The CW has found a freshman show that fits. And, no surprise here, it comes from Greg Berlanti.
Midseason entry Riverdale got the early green light for a second season on Tuesday. The noir-ish TV treatment of characters from the classic Archie Comics stories joins seven other series already set to return for the 2017-18 season — four of which also come from Berlanti Productions.
Riverdale has posted modest linear returns in its competitive Thursday night time slot, but early time-shifting has been promising. It is averaging a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 and 2 million viewers, per the latest Nielsen live-plus-seven-day ratings. That's a significant improvement from The CW's fall freshman entries No Tomorrow and Frequency, neither of which are considered likely to be renewed. A network rep also cites above-average streaming, though The CW is typically mum on the kind of boosts shows get from its app and website.
Perhaps just as important for The CW, Riverdale premiered to warm reviews from critics — and, while technically a comic book property, doesn't fall into the very crowded bucket of superhero shows. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater join Berlanti as executive producers on the series, which is produced by Warner Bros. TV and CBS Television Studios. (No word yet on its sophomore episode count.)
During a season when most networks have been shy to hand out early renewals, The CW has offered up a bunch, including some for lesser-watched critical favorites Crazy Ex Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin. Still up for debate, in addition to the previously mentioned freshman pair, are The 100, iZombie, The Originals and Reign. Former flagship The Vampire Diaries will sign off for good on Friday.
It's further evidence of a boom time for the 78-year-old Archie Comics brand. On top of new print titles and Riverdale, the company recently signed a development deal with Warner Bros. to explore additional TV projects.