CW’s ‘Riverdale’: A perfect addition to its comic lineup
The edgier update of the Archie series is soapy and fun
January 26, 2017
One in a series of Media Life previews of the new shows debuting at midseason. You can find past previews here.
The CW’s “Riverdale”
Thursdays at 9 p.m.
Launched in the 1940s, the Archie Comics series depicts a fun-loving teenager and his pretty, largely harmless (and largely white) friends.
Archie’s been catapulted into the future in “Riverdale,” a reimagining of the comic with an edge. The red-head is dallying with his teacher, while Veronica and Betty are buds rather than rivals for his affections.
The overarching plot involves a murder that comic book slacker Jughead (now a student journalist) is trying to solve.
The show is executive produced by Greg Berlanti (“Arrow”).
It will be a surprise if “Riverdale” flops.
“Riverdale” has received largely positive reviews. It’s also a way better thematic fit than either of the new programs the network launched this fall.
The CW is practically made of comic book dramas these days, from “Supergirl” to “iZombie.”
Combining the comic book angle with the soapy teenage high school angst that ran through so many of the CW/WB’s early shows (think “Gossip Girl” to “Smallville”) seems like a win-win.
The show is paired with “Supernatural,” one of the darker shows on the network’s schedule, as well as one of the steadiest. That should offer a simpatico lead-in.
What media people say
Buyers like “Riverdale’s” odds.
“There isn’t that much competition on the other broadcast networks in this timeslot for young adults—‘Chicago Med’ and ‘My Kitchen Rules’ probably aren’t bringing in the teens and college crowd–so ‘Riverdale’ should have a strong debut in the younger demos,” says Jaclyn Fischer, media investments negotiator at Compass Point/McCann in Minneapolis.
“It’s also the final season for ‘Pretty Little Liars’ on Freeform, and ‘Riverdale’ could potentially pick up some of these viewers.”
What critics say about ‘Riverdale’
“Coded within its solidly satisfying juvie pulp is a sly spoof of itself and the business of reinvention.” –Jeff Jensen, Entertainment Weekly
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