Whether you love it or hate it, The CW's dark teen drama series Riverdale has gained a massive following since its 2017 debut. And though it's been criticized relentlessly for its cheesy scripts and questionable acting, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's series — which is based on the iconic Archie Comics — has earned a respectable Rotten Tomatoes score of 80 percent.
Reminiscent of Mark Frost and David Lynch's devastatingly short-lived '90s mystery series Twin Peaks, Riverdale starts off by showcasing the cryptic small-town death of Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) — aka Cheryl Blossom's (Madelaine Petsch) the twin brother. Things get pretty chaotic (not to mention supernatural) from there. The series stars Lili Reinhart (Hustlers), Cole Sprouse (Five Feet Apart), Camila Mendes (Palm Springs), Vanessa Morgan (Pimp), and KJ Apa (The Hate U Give) as Archie Andrews himself.
After years of shipping, wild fan theories, and loads of Southside Serpents merch, Riverdale is confirmed to end in 2023. Here's why the smash hit CW series is closing its curtains after more than six successful years on the air.
Why is 'Riverdale' ending?
It was announced that Riverdale was renewed for Season 7 in March 2022, per Variety, along with other CW hits like The Flash, All American, Kung Fu, and Walker. News that the seventh installment would be the series' last came with the release of The CW’s 2022 fall schedule.
Chairman and CEO of The CW Network Mark Pedowitz stated that the "iconic" series has "shaped and defined popular culture" in a press release.
“I am a big believer in attempting to give series that have had long runs an appropriate sendoff,” Mark explained. "We had a long conversation with [executive producer] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] yesterday, who is thrilled by this news, and we will treat the show in the manner it deserves…. We want to make sure it goes out the right way."
It's all about finding that sweet spot. It's devastating when a show is cut shorter than it should be (i.e. Broad City), but it's also a bit cringey when a series overstays its welcome (i.e. Supernatural).
“I think they, too, felt that seven years is the right amount,” Mark continued. “As a fan myself, I do want to do what is right for the show.”
The CW is also saying goodbye to Dynasty, Charmed, Naomi, 4400, In the Dark and Roswell, New Mexico. We know, what a massacre. And while seven seasons is certainly a solid number for a beloved (yet polarizing) series, it's been theorized that The CW's mass cancellation is related to its rumored looming sale by ViacomCBS and WarnerMedia.
Per IGN, it was revealed back in January that The CW was "exploring strategic opportunities," including a possible sale. Apparently, much of its revenue came from licensing its projects to "international markets and streaming services," meaning it isn't super profitable on its own.
But it doesn't seem like The CW is going anywhere just yet, as it's looking to create some more DC TV series, including Gotham Knights.
Season 6 episodes of Riverdale air Sundays at 8 p.m. EST on the CW.