The CW’s Riverdale is shaping up to be one of the strangest new shows of 2017, blending good-old all-American Archie comics with a lot of good old all-American sex and murder. Still, the Twin Peaks-quoting teen soap—which debuts on January 26—could have been even stranger, according to creator (and Archie chief creative officer) Robert Aguirre-Sacasa. During a panel at the TCA winter previews today, Aguirre-Sacasa listed some of the plot ideas that he had to fend off from at least one presumably well-meaning (and unnamed) entertainment executive during the show’s creation:
“We go to the kickoff meeting and he said, ‘You know, I’ve been thinking about this and I think you guys need to something a little more high concept, a little bigger than a coming-of-age [story],’ I said, ‘Yeah, great. We’re open to that.’ He goes, ‘I want you to think about time travel.’ I say, ‘What do you mean?’ ‘You know, Archie traveling through time.’”
Ignoring the obvious precedent of Jughead’s Time Police—a real, published comic book in which multiple burger-loving Jugheads travel the timestream, battling Arthurian villainess Morgan Le Fey—Aguirre-Sacasa turned the idea down. Undeterred by this resistance, the executive then pivoted, suggesting the show could instead be about “portals,” or that Archie could be played by admittedly red-haired stand-up comic Louis C.K. That last idea actually caught some traction, with Aguirre-Sacasa trying to find a story about a middle-aged, sad-sack Archie that he could care about. Sadly, it wasn’t meant to be, and instead another show about sexy teens and their sexy, dangerous lives was sexily birthed into the world.