so that each series could establish "their own identities and own set of rules".[119] 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.[120]

In the first season of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Moses Thiessen reprises his role as Ben Button from Riverdale.[121] 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.[122]

Katy Keene

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."[119] On January 23, 2019, The CW issued a 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."[123] On February 4, 2019, it was announced that Ashleigh Murray, who portrays Josie McCoy in Riverdale, had been cast in a lead role in this series, exiting Riverdale.[124] On August 4, 2019, Michael Grassi announced that there will be a crossover between Riverdale and Katy Keene in the future.[125]


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External links