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The CW sets fall schedule with final season of 'Riverdale,' vows to 'stay' in Arrowverse business

Here's what to expect from The CW next season, including the end of Riverdale.

Riverdale 606 PRESS

The next season of Riverdale will be its last. The CW head Mark Pedowitz confirmed in an executive call Thursday morning that the beloved teen drama series based on the characters of Archie Comics will come to an end with Season 7 on the network, which will begin airing in 2023. 

The news came as The CW firmed up its full 2022-2023 slate of shows this week, including the launch of new series The Winchesters and Gotham Knights and the return of long-running hits like The Flash and Riverdale, which was developed by Archie's Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa as a dark, Twin Peaks-esque drama for teens and launched in 2017.

“I am a big believer in attempting to give series that have had long runs an appropriate sendoff,” Pedowitz said Thursday, according to TV Line. “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.

“I think they, too, felt that seven years is the right amount. As a fan myself, I do want to do what is right for the show.”

Riverdale was renewed for its seventh season back in March. According to Pedowitz, Season 7 will be held until midseason, meaning it will debut sometime in 2023, though he noted he does "not believe" the season will be shorter due to the midseason premiere. 

News of Riverdale's departure comes at a very tumultuous time for the network, amid talk of a possible sale and the cancellations of several beloved series that many fans were hoping to hold onto a little while longer, particularly in the superhero department. While mainstays like The Flash will remain part of the network for at least another year, and Gotham Knights will launch a new chapter in the CW superhero tapestry, fans did lose beloved shows like Legends of Tomorrow and Batwoman as the 2022-2023 slate took shape. It's left fans wondering if The CW, which has dominated superhero television for the last decade with a massive lineup of DC Comics-inspired shows, might be leaving the superhero game behind. On the same call Thursday, Pedowitz assured everyone that is not the case, "sale or no sale."

“So we’re not as robust as we were in the past, but still very much there,” Pedowitz said, according to Variety. “We started with one, this was Arrow 10 years ago, we have now moved to create a whole bunch of superheroes. And we’re proud of it and we plan to stay in that business. No matter what the outcome is, with any event of sale or no sale. I think the Warner side realizes the value of having these properties up. DC Comics realizes the value of what it does to their marketability, in terms of what these franchises are.”

The CW's 2022-2023 line-up will launch with All American and new series All American: Homecoming on Mondays, new shows The Winchesters and Professionals on Tuesdays, and returning series Stargirl and Kung Fu on Wednesdays. Thursdays will include returning drama Walker and new prequel series Walker: Independence, while Fridays will include mainstays Penn & Teller: Fool Us and Whose Line Is It Anyway. The weekend lineup includes Magic with the Stars and World's Funniest Animals on Saturdays, followed by new drama Family Law and returning series Coroner on Sundays. 

Riverdale joins a long list of midseason premieres for 2023 that also includes Season 9 of The Flash, Season 4 of Nancy Drew, Season 3 of Superman & Lois, Season 9 of Masters of Illusions, and new series Gotham Knights and Recipe for Disaster

However you look at it, The CW is facing an era of big changes while still hanging on to some of the old formulas. It'll be really interesting to see what the 2023-2024 season looks like after all of this.

Looking for more sci-fi, horror and supernatural action? Check out Resident Alien and Chucky on Peacock, and catch up on the first season of SYFY's SurrealEstate in the SYFY app ahead of Season 2's return.

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