Here’s the plan: Pearlman and company have made a licensing deal with Archie Entertainment to recreate the two animated pop music groups, complete with real-life counterparts and all the 21st century trimmings.

As with the recently televised saga of O-Town, a nationwide talent search will soon ensue to hunt down members for the new bands. Following the search, the two groups will immediately begin work on albums and start prepping for tours.

In addition to the music, the groups will also be involved in live and animated TV specials, as well as theatrical and direct-to-video flicks.

To keep up the appearance of the original story line, Archie Entertainment will monitor every activity involving the groups to preserve the “wholesome tradition of the beloved fictional Riverdale High School teenagers.”

Of course, Pearlman knows all about the create-a-band business. He’s the man who brought us Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC, LFO, C-Note and O-Town.

Perhaps the success of the animated Gorillaz is behind this new interest in cartoon bands. But while Gorillaz has certainly exploited the medium, it isn’t exactly a pioneer in the field.

Back in the day, there were two well-known bands called The Archies and Josie & The Pussycats. Unlike their live counterparts, The Monkees and The Partridge Family, the two groups didn’t even exist in 3D; they were cartoons with record contracts.

The Archies were formed by seasoned pop manufacturer Don Kirshner. Not happy with the route his other creation – The Monkees – had taken, Kirshner set out to make a studio group based on the comic book series and cartoon TV show.

While The Archies only played live once, that didn’t stop them from having a string of hits. 1969’s “Sugar, Sugar” was an international smash and hit No.1, knocking The Rolling Stones out of that spot.

Around the same time The Archies peaked, another group with cartoon series origins was waiting in the wings. Josie & The Pussycats debuted in 1970 and were an instant hit.

It didn’t take long for the shows and the ersatz groups to burn out, but thanks to comic books and movie remakes, they’ve never really gone away.