“Riverdale” will pay tribute to the late Luke Perry this fall with a little help from his longtime friend and former “Beverly Hills, 90210” co-star, Shannen Doherty.
Doherty will guest star in a “special role” on the Season 4 premiere of The CW series, entitled “Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam,” an episode that “will reflect Luke Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character, Fred Andrews, had on Riverdale.” The installment will air Wednesday, October 9, at 8/7c on The CW.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa announced the news Sunday during the show’s panel at San Diego Comic-Con, saying that he had long planned for Doherty to appear on “Riverdale,” and that her guest role “is something that Luke wanted to happen since season one.”
“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,” he added. “She read the script and immediately said ‘yes.’ It’s very impactful.”
Aguirre-Sacasa revealed last month that the Season 4 premiere of “Riverdale” would be “a tribute to our fallen friend” and “probably the most important episode of #Riverdale we’ll do this year, if not ever.”
Perry, who co-starred as Fred Andrews on the network’s Archie Comics adaptation since its premiere, died earlier this year at the age of 52 after a suffering stroke. His final appearance on the show aired last season.
“We’d started writing the end of the season and we made the decision to not address it at the end of Season 3 because we felt it would be rushed,” Aguirre-Sacasa previously said in an interview with TheWrap. “We felt it wouldn’t be the right way to honor neither Luke nor the character Fred. So we decided not long after the tragedy that we would wait and do a tribute to Luke and honoring his memory and deal with losing Fred Andrews at the beginning of Season 4.”
It was also announced during the show’s Comic-Con panel — which featured Aguirre-Sacasa and stars KJ Apa, Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, Cole Sprouse and Madelaine Petsch — that Kerr Smith (“The Fosters,” “Life Unexpected”) will play Riverdale High’s new principal, Mr. Honey.
Smith will first appear in the recurring role during the second episode of Season 4, entitled “Chapter Fifty-Nine: Fast Times at Riverdale High.”
Aguirre-Sacasa describes Smith’s character as “a bit of a hard-ass who takes a harder line with the students this year, especially with the seniors.”
Based on the Archie Comics characters, “Riverdale” hails from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios. Aguirre-Sacasa, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Jon Goldwater are executive producers.
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