Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again
Genre Comedy
Created by John Goldwater
Bob Montana
Written by Evan Katz
Directed by Dick Lowry
Starring Christopher Rich
Lauren Holly
Karen Kopins
Sam Whipple
Gary Kroeger
Theme music composer Mark Snow
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Graham Cottle
Running time 96 minutes (approx.)
Production company(s) Patchett Kaufman Entertainment
DIC Entertainment
Distributor National Broadcasting Company (NBC)
New Horizons Home Video
Roadshow Home Video
Original network NBC
Original release May 6, 1990
Preceded by The New Archies
Followed by Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Archie: To Riverdale and Back Again (released on video as Archie: Return to Riverdale in the United States and Archie's Weekend Reunion in Australia) was a live-action television movie based on comic book characters published by Archie Comics. It was produced by DiC and premiered on NBC Sunday Night at the Movies in 1990.

The concept behind the movie was to combine the long-standing familiarity of Archie and the gang from the comics with adult issues. In this sense, it can be seen as being similar to other "updates" of family-friendly concepts for television such as The Bradys.


Archie Andrews, fifteen years after graduating from Riverdale High, has become a successful lawyer and is preparing to marry his fiancée, Pam, and move to "the big city." Before doing that, however, he returns home to Riverdale for his high school reunion.

Archie and company are all now in their early thirties, with the trials and tribulations one might expect to have happened to such a group over the years:

When Archie sees Betty and Veronica for the first time in fifteen years, all his old feelings for them come flooding back, threatening his engagement—and it doesn't help that the girls renew their pursuit of Archie, heedless of the fact that he has a fiancée. Meanwhile, Archie also tries to keep Reggie, helped along by an uncharacteristically menacing Mr. Lodge, from evicting Pop Tate from his soda shop. Archie ultimately saves the Chock'lit Shoppe, though he loses Pam in the bargain, and decides to stay in Riverdale.


Almost all of the characters in the movie are regular or recurring characters in the originating comics:

Actor Role
Christopher Rich Archie Andrews
Lauren Holly Betty Cooper
Karen Kopins Veronica Lodge
Sam Whipple Forsythe "Jughead" Jones
Gary Kroeger Reggie Mantle
Jeff Hochendoner Moose Mason
Debi Derryberry Midge Mason
Mike Nussbaum Pop Tate
Fran Ryan Miss Grundy
David Doyle Mr. Weatherbee
J.D. Hall Coach Clayton
Cindy Ambuehl Ethel Muggs (Big Ethel)
James Noble Hiram Lodge

Additional characters were mostly created for the movie to indicate the passage of time, such as the regulars' children or new romantic partners:

Actor Role
Billy Corben Jordan "Jughead Junior" Jones
Aeryk Egan Max Mason
Matt McCoy Robert Miller
Christina Haag Pam


The NBC movie, broadcast during the May sweeps period, was seen as a pilot for a possible series. Despite well-received performances from the actors and actresses portraying the Archie characters, the movie finished a disappointing 51st in the Nielsen ratings.

Comic book version

Archie Comics published a one-shot comic book adaptation of the TV movie which coincided with its premiere. Stan Goldberg and Mike Esposito drew the sections of the book featuring the characters in flashback as teens, while Gene Colan drew characters as adults, in a less cartoony style. The comic also shows a flashback to an incident from where Archie and Betty were alone in a motel room together.[1]

Home video

The film was released on VHS in 1997 from New Horizons Home Video, with the movie retitled as Archie: Return to Riverdale.


  1. Betty and Me #40, February 1972 Always a Bridesmaid in To Riverdale and Back Again: p.29 (1990)

External links

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