Zane Holtz and Lucy Hale on 'Katy Keene'

Zane Holtz Explains How 'Katy Keene' & 'Riverdale' Are "Totally Different"

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The Archieverse is expanding even further beyond Riverdale. Just after the spinoff Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debuted its third season, the next series in the beloved comics universe is here: Katy Keene. The CW's latest dramedy inspired by the Archie comics is set five years ahead of Riverdale, but while the worlds of the two shows do intersect, star Zane Holtz says Katy Keene and Riverdale have very different vibes.

Holtz stars on Katy Keene as K.O. Kelly, the boyfriend of Katy herself. While Katy (Lucy Hale) pursues her goals of working in fashion, K.O. works as a bouncer to the pay the bills, but he's dedicated to becoming a star boxer. That sort of ambition seems to be a running theme on Katy Keene, at least according to Holtz.

"Katy Keene is a story about young people in New York chasing their dreams," Holtz tells Elite Daily. "It really has an almost magical quality to it. It’s a world that’s a little heightened and everybody has these grand aspirations. It’s very inspiring."

Katy Keene feels a bit like a romantic comedy fantasy, which is a far cry from the neo-noir tone of Riverdale. "I think people are gonna be really intrigued by how totally different the show is from Riverdale, while at the same time clearly being in the same universe," Holtz explains. "Aesthetically, it feels very similar. You could say they’re set in the same world but ours is definitely a bit more upbeat and cheery."

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While Riverdale is set in its fictional titular town, Katy Keene is a bit more grounded in reality, since it takes place in the very real New York City, which, Holtz says, a big part of the show's rom-com tone. "I had never been able to shoot in New York City before," he explains. "So to be able to shoot in some of these iconic locations around town, and to really capture that New York romantic comedy vibe by doing these scenes while walking down the street and there’s 150 extras, or we’re sitting in the park eating a hot dog, it just feels like that true New York romance movie come to life."

Just like Riverdale, Katy Keene will feature several musical moments, and Holtz even promises a full musical episode at some point in the first season. The show also includes a major Riverdale character as a series regular; Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray), who moves from Riverdale to New York City and becomes Katy's roommate. But even with all the Riverdale connections, Holtz is excited for fans to fall in love with Katy Keene as a standalone series.

"It’s that show that hopefully [with] every episode, people will walk away feeling happy and a little bit better," he says. "It’s a very hopeful show. [It's] very inspiring and encourages people to chase their dreams."

Katy Keene premieres on Thursday, Feb. 6, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.