While most people are prepping for the Super Bowl this weekend, or heading to the movie theaters to catch up on Oscar contenders, in the world of television, the big news is the Television Critics Association press tour. Known as the TCAs, this biannual event features panels on upcoming and currently successful TV offerings from major broadcast companies like NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox, as well as a raft of cable channels. Yesterday, it was the CW's turn at bat, including a discussion about the new Riverdale spinoff. But it seems these Katy Keene details might disappoint Riverdale fans, as CW president Mark Pedowitz said the two are not currently planning to crossover.
Katy Keene marks the second planned spinoff of the CW's extraordinarily successful Riverdale franchise. The first, based on Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, was announced in 2017, to be helmed by Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. The plan at the time sounded like a crossover would happen with the flagship show since both were run by the same director. In fact, most assumed a Riverdale episode would act as a backdoor pilot. (This is a tried and true way to launch spinoff series. Grey's Anatomy did it with Station 19, for example.)
But then Netflix swooped in and scooped the series now entitled Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This made crossovers all but impossible, since the shows are produced by two different studios.
This time, the CW is planning not to have the two shows crossover from the outset. Instead of being another high school based show, Katy Keene is going to focus on an older group of characters, who are post-college 20-somethings. It's a bit like Melrose Place was to 90210 back in the day, part of the same branding, but not interconnecting worlds. In fact, Pedowicz suggested the events in Katy Keene won't happen concurrently with what's going on in Riverdale but is actually set several years later.
There are no plans to do anything [regarding a crossover]. Any of the Riverdale characters who come to Katy Keene will be older. Robert [Aguirre-Sacasa] is getting the pilot right.
Now, to be fair, this could lead to Riverdale crossovers down the line. While both KJ Apa and Lili Reinhart were teenagers when the show began three years ago, the entire cast is now in their 20s. (Cole Sprouse is 26!) It won't be hard to make Betty and Veronica look older if they decide to storm NYC for a multi-episode arc. By the time Katy Keene premieres, they'll both be the right age.
But in reality, it sounds like the CW is starting out with a "never the twain shall meet" attitude going into this new show, after what happened with Sabrina. It should be noted Pedowicz was asked if Netflix and the CW were looking into making a crossover happen between the two shows and he responded there "haven’t been talks with Aguirre-Sacasa" to do one.
Katy Keene Season 1 is expected to arrive in time for the 2020 television season.