When Riverdale first launched, the very premise seemed a bit silly: Twin Peaks, but set in the Archie Comics universe. But the show quickly proved itself to be a smart soap, as much about the unfinished business of adults as the teens solving an unnerving murder mystery. And, from the looks of things, it paid off and then some.
Riverdale saw its ratings double between its first season and second season premiere. Vulture has the numbers and they’re even more interesting when you delve into the demographics:
The Greg Berlanti–produced soap drew 2.3 million same-day viewers last night and notched a 0.8 rating in adults under 50, more than doubling its May finale tune-in and jumping 67 percent above its heavily promoted January series premiere. Compared to last winter’s premiere, the show leapt 140 percent with women under 35 and exploded by a jaw-dropping 467 percent with teens…In fact, among millennial and Gen-Z women, Riverdale tied or beat every show on ABC, CBS, or NBC Wednesday, finishing behind only Fox’s Empire and Star.
Vulture credits Netflix with the bump, arguing that the heavy promotion and binge-able availability meant teens and Millennial viewers got hooked on the show. The Netflix bump is rare in the wild; only Breaking Bad has ever really seen substantial gains. But it might simply be there’s nothing quite like Riverdale even on Peak TV. As Uproxx’s Jessica Toomer pointed out, even self-proclaimed HBIC Cheryl Blossom quickly becomes more complicated and interesting than she appeared after her mean girl introduction. It could just be more people are getting past the elevator pitch of the show and realizing it’s a great watch. Or maybe they just heard about that shower scene.