As with all Riverdale episodes this season, tonight's "Chapter Twenty: Tales from the Darkside" takes its name from a classic horror genre work, in this case the 1980s horror anthology television series Tales from the Darkside. And while tonight's episode shares both the name and a similar narrative style with the television series, the two have another surprising connection.
Back in November 2013, it was announced that a reboot of Tales from the Darkside was being developed with CBS Television Studios for The CW. Comic book writer Joe Hill was slated to serve as creative director for the series, which would be a loose reboot of the original television series, departing a little bit from a straight anthology show by having stories that were interconnected. In February 2015, The CW announced that they had given the show a pilot order and it was added to the 2015-2016 schedule along with Riverdale.
Like Tales from the Darkside, Riverdale had also begun development in 2013. While Fox initially picked up the project in 2014, the network ultimately passed with Riverdale moving to The CW. On January 29, 2016 the network officially ordered a pilot for the series. That means that both Tales from the Darkside and Riverdale were on the schedule during the 2015-2016 pilot season for the network. However, despite a full pilot being filmed and multiple additional episodes having been written for Tales from the Darkside, The CW ultimately passed on the horror reboot. Riverdale went on to its full first season and was renewed for a second season. Tales from the Darkside was shopped around to other networks, but wasn't picked up.
However, that wasn't the end for Tales from the Darkside. IDW picked up the material Hill had written for the television series and turned it into a four-issue comic book series of the same title, giving Riverdale -- which is an ongoing comic book series itself -- another connection.
Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.