Archie Comics has signed an exclusive deal with Warner Bros. Television to produce more series for networks like the CW following the success of Riverdale.
Other properties from Archie Comics, including Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Josie and the Pussycats, could get their own TV shows as part of the new deal, according to a report from The Hollywood Reporter. The news comes just a month after Riverdale’s showrunner, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, said he wanted to create an entire television universe based on Archie Comics characters.
It’s not an unusual move for Warner Bros. Television, either. The studio has proven that it can create a successful mini-universe on television as well as it can on film. Through its relationship with the CW, Warner Bros. has established the network as the destination spot for superhero shows. CW and Warner Bros. began to build the universe in 2012 with Arrow and slowly started adding new series like The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl just last year.
Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater told The Hollywood Reporter that much like DC Comics’ popular superheroes, like Batman and Superman, Archie Comics and Warner Bros. could play around with the recognizable characters people know and love. Riverdale, which has been compared to David Lynch’s popular murder-mystery series from the ‘90s, Twin Peaks, is another example of this idea at play.
“It’s still Archie, and people want more of him and his friends,” Goldwater said. “In the same way Batman can be dark, bright and funny or off-kilter, Archie can, too. He’s part of a pantheon of select characters and brands that are part of America.”
It’s unclear which properties Archie Comics will use going forward, but there have already been iterations of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1996 to 2003 on ABC and The WB) and multiple animated series. There was also a Josie and the Pussycats feature film, which was released in 2001 and became a commercial flop.
Riverdale is currently airing on the CW Thursday nights at 9 p.m. ET.