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In the first trailer for CW’s Riverdale, the live-action series looks more like an updated Twin Peaks than the classic comic book.  But what a way to make an update!  How will we know if Riverdale is a success?  CW’s television adaptation of the nearly 80-year-old Archie Comics universe is only weeks away.  Yet if you look back on your favorite teen television shows you may find writers and casting agents have been pulling from the Archie playbook before.  Just take a look back at Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Who was a better Jughead than Xander?  And did you ever see the original best frenemies Betty and Veronica in the love-hate relationship of Buffy and Faith?  What about the dynamic of the leads in CW’s previous successful teen-driven, comic book series Smallville?  Will Archie Comics’ own tried and tested formula prove to make Riverdale a keeper?

However CW’s Riverdale turns out, our fingers are crossed that we’ll see the infamous Sabrina drop in as a guest star or that the writers will find a way to incorporate at least a good Halloween episode banking on the success of the publisher’s recent Afterlife With Archie series.  What sure-fire way to please a current audience than delivering a zombie episode?

Riverdale -- "Pilot" -- Image Number: RVD101g_0002.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): KJ Apa as Archie and Lili Reinhart as Betty -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.

The first teaser for Riverdale dropped this week.  Although it doesn’t give us much, we get a look at the characters and a glimpse of the creepy tone of the show–a very CW teen-focused looking series.  These kinds of shows have proven to be CW’s niche realm, along with its recent success with superheroes in its five DC Comics series: Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, iZombie, and Supergirl. 

Check out this first teaser for Riverdale:

Riverdale stars K.J. Apa as Archie Andrews, Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper, Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, Madelaine Petsch as Cheryl Blossom, Ross Butler as Reggie Mantle, Casey Cott as Kevin Keller, Mädchen Amick as Alice Cooper, and Marisol Nichols as Hermione Lodge.  Hidden gems with recurring roles include Lochlyn Munro as Betty’s dad, Robin Givens as Josie’s mom, and Stranger Things’ Shannon Purser (Barb!) as a friend of Betty and Veronica.

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A prequel one-shot comic book will be released following the opening week of the series (February 1) followed by a monthly TV-tie-in comic beginning in March.  The one-shot includes a script by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, interior art by Alitha Martinez, standard edition cover art by Alitha Martinez with Steve Downer, and a host of variant covers from artists including Derek Charm, Adam Gorham, Robert Hack, Sandra Lanz, Moritat, Dan Parent, Thomas Pitilli, Cory Smith, and Matthew Dow Smith.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, writer on the comic book series, penned the first two episodes of Riverdale.  The pilot will air January 26, 2017, titled “The River’s Edge.”  It will be followed by “A Touch of Evil,” “Body Double,” and “The Last Picture Show”–presumably each episode will borrow a title from a classic quirky film.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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