Riverdale, The CW's hit drama based on the characters from Archie Comics, has been officially renewed for a third season, the network confirmed.
The series, which launched with soft ratings last season, became a sensation on Netflix, and those strong streaming numbers goosed season 2's ratings on live TV as well, making it one of the network's top shows.
Riverdale was renewed for a second season fairly early last year, just after Warner Bros. Television signed an overall deal with Archie. The second show on that deal, Sabrina, will head to Netflix with a two-season commitment beginning in 2018.
The first season of Riverdale centered on the murder of one of Riverdale High's students, Jason Blossom, and the investigation into what actually happened to him. Season 2, instead, has thus far centered on the exploits of a killer called The Black Hood, who attempted to murder several Riverdale residents and succeeded in killing two more. The Black Hood storyline has ostensibly been resolved with a big midseason finale twist, but the showrunner has already promised more to come and there are several fan theories as to how and why the killer revealed is not the full story.
The CW was the only broadcast network to hold steady in the ratings rather than declining between 2016 and 2017, largely on the strength of its comic book offerings. With Supernatural and Riverdale holding steady or improving while The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow had single-digit ratings drops, the reliable audience that tunes in for DC's superhero shows helped make the network arguably the most consistent on TV last year.
Riverdale itself has had one of the largest year-over-year audience increases in all of TV, after audiences who found the show on Netflix during the summer stuck around to watch season two as it aired in the fall.
Over the weekend, several cast members referred to returning to production in July, essentially confirming the show's renewal, during a convention appearance in Paris. Late last year, network president Mark Pedowitz had acknowledged that it seemed likely for renewal, even if he was not yet ready to announce anything.
The network is rolling out two new comics-based products: the just-launched Constantine animated series on the web-based CW Seed, and Black Lightning.