Pretty Little Liars alumna Lucy Hale is set to star as the title character in the pilot for CW's Riverdale spinoff Katy Keene from "Archie-verse" creator/executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. TV. Hale joins Riverdale's Ashleigh Murray, Jonny Beauchamp (Penny Dreadful), Julia Chan (Saving Hope), Camille Hyde (American Vandal), and Lucien Laviscount (Snatch) on the project.
Described as "very different from Riverdale," Aguirre-Sacasa's Katy Keene follows the lives and loves of four iconic Archie Comics characters — including fashion legend-to-be Katy Keene and singer/songwriter Josie McCoy (Murray) — as they chase their twenty-something dreams in New York City. This musical dramedy chronicles the origins and struggles of four aspiring artists trying to make it on Broadway, on the runway and in the recording studio.
Hale's Katy Keene is a bold, big-hearted, and independent twenty-something New Yorker who aspires to be a fashion designer. When she's not working as a personal shopper at a luxury department store, she's navigating friendship and dating in the big city.
Spinning off from her time in the small town of Riverdale, a now 20-something Josie McCoy (Murray) sets off on a new adventure to make it in the big city. More determined than ever to break into the music scene as the next Diana Ross, Josie finds herself forging new friendships, falling into new relationships, and, one day, becoming the star she is destined to be.
Hyde's Alexandra is a powerful, savvy and chic New York socialite. Senior Vice President at her father's company, she is both respected and feared. Alexandra is competitive with her brother, Alexander – who has a very different vision for the record label.
Laviscount's Alexander is the CEO of his father's company and dreams of rebooting its dormant record label division, which attracts him to Josie. He's cut from a different cloth than his billionaire family, as he'd rather take the subway and listen to vinyl – and he secretly DJs at a dive club.
Beauchamp's Jorge/Ginger Lopez works at his family's bodega by day – but by night, his drag alter ego Ginger bartends and performs at a local club. Jorge always has aspired to be a Broadway performer, but he's now looking to take his drag career to the next level.
Chan's Pepper Smith is a New York City "It Girl" who is at the epicenter of all things trendy. As the funny, magnetic life of the party, she dreams of opening her very own version of Andy Warhol's Factory. But behind all the outrageous noise, no one quite knows where she gets all her money — or if she even has any.
The spinoff series will not impact the original series, a point highlighted by CW President Mark Pedowitz at the Television Critics Association (TCA) session:
"Katy Keene actually takes place years after Riverdale, and if any of those characters were to come to Katy Keene, they'd come as their older selves."
Written and executive produced by "Riverdale-verse" mastermind Aguirre-Sacasaand Michael Grassi, the musical dramedy's pilot will be directed by Maggie Kiley (American Horror Story: Cult, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina). Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Jon Goldwater will also executive produce; Berlanti Productions (CW's Batwoman) will serve as the studio, in association with Warner Bros. Television.