Riverdale spin-off finds its lead in Pretty Little Liars’ Lucy Hale

The CW logoJust in case the upcoming Riverdale spin-off Katy Keene needed more help making it to series, they’re getting it now through the addition of Lucy Hale.

Today, the Warner Bros. TV-produced CW pilot officially cast the Pretty Little Liars / Life Sentence alum as the show’s title character, described as “bold, big hearted and independent” and “a 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.”

The Katy Keene series revolves around four different iconic characters from the Archie Comics world, trying to make their dreams come true in the Big Apple. There will be a heavy musical component to it, as evidenced by the fact that Josie is one of the other major characters currently set to be featured. Doesn’t The CW need a new musical-of-sorts with Crazy Ex-Girlfriend off the air? It’s a little early to say if this will have full-blown numbers or if music is just going to be a part of it … but we do know that Lucy Hale can sing also. She put out a country album during her time on Pretty Little Liars! (Pretty ironic that the non-musical character within this show is played by someone with a great singing voice.)

The obvious appeal of a Riverdale spin-off at the moment is that it allows The CW to make up for that bungle they had with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. That show looked prime to premiere there but the network chose to go in another direction with Charmed. While they’ve given that show a season 2 renewal, we’re not sure it is getting the same pop-culture cloud as Sabrina and its ratings are not necessarily spectacular these days.

Whether or not Katy Keene works will be up to the writers, producers, the cast, and almost certainly the promo department. Riverdale from the start had an easy publicity push — it’s Edgy Archie! Katy Keene isn’t anywhere near as popular a character among modern-day comic-book fans, and this show overall kinda feels like the Riverdale version of Legends of Tomorrow –taking a bunch of reasonably-known characters and throwing them together, hoping that eventually it works out. It took Legends a good year to find its way, but the funny thing is that we’d now consider it to be arguably the best comic-book show on TV. It’s found a little freedom in its ability to have a unique voice and sense of style.

The Katy Keene pilot will be filmed this spring; expect a decision to be made by The CW upfronts in May. Fingers crossed that for Hale, this ends up working better than Life Sentence. The show had its fair share of fans, but struggled in the ratings and was quietly canned after a single season.

Excited about this casting?

And, to go along with that, the idea of a Riverdale spin-off actually airing on The CW in the first place? Share now in the comments. (Photo: The CW.)

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