Last night, The CW ordered Katy Keene to series, bringing the total number of live-action dramas based on Archie Comics characters to three currently on the air, with Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina at The CW and Netflix, respectively. The big difference between Katy Keene ant the others? Most people who are not avid Archie Comics fans could not tell you who Katy Keene is. It might seem like a small difference, but in some ways it is like the moment when Guardians of the Galaxy became a phenomenon, proving that Marvel was a brand that could get things done even without capitalizing on known quantities like Captain America and The Hulk. Archie Comics co-CEO Jon Goldwater, who serves as an executive producer on all of Archie's film and TV projects, told ComicBook.com that if Katy Keene is a success, it makes it that much easier to dip into the company's deep well of less-well-known properties.
The Katy Keene series will revolve around follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters — including fashion-legend-to-be Katy Keene (Lucy Hale) — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. The musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio. The series will be set years after the high school-set events of Riverdale, and will feature an appearance from an older Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray).
"It is a watershed moment for the company," Goldwater told ComicBook.com today. "We are called Archie Comics, so most people don't realize the breadth and depth of our IP. We literally have hundreds of brands, thousands of characters, obviously some way more well-known than others. Comic book people know Katy but the world at large don't know Katy. And for us to be able to start to mine the depth of our library is a transformative moment for Archie Comics. It's such an exciting moment in time for the company and it's as exciting as when Riverdale first came along. It is that kind of seminal moment."
Katy Keene is an Archie Comics character who first debuted in 1945. Dubbed "America's Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions", Katy was a model, actress, and singer who juggled her career with her personal life. The character fell out of print in the early 1960s, only to be revived in the 1980s. The character has only made a few appearances in recent years, including in 1994's Archie Meets the Punisher.
"We can never take anything for granted," said Goldwater of the company's recent successes. "The struggle to get here was pretty monumental to be honest with you, and I feel as hungry today as I did ten years ago, if not more so....If anything, we have to work a lot harder more that we've been here because there's a lot more at stake, there's a lot more eyeballs on us."
The pilot will be written by Michael Grassi and Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the latter of whom serves as showrunner for Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and as CCO for Archie Comics. The drama hails from Warner Bros. TV, and will be executive produced by Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Archie CEO Jon Goldwater. An exact airdate for Katy Keene is not yet known, but details about the series will likely be available next Thursday, May 16, at The CW's upfront presentation in New York.
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