tv critic’s corner

A ratings boost for ‘Riverdale’ after its Netflix showcase

From left: Cole Sprouse and K.J. Apa in a scene from the CW’s “Riverdale.”
Diyah Pera/THE CW
From left: Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa in a scene from the CW’s “Riverdale.”

Remember summer reruns? The networks hardly engage in that quaint practice these days, with summer now containing as many fresh series as the rest of the year. But something may be taking the place of reruns. Looks like it might help a show big time if it’s already-aired seasons become available on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu.

To wit, “Riverdale,” the CW’s spin on the Archie comics with gym bodies and angst-filled diner meetups. The first season of 13 episodes aired from January to May on the CW, and then it moved to Netflix for the summer. When the show returned for season two on the CW on Oct. 11, the ratings were up significantly, with 60 percent more viewers than the first-season premiere. The show’s summer on Netflix helped the CW in a big way.

To make sure those who found “Riverdale” on Netflix understood that the show was not a Netflix show, the CW ad campaign for season two made it clear that new episodes would only be available on the CW and its streaming app. Let’s see how big this trend gets.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert. Come see Matthew at Globe Live Oct. 27 & 28. Tickets: