In March of 2019, actor Luke Perry passed away at the age of 52 after a stroke. At the time, he was still working on the popular CW show Riverdale in the role of Archie Andrews’ dad Fred. There were lots of questions how the production would handle his death, especially given his big role on the show. However, it seems like the Season 4 premiere of the show will pay tribute to the actor by bringing in long-time friend and Beverly Hills 90210 co-star Shannen Doherty.
There had reportedly been plans to bring on Doherty sometime in the later seasons of Riverdale. There is no word as to who she will play, or how the episode will honor Perry, but it’s sure to be an emotional start to a very weird season.
“They were such good friends, and when we were putting together this tribute episode, we wanted to make it as special as possible, and so we asked Shannen to do a pivotal, super-emotional role. She read the script and immediately said ‘yes.’ It’s very impactful,” said show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa to Variety.
“It was cathartic for all of us, it put the cherry on top of that episode and made a nice tribute. She was overjoyed to have the ability to share some of the burden of Luke’s passing that she had gone through in a cathartic setting with the rest of us,” Cole Sprouse, who plays Jughead on the show, said when the news was announced at San Diego Comic Con.
Doherty isn’t the only new member of the cast who was on a popular teen show. Kerr Smith of Dawson’s Creek fame will be coming on as Mr. Honey, Riverdale High’s new principal, likely cause the last one joined a organ-stealing operation masquerading as a cult.
Riverdale Season 4 premieres on the CW on October 9, 2019.