Sometimes a legendary long-running franchise needs a thorough makeover to renew its relevance to audiences in the here and now. That would be the simplest explanation for how Archie Comics transitioned from its original stock-in-trade of young-age humor into a serious teen-oriented drama franchise, first in print and then in The CW’s “Riverdale,” now easily one of its biggest current shows. Such has been the success of “Riverdale” that a similarly themed but supernatural spinoff was launched 2018’s “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” but that was moved to Netflix instead. Now, another in-house The CW expansion of the “Riverdale” franchise is coming with “Katy Keene.”
This spinoff was originally announced back in August 2018 by “Riverdale” creator and current Archie Comics chief creative officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. But it was only this Sunday, August 4, that the first trailer for “Katy Keene” was revealed as told by Comic Book Resources. Whereas the “Riverdale” series is rooted in its small-town setting and atmosphere, the upcoming series is set in the big city, no less than New York itself. It will follow the trials and tribulations of aspiring fashion designer Katy Keene, her life and loves alongside a stable of characters familiar to longtime readers of Archie Comics.
As the trailer establishes, Katy Keene (played by Lucy Hale) was inspired by her mother to make fashion as inspired by her idol designers, but at present is struggling to establish herself in the Big Apple as personal designer for big names, a position that is expectedly, competitively cutthroat. Fortunately she has a friend in Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) from Riverdale to support her. But Josie has her own row to hoe, particularly when she catches the attention of CEO Alexander Cabot (Lucien Laviscount) who wants her to be his top musical talent, while his sister Alexandra (Camille Hyde) plots to put herself at the head of their family company.
The Archie Comics Katy Keene character was originally a fashionista who was always dressed in the styles of the times (in-publication). A key element to her comic title was that it solicited fashion designs from readers, which are interpreted in the artwork of stories with appropriate credits. This series however sees Katy in the arena of New York fashion design, looking to somehow make her mother’s private dream come true.
“Katy Keene” also stars Jonny Beauchamp as drag performer and Broadway aspirant Jorge Lopez, who uses the alias Ginger Lopez, as well as Julia Chan as ambitious but approachable “it girl” Pepper Smith. No information on when the series will premiere on The CW was revealed, although Roberto Aguirre-Sacassa’s co-developer Michael Grassi notes that a possible crossover arc with “Riverdale” is planned for the season.
Image courtesy of TV Line