Greg Berlanti’s Next Comic Book Show Is About … Archie


TV producer Greg Berlanti has stated before that he doesn’t think he’s got any more room on his busy schedule for more superhero shows, what with Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow already on his plate. That doesn’t mean he’s completely done with comics as source material, though, as The CW just ordered another pilot with Berlanti involved that is based on a very famous comic book character.

If you guessed that character was Archie Andrews, you win the (purely hypothetical) prize. Deadline says that The CW has placed a pilot order for Riverdale, named for the town in which the adventures of Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and the rest of their friends take place. The series was originally announced as a project in development for Fox in the fall of 2014 but switched to The CW this past summer.

Don’t expect Riverdale to have an old school take on Archie and company. Here’s how the series is summarized by Deadline:

"Based on the Archie Comics characters, it is a subversive take on Archie, Betty, Veronica, and their friends, exploring the surrealism of small town life — the darkness and weirdness bubbling beneath Riverdale’s wholesome facade."

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Before you start rolling your eyes, it’s worth noting that Archie Comics have also diversified over the past six years, exploring alternate futures in Life with Archie (a series that also killed off its main character) and horror in books like Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. If done right, the TV show could blend those kind of elements underneath a veneer similar to the one most people would identify with Archie, and that would be an intriguing mix.

Since Archie Comics Chief Creative Officer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is writing the Riverdale pilot, he should know better than anyone how to make a modern Archie work. Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater will all serve as executive producers.

There’s no guarantee that Riverdale will get picked up for a series order, but Berlanti’s strong track record and the fact that his current shows on The CW are its two highest rated offerings certainly works in its favor. We’ll be tracking its progress here at Bam Smack Pow and update you when any more announcements are made.