The CW’s “Riverdale” Spinoff, “Katy Keene,” Takes A Lighter Tone Than Its Predecessor

© 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved. Credit: Barbara Nitke/The CW.

Given the darker tones that recent TV adaptations of Archie Comics characters have adopted in shows like Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, you might think that Katy Keene, the newest entry into the Archie TV universe, would be the same, but the studio wanted something brighter, and more optimistic and aspirational.

“It’s nice that the show has such a different tone,” admitted Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the chief creative officer for Archie Comics who developed all three series. “It’s fun to be talking about things like Broadway and fashion, and not the Gargoyle King or the Black Hood or an evil cult. … Katy Keene is halfway between Sex and the City and Girls.”

Katy Keene’s tale of the title character (played by Lucy Hale), who attempts to start a career as a fashion designer in New York City, does capture the fantasy, if not the reality, of that metropolis, and has almost a fairy-tale-like quality about it at times in its portrayal of the Big Apple. At the same time, it does not shy away from the realistic travails that Katy and her friends — singer/songwriter Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray, reprising her recurring Riverdale role), performer Jorge Lopez/Ginger (Jonny Beauchamp) and “it” girl Pepper Smith (Julia Chan) — encounter as they pursue their dreams.

“We’ve created this really amazing, beautiful, optimistic world,” explained Hale, “but we are going to see the struggle of trying to make it in New York. … And I think that we’re definitely going to explore the struggle of life in general, as well.”

Katy Keene
The CW
Thursdays beginning Feb. 6
Stream on cwtv.com