The Riverdale universe is officially expanding with a new character: a fashion girl named Katy Keene.
It would appear that television production magnate Greg Berlanti and Archie Comics maestro Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa are really running things over at The CW—per The Hollywood Reporter, Berlanti’s Riverdale spin-off is officially underway, along with a handful of other ordered pilots including the forthcoming Jane the Virgin spin-off, the Nancy Drew reboot, and a serialized version of Lost Boys for the 2019-2020 season. The Riverdale spin-off, based on Katy Keene (a character introduced into the Archie Comics universe in 1945) could be the next iconic Archie character to bolster the success of other series from the publisher, including Riverdale and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.
So, who is Katy Keene? Well, according to Archie Comics she is “America’s Queen of Pin-Ups and Fashions” and of course also happens to be a model, actress, and singer. With a look similar to the iconic Bettie Page, Katy Keene was created by Bill Woggon and gained popularity in the 1940s and 1950s. She was often featured in the actual comic book as a paper doll for readers to cut out, and though her popularity waned after the 1960s, she had a revival in the 1980s.
According to THR, The CW’s Katy Keene will be a musical drama following “four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio,” which sounds like it will be less Jane By Design and more like those later seasons of Glee where everyone moved to New York for show business. It also doesn’t seem out of step with the Riverdale television universe, especially since that show has had its fair share of musical episodes and recently announced that there would be at least one more based on Heathers: The Musical. Not only does Katy Keene want to be discovered for her modeling, but she has major Broadway aspirations as well. Katy Keene’s superstitious best friend (and fellow model) Lucki Lorelei, her boxer boyfriend K.O. Kelly, and her little sister whose name is literally Sis round out the gang in the Katy Keene universe. The comic book heroine also competes with her opponent Gloria Grandbilt, a rich blonde who continually tries to take Katy Keene’s job and her man, which gives the impression that there could be a hint of Gossip Girl-esque rivalry in the works for the series.
Since Katy Keene was only just picked up for a pilot order, casting announcements have yet to be made, but it would make sense for her to star in a crossover episode and make an appearance in the upcoming season of Riverdale after Sabrina Spellman shows up in town.