Everything We Know About 'Riverdale' Spinoff 'Katy Keene'

Dan Clarendon
Mike Pont/FilmMagic

The world of Riverdale is expanding.

The CW hit already shares a universe — and, so far, one character — with Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, and now it’s spawning another series that will bring even more Archie Comics characters to the TV screen. Katy Keene is still in the pilot stage at the CW, but here’s everything we know about the project so far.

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It will introduce an iconic Archie Comics character

Katy Keene first popped up in the comic-book version of Riverdale in a 1945 issue of Wilbur Comics, making her way through the series Archie, Jughead, Ginger and Betty and Veronica before landing her own title in 1949.

The pilot got the green light in January

After teasing a spinoff that would be “very different from Riverdale” back last summer, The CW announced the Katy Keene pilot in January, describing the show as a musical dramedy in which the titular character would be working her way toward fashion legend status in New York City along three other beloved Archie Comics characters, all of whom are also aspiring artists.

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The story takes place several years ahead of Riverdale

The CW president Mark Pedowitz told reporters at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in February that Katy Keene takes place several years after Riverdale, meaning no crossovers are in the plans. “If anyone from Riverdale were to come to Katy, they'd come as their older self,” he clarified.

Lucy Hale will play Katy

Katy Keene producers found a familiar face to play the central role: Pretty Little Liars and Life Sentence alum Lucy Hale, whose casting in the pilot was announced on March 11. “Bold, big-hearted and independent, Hale’s Katy Keene is a twentysomething New Yorker who aspires to be a fashion designer. When she’s not working as a personal shopper at a luxury department store, she’s navigating friendship and dating in the big city,” says Deadline.

Life Sentence - Lucy Hale

Ashleigh Murray is making the jump from Riverdale

A week after the pilot was announced, Riverdale actress Ashleigh Murray was announced as one of the spinoff’s lead stars. Her character, Josie McCoy, will move from the small town of Riverdale to the bright lights of NYC to pursue success as a singer-songwriter. “More determined than ever to break into the music scene as the next Diana Ross, Josie finds herself forging new friendships, falling into new relationships, and, one day, becoming the star she is destined to be,” as Deadline reports.

Riverdale_AshleighMurray_Josie

The supporting cast features other TV veterans

American Vandal’s Camille Hyde will play powerful socialite and businesswoman Alexandra Cabot. Scream Queens’ Lucien Laviscount will play her brother, Alexander, whose role as CEO at their father’s company and whose passion for music put him in Josie’s orbit. Penny Dreadful’s Jonny Beauchamp will play bodega worker Jorge who moonlights as drag queen Ginger. And Saving Hope’s Julia Chan will play enigmatic and magnetic party girl Pepper Smith.

There’s a ton of talent behind the scenes

Riverdale creator Roberto-Aguirre-Sacasa wrote the pilot episode alongside Michael Grassi, a co-producer on that mothership show. Riverdale executive producers Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater are executive-producing the project, as is Riverdale and Arrowverse exec producer Greg Berlanti. And after helming episodes of both Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Maggie Kiley will direct the pilot.

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It’s a “really personal story” for its creators

So says Berlanti, who tells Deadline, “I think it speaks to Roberto and Michael and what they’re passionate about as it’s a story of young artists and storytellers. Roberto came from a show like Glee, and there are elements of his life as a playwright, living in New York and all those young days that he really wants to capture. … [There will] be soap elements, but I think they see it as the first family you make when you’re a young artist trying to make it in the big city; that’s what’s really exciting about it.”