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Riverdale Season 5 Star Teases Josie’s Return

Ashleigh Murray, who has portrayed Josie McCoy on Riverdale, teases her character’s return to the show in an upcoming episode of season 5.

Riverdale star Ashleigh Murray teases the return of Josie McCoy in season 5. Based on the Archie Comics, while also giving its live-action protagonists a darker edge, the series has built up a strong following since its premiere on The CW in 2017. For season 5, the adaptation has jumped seven years into the future after high school graduation.

The jump has allowed for the return of Josie, who is portrayed by Murray. Josie was initially a main character on Riverdale, though she exited to join the short-lived spinoff Katy Keene which was canceled by The CW after one season. Now, following her appearance in the trailer for part 2 of Riverdale season 5, Murray is shedding light on Josie’s long-awaited comeback and her involvement in a musical episode.

Speaking with TV Line to promote the episode, which will premiere on Wednesday, September 8, Murray began by admitting that she hadn’t expected to reprise the role of Josie once Katy Keene had been canceled. The actress also revealed that her character had achieved massive success over Riverdale’s seven-year jump. Murray’s quote has been included below.

“She’s pretty much at the top of her career. All of her dreams have been realized. She is living them through and through. She is doing world tours, she’s number one on all of the top music charts. She is the Josie she always saw herself to be.”


The episode, which will see Josie singing songs by Celine Dion and Nina Simone, also features the returns of Melody (Asha Bromfield) and Valerie (Hayley Law). Josie’s former friends haven’t been seen on Riverdale since season 2, and Murray notes that the close bond that the trio once had is now strained. The returns are significant as fans of the teen drama have long argued that Josie, Valerie, and Melody have all been sidelined and diminished by the writers. These arguments were bolstered when stars of the series, from Vanessa Morgan to Bernadette Beck, slammed the series for its handling of Black characters. In response, Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa vowed to do better in terms of writing for a more diverse and inclusive ensemble. Murray says that she didn’t speak directly to Aguirre-Sacasa about the teen drama’s inclusion issues, but she promises that the episode will function as something of a “reckoning.”

It remains to be seen how that all plays out and, for now, Murray’s return is intended as a one-off guest appearance. Riverdale’s failings in the sphere of inclusion can’t be fixed with one episode. It will take time and a concerted, ongoing effort. But at least for those who have been calling for a Josie-centric installment of the teen drama, going as far back as the show’s first season, it looks like the character will finally get a chance to step into the spotlight.

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