We first brought you news of the CW series Riverdale, based on the well-loved Archie Comics, upon its release in January of last year. Since then, the show has grown in popularity to become a phenomenon, with weekly episodes eagerly-awaited by audiences on both The CW in the US and Netflix internationally.
Whilst Series 1 saw an average viewing figure of 1.69 million viewers per episode, Series 2 broke this in its first airing, boasting almost double that figure with 2.34 million viewers just for episode one, ‘Chapter 14: A Kiss Before Dying’. It’s safe to say that Riverdale’s star just continues to rise, and the series isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, it’s currently averaging about 1.5 million viewers per episode, and it racked up 7 wins at last year’s Teen Choice Awards, including Choice Breakout TV Show.
Perhaps one reason why Riverdale has proven this popular so far is because its writers offer the show’s audience so much variety from episode to episode. Whether using the tried and tested plot device of a high stakes poker game with Archie, the return of a secret long lost brother for Betty, or even a full musical episode based on the cult horror film ‘Carrie’, there is something to interest every viewer.
The programme has courted controversy with its daring storylines over the past year, but has been praised for its sympathetic portrayal of teen mental health in its characters. Whereas some fans feel that fiery redhead Cheryl Blossom could do with a little more support in-show, many have applauded how writers have handled the emotional rollercoaster endured by lead character Betty Cooper as she uncovers dark secrets about her past.
Riverdale has received high critical praise across the board, proving popular with both fans and critics. In just a short time, the show has amassed a large and loyal fan base who are hungry for any and all information about the world of Riverdale. For example, there’s a whole range of merchandise available so that fans can dress exactly like their favourite character, as well as several Tastemade videos showing viewers just how to cook their favourite foods from the Archie universe.
There is even a comic book adaptation of Riverdale, bringing the story around full circle and introducing new followers to the story’s original incarnation. Fans of either the original comics or the new TV show will get a kick out of comparing the two, identifying similarities and differences between the two mediums.
A spin-off from the series has just received the green light, with Netflix as distributor and Riverdale writer/Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer, Roberto Aguierre-Sacasa, at the helm. The companion show follows Archie Comics character Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and at least the first episode will be based on a 1955 short story anthology by Ray Bradbury titled ‘October Country’. Mad Men favourite Kiernan Shipka is cast as the lead, and the programme is set for release later this year. It’s not yet known whether the show will go with the comic’s original title, ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ or settle on something punchier. Chances are, though, that it’s going to be a big hit!