HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com)   —  “Riverdale” — a teen drama in the spirit of “90210” or “Dawson’s Creek” ” premieres at 9 p.m. Thursday on the CW.

“Riverdale” is described as a bold and subversive take on the wholesome town familiar to generations from Archie Comics.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Archie Comics’ chief creative officer, said he and Jon Goldwater, its chief executive officer, had discussed doing a live-action Archie project, with a film their initial thought.

After seeing the 2012 coming of age film “The Perks of Being aWallflower,” and getting “Pitch Perfect” director Jason Moore to sign on,Aguirre-Sacasa pitched what he described as “a slice of life, coming of age movie” to many studios.

“A lot of the studios really loved the pitch, really loved the characters, but they didn’t know exactly how to make and market a coming of film,” Aguirre-Sacasa said during the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. “It was sort of not a big enough movie for a bunch of places.”

Several movie concepts were kicked around — including an aged Archie played by Louis C.K.

Ultimately, the studio proposed a television series based on the Archie Comics characters.

“It made so much sense because Greg [Berlanti] does so many comic book shows … and … had done some of the most iconic coming of age shows and one of themost iconic small town shows, `Everwood,”‘ Aguirre-Sacasa said. “So it really felt like this was a match made in heaven.” [Berlanti was also a producer on “Dawson’s Creek.”]

The TV Riverdale will be a lot darker than the sweet-as-pie comic book. The series, for example, has a dead body.

The cast includes two actors from memorable 1990s series as parents of teenage characters. “Beverly Hills 90210” heartthrob Luke Perry plays Archie’s father Fred and Madchen Amick, who portrayed waitress Shelly Johnson on “Twin Peaks,” plays girl-next-door Betty Cooper’s (Lili Reinhart) overbearing mother Alice.

“Riverdale” will give viewers the opportunity to watch something “you don’t see a lot on television anymore, stories about parents and children,” said Schechter, one of “Riverdale’s” executive producers.

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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