‘Riverdale’ EP Talks ‘Brutal’ Luke Perry Tribute Episode

The premiere of season four of Riverdale is right around the corner, and it’s going to be “brutal.”

The episode will pay tribute to the death of beloved cast member Luke Perry, who played Fred Andrews.

“When Luke passed, we very quickly made the decision that we weren’t going to address it [at the end of season three],” executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa told TVLine. “We didn’t want to rush it. We didn’t want to sandwich it in between all the other plotlines.” Even finishing off last season with a brief acknowledgement “felt a little cheap. So we thought, ‘Let’s just hold it, so we can think about it over the hiatus and reflect on it.’”

The upcoming full episode addressing Luke Perry‘s passing was “absolutely the right decision,” Roberto said. “It kind of allowed us to absorb what happened, and really think about what kind of story we wanted to tell.”

It will draw inspiration from the Friday Night Lights episode “The Son,” which is about the death of quarterback Matt Saracen’s father: “We kind of wanted to just tell a very grounded, truthful story.”

“We kind of knew this was going to be brutal on the cast, especially KJ [Apa], who was Luke’s main scene partner,” Roberto added. “[But] everyone was really proud to gather to tell this tribute to Fred, and to Luke. When it happened, we were all kind of scattered. So there was something really special when we gathered to do the table read that was cathartic. You know, shows are families. But we knew it was going to be hard, and it was.”

Season four of Riverdale premieres on October 9 on The CW at 8/7c.

READ MORE: The New Promo For ‘Riverdale’s Luke Perry Tribute Will Make You Tear Up

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