Riverdale's fifth season began filming earlier this month, ushering in an entirely new era for the hit The CW series. While details surrounding a lot of the season's plot remain under wraps - outside of confirmation that there will be a significant time jump - we now know one of the first new faces fans can expect to see. According to a new report, The Resident star Erinn Westbrook has been cast in the series in a new series regular role. Westbrook will be playing Tabitha Tate, the ambitious, entrepreneurial granddaughter of Pop Tate, who has come to Riverdale to take over Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe in the hopes of franchising the iconic diner, even as the town around it struggles to survive.
Westbrook previously portrayed Cheerios captain Bree across seven episodes of Glee, which Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa served as a producer of. Her filmography also includes Awkward, Supernatural, and Insatiable.
Tabitha's addition to the series is certainly interesting, both because it will expand the canon surrounding fan-favorite supporting character Pop Tate, and because it will add another character to the show's new narrative. The time jump - which is expected to occur several episodes into Season 5, will see the series jump forward in time at least half a decade, allowing the characters to return to the fold of Riverdale as adults.
"Season 5 we're actually doing, I believe, a seven-year time jump into the future so we're not going to be teenagers anymore," Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper on the series, revealed in an interview last month. "I'm really psyched about it. I think it'll be nice to play an adult. But I also really appreciate that Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa], our showrunner, was like, 'Yeah, let's revamp.' You know, we're not just stuck in high school for seven seasons."
The narrative of the new season has been thrown into some interesting footing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after production shutdowns forced Season 4 to end with an "early" finale.
"It's funny, we had shot almost two-thirds of episode 20, which was going to be our prom episode. And we looked at that footage and tried to see if there was a way we could cobble together that episode," Aguirre-Sacasa explained back in May. "We actually had shot the prom, where a lot of very dramatic things happen, but we still hadn't shot some big character moments between Archie and Veronica and Betty and Jughead. So we kind of just couldn't do that."
"However, when I saw the cut of 19, what's great about it is all of the kids are in one big story together united against Mr. Honey. And it does end on a pretty shocking, disturbing cliffhanger," Aguirre-Sacasa continued. "So, it sort of was like, "Oh wait a minute, this could be a great season finale" and then prom would be a great season premiere next year. So it worked out in kind of the best way possible given everything. Obviously we would have loved to have finished the full season, and the last three episodes are fantastic. But to me, this one is fun. It's a special conceit and it brings everyone together, which I think people love."
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