Kiwis may know him as Kane Jenkins from Shortland Street, but soon KJ Apa will be known globally for the sexy new Archie remake.

The steamy first promo has been released for Riverdale, and while it does little to reveal the plot, it does a lot to showcase Apa's hot new version of classic comic character Archie Andrews.

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the Archie Comics brand, the new show promises to be a dark and grittier take on the classic comic world.

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The first episode begins with the death of a fellow high school student, setting off a murder mystery vibe that runs throughout the show.

Executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told Entertainment Weekly: "It's definitely Archie, but a little darker, a little more complex and a little weirder than you might remember from the digest you bought at the supermarket. We're saying it's a little bit like Archie meets Twin Peaks."

Apa, who rose to fame as Kane on Shortland Street, was cast after a four month worldwide talent search. He leads the show as Archie, described in this version as an "intense, conflicted teen" forced to choose between his love of writing and performing music and his football team.

He is already earning plenty of attention for the role, though not necessarily for his acting. Apa's buff body seems to be the main attraction, with MTV, Just Jared, AV Club and Nerdist using it as a highlight, and fans on Twitter going off.

The first episode was screened at Comic-Con earlier this year, where it was met with positive reviews. The Nerdist described it as the best new drama of the season, while comic site Newsarama gave it 8 out of 10 and said it could be CW's best comic book adaptation yet.

Apa's take on Archie is being described as an
Apa's take on Archie is being described as an "intense, troubled teenager" in the Twin Peaks-esque show.

The show features Luke Perry as Archie's dad Fred, Zack and Cody star Cole Sprouse as Jughead Jones, and Ashleigh Murray as Josie, lead singer of the Pussycats.

Riverdale will bring together many aspects of the wider Archie Comics brand, with producers refusing to rule out whether or not Sabrina the Teenage Witch will turn up at some point.

The show will premiere in America late January. Local screening details are yet to be confirmed.