Riverdale is about to lose a resident, and not because of some catastrophic event, cult-related activity, or even a bear attack. Josie McCoy (Ashleigh Murray) — the lead singer and titular Josie from her band, Josie and the Pussycats, and one-time Archiekins love-interest — is taking her show on the road, literally, and heading off to New York City. With the release of The CW’s brand new series Katy Keene, Murray (and thus Josie) is trading in one show for the other. Don’t expect to see her on Riverdale anytime soon, or maybe ever again.
Before you really freak out about that, this is all good stuff, we promise. Josie has been a staple on Riverdale since the show premiered but actually made her initial departer at the end of season 3. After her musician dad showed back up in town, she decided to leave with him. This meant that yes, she and Archie (KJ Apa) had to break up, and while they were a cute couple, we all knew they weren’t going to last forever. Josie has already returned to Riverdale once since leaving, when she sang at Fred Andrews' (the late Luke Perry) funeral that opened the start of season 4.
None of this necessarily means that Josie couldn't show up again, but it wouldn't be in a crossover capacity because Katy Keene actually takes place a few years in the future.
The new Lucy Hale-led show is actually supposed to take place five years after Riverdale, with Hale's Katy (and also Josie) now in their mid-twenties and trying to make it in the city that never sleeps. That means that all the current events of Riverdale are well behind these ladies. Sure, Josie could always pop back in as Murray's now quite busy work schedule allows, but only as young Josie, not the more grown-up character we're about to meet. If she does come back, having to readjust to who young Josie once was may be a bit confusing, but then again, not as confusing as some of the love triangles on Riverdale.
And even though it sure sounds like Josie won’t likely be back on Riverdale anytime soon, that doesn’t mean that Riverdale characters can’t come to her, giving us glimpses into our faves' futures.
“I think it’s very likely that we will be seeing some familiar faces from Riverdale crossing over to our Katy Keene show and our New York world and we’re excited about that,” Katy Keene’s executive producer, Michael Grassi, explained at TCA in 2019. That would mean that we’re also seeing Riverdale characters five years from now — so post-high-school, mid-twenties characters, working on learning to adult.
And that may be even better than a fleeting glimpse of high school era Josie, to be honest.