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Riverdale is a television series on The CW, based on characters from the Archie Comics. On January 29, 2016, it was announced that a pilot had officially been ordered, and on May 12, 2016, it was announced that it had been picked up by the network. It premiered on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at 8 p.m. ET/PT. It is also streaming on Netflix internationally, with new episodes debuting the day after their US premiere.
Set in the present, the series offers a bold, subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica and their friends, exploring the surreality of small-town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome façade.
As a new school year begins, the town of Riverdale is reeling from the recent, tragic death of high school golden boy Jason Blossom — and nothing feels the same... Archie Andrews is still the all-American teen, but the summer’s events made him realize that he wants to pursue a career in music — not follow in his dad’s footsteps — despite the sudden end of his forbidden relationship with Riverdale's young music teacher, Ms. Grundy. Which means Archie doesn't have anyone who will mentor him — certainly not singer Josie McCoy, who is only focused on her band, the soon-to-be-world-famous Pussycats. It’s all weighing heavily on Archie’s mind — as is his fractured friendship with budding writer and fellow classmate Jughead Jones. Meanwhile, girl-next-door Betty Cooper is anxious to see her crush Archie after being away all summer, but she’s not quite ready to reveal her true feelings to him. And Betty’s nerves — which are hardly soothed by her overbearing mother Alice — aren't the only thing holding her back. When a new student, Veronica Lodge, arrives in town from New York with her mother Hermione, there’s an undeniable spark between her and Archie, even though Veronica doesn't want to risk her new friendship with Betty by making a play for Archie. And then there’s Cheryl Blossom... Riverdale's Queen Bee is happy to stir up trouble amongst Archie, Betty, and Veronica, but Cheryl is keeping secrets of her own. What, exactly, is she hiding about the mysterious death of her twin brother, Jason? Riverdale may look like a quiet, sleepy town, but there are dangers in the shadows...
- KJ Apa as Archie Andrews
- Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper
- Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge
- Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones
- Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge (season 1-4; recurring season 5 onward)
- Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom
- Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy (seasons 1-4)
- Mädchen Amick as Alice Smith
- Luke Perry as Fred Andrews (seasons 1-3)
- Mark Consuelos as Hiram Lodge (season 2-5)
- Casey Cott as Kevin Keller (season 2 onward; recurring season 1)
- Skeet Ulrich as FP Jones (season 2-4; recurring season 1)
- Charles Melton as Reggie Mantle (season 3 onward; recurring season 1 & 2; previously played by Ross Butler)
- Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz (season 3 onward; recurring season 2)
- Erinn Westbrook as Tabitha Tate (season 5 onward)
- Drew Ray Tanner as Fangs Fogarty (season 5 onward; recurring seasons 2-4)
- Archie Andrews: An intense, conflicted teen, a high school sophomore who got in shape over summer and now has to handle newfound attention from his female classmates. He struggles balancing his social life with his passion for writing and performing music — against the wishes of his father and his football coach.
- Betty Cooper: Sweet, studious, eager-to-please and wholesome as apple pie with a huge crush on her longtime best friend, Archie. Tired of being the perfect daughter, student, sister, etc., she turns to her new friend, Veronica, for life advice — much to the consternation of her emotionally brittle mother.
- Veronica Lodge: An intelligent, confident, silver-tongued high school sophomore. Veronica moves to Riverdale from New York, eager to reinvent herself after a scandal involving her father.
- Jughead Jones: A heartthrob with a philosophical bent and former best friend of Archie Andrews. He is still smarting from the rift that took place between the two.
- Hermione Lodge: Hermione has now returned to Riverdale, eager to start afresh with her daughter following the scandalous incarceration of her husband.
- Cheryl Blossom: Rich, entitled and never accountable. Cheryl Blossom is a manipulative mean girl who kills with kindness, she recently lost her twin brother in a mysterious accident.
- Josie McCoy: A snooty and ambitious teen. She’s the lead singer of Josie and the Pussycats and has no interest in recording any songs written by Archie.
- Spinning off from her time in the small town of Riverdale, a now 20-something Josie sets off on a new adventure to make it in the big city. 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.
- Alice Smith: Editor of the local paper, described as a steely perfectionist who places exceedingly high expectations on her daughter, Betty.
- Fred Andrews: A chill parent who owns a construction business in town. He hopes that his son will take over the family trade down the road.
- Hiram Lodge: A ruthless, handsome, charismatic businessman who is coming back to Riverdale after weathering a financial scandal that almost destroyed him. He is there to reconnect with his wife Hermione and, especially, his daughter Veronica, who is the apple of his eye.
- FP Jones: While his character will have a history with all of Riverdale's main residents, he holds a grudge against Fred Andrews and is the father of Jughead Jones.
- Toni Topaz: Toni is a vivacious member of the Southside Serpents, who is known for her signature pink hair and impressive appetite.
- According to Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, every Halloween was going to have an "Afterlife" special air, based on the popular Archie Comics series, Afterlife with Archie. However, Season 2 didn't air said episode despite "Chapter Seventeen: The Town That Dreaded Sundown", airing one night after Halloween.
- The Riverdale set is the same set that was used on Pretty Little Liars, Gilmore Girls, and Hart of Dixie.
- FOX was initially set to be the home channel for Riverdale, however, when they passed on the opportunity, it was ordered to series by The CW.
- Riverdale was referenced in an episode of Never Have I Ever Netflix series. The episode "...gotten drunk with the popular kids" sees Kamala binge-watching Riverdale for some inspiration about her love life. Moreover, she does comment on the show's unorthodox casting, plot and structure.