The creator says that he had planned a whole bunch of time jumps, to boost the final season.
The final chapter of Riverdale almost looked a little different from the one we discovered this summer. The final season 7, broadcast until August 23 (in France on Netflix) should have included a maximum of time travel, as Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, the boss of Riverdalein an interview with TVLine:
“Originally, when we pitched season 7, one of the ideas we came up with was to do the first 13 episodes in the 1950s. Then starting with episode 14, we started to move forward in time. So, episode 14 would take place in the 60s, episode 15 would take place in the 70s, then the 80s, the 90s… and like that up to the present day.”
So why was the plan revised? Big money stories:
“It quickly became clear that in terms of budget, all these time jumps were too expensive to achieve. They were not within the realm of possibility for us. And then this more elaborate plan of ours seemed more suitable in terms of of narration. Because Riverdale had already done a time travel plot like this during season 6. And then finally, with the writers, the actors and the whole crew, we were having such a fun time in the 1950s that we stayed there. We figured we’d continue to tell their coming-of-age stories before bringing everyone back at the end.”