Riverdale Season 4 premiered on October 9 with a bittersweet tribute to Luke Perry who played Fred Andrews.
Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said to reporters on October 2 that they wanted to have Perry’s family as involved as possible. Sarah Schechter, one of the show’s executive producers, is very close to Perry and his family. They had Perry’s family read the script and provide photos for the tribute.
The Beverly Hills 90210 actor died in March at age 52 following a stroke. He and ex-wife Rachel “Minnie” Sharp had two children, Jack, 22, and Sophie, 19. Perry was engaged to Wendy Madison Bauer at the time of his death.
The episode aired on Wednesday, October 9. It featured several photographs of Perry and footage of his character, Fred Andrews, taken from previous episodes. The episode had Archie played by KJ Apa and the rest of Riverdale’s residents giving Fred a funeral after a fatal hit-and-run car accident.- Advertisement -
Aguirre-Sacasa had to consider the weight of the event on the cast. This was especially true on Apa who shared many scenes with Perry as main scene partners being father and son in the series. The two had a scene in their kitchen almost every episode, with Fred giving Archie advice that the teenager may or may not listen to. The scenes had been major touchstones for Apa, said Aguirre-Sacasa.
Luke’s Beverly Hills 90210 costar Shannen Doherty had a significant role in the premiere. The 48-year-old actress played the role of a woman whom Fred was helping to change a flat tire. Fred ended up saving her life from the fatal accident that took his own life.
According to Aguirre-Sacasa, he and Luke talked about having Shannen on Riverdale. For some reason, the timing never worked out or the role wasn’t right.
Doherty and Perry had a long friendship with each other. Perry had been speaking to Aguirre-Sacasa about getting Doherty on the show for a long time. While working on the premier, the showrunner thought that having an actress that shared a genuine connection with Perry would be the perfect fit for the role.
Be sure to watch Riverdale Season 4 premiere in case you missed it!- Advertisement -