Lucy Hale is the new Mary Tyler Moore on CW’s ‘Katy Keene’

Lucy Hale as Katy Keene — Photo: Barbara Nitke/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 Who can turn the world on with her “style,” to paraphrase the opening theme of the ’70s classic Mary Tyler Moore Show. Now, for this generation of young, independent working woman in 2020, there’s Katy Keene. And you can bet with Lucy Hale (of Pretty Little Liars fame) playing the aspiring fashion designer title role in The CW series, she’s “gonna make it after all.”

 She’s got spunk too. And great friends. The sassy comedy-drama follows the style-star and future fashion legend Katy Keene (Lucy Hale) as she chases her dreams in New York City. Her mother was a seamstress, who used to tell Katy, “You don’t have to be rich to be stylish.”

 Katy’s day job has her dealing with a bitchy-boss/personal shopper at an influential department store. Off duty, Katy designs clothes for anyone she can, including her best friends— roommate Josie (Ashleigh Murray), the Josie and the Pussycats singer; fabulous Broadway-bound performer Jorge Lopez/Ginger (Jonny Beauchamp); and Warhol-esque “It Girl,” the mysterious socialite Pepper Smith (Julia Chan). All have struggles but support each other as they take on the runway, the recording studio, stage, and the social scene. Also part of Katy’s world is her boyfriend, KO Kelly (Zane Holtz), who has his own dream of becoming a professional boxer.

 Katy Keene got a green light for Season 2 even before its debut. A spinoff of the hit CW series Riverdale, the show focuses on the lives of great optimistic characters from the Archie Comics.

 Hale loves playing such a joyful, creative person. At the Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour last summer, Lucy said, “With any character I play, I try to keep it grounded. I’m excited that we’ve created this really beautiful, optimistic world. But we are going to see the struggling of trying to make it in New York. Each of these lovely thespians right here (her castmates), have a big dream, a big goal in the show, and we’re definitely going to explore the struggle of life in general.”

 With a glorious collection of clothes to put the spotlight on her fashion-maven role, Hale is on cloud nine over her outfits. “It’s super fun. We’re having a good time with it. And we’ll see each character have a distinct style.”

 In scenes where she’s seen creating a new design, Hale actually looks like she knows what she’s doing. Lucy revealed timidly, “I can sew. I grew up cross stitching. That counts, right? I know a little but I did take a couple of lessons before doing the pilot.”

 The 30-year-old Memphis-born actress is best known for her role as Aria Montgomery on the Freeform murder mystery teen drama Pretty Little Liars. Hale also starred in Life Sentence on the CW, a series that had her dealing with issues as a suddenly cured cancer patient. Katy is a lighter role.

  Katy Keene features great music and is from Berlanti Productions’ prolific Greg Berlanti with much of the Riverdale creative team shepherding the series. Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told the TCA journalists that the network was looking for something bright, optimistic and aspirational. “We took that and ran with it. It’s nice that the show has such a different tone (from Riverdale and other CW genre shows). It’s fun to be talking about things like Broadway and fashion and not the Gargoyle King or the Black Hood or an evil cult.”

 Tune in the high-fashion fairytale Katy Keene, Thursday nights starting February 6 on The CW.

Katy Keene — Pictured (L-R): Julia Chan as Pepper Smith, Ashleigh Murray as Josie McCoy, Lucy Hale as Katy Keene and Jonny Beauchamp as Jorge Lopez — Photo: The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Margie Barron has written for a wide variety of outlets including Gannett newspapers, Nickelodeon, Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine, Fresh!, Senior Life, Production Update, airline magazines, etc. Margie is also proud to have been half of the husband & wife writing team Frank & Margie Barron, who had written together for various entertainment and travel publications for more than 38 years.