The Beverly Hills, 90210 alumna has been cast in the CW drama’s Season 4 premiere, it was announced at Sunday’s San Diego Comic-Con panel. The episode, titled “Chapter Fifty-Eight: In Memoriam,” will “reflect Luke Perry’s enduring legacy and the indelible imprint his character, Fred Andrews, had on Riverdale,” according to the official logline. Details regarding Doherty’s “special role” are being kept under wraps.
Perry and executive producer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa had long planned for Doherty to make a guest appearance on Riverdale. “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,” Aguirre-Sacasa said. “She read the script and immediately said ‘yes.’ It’s very impactful.”
At the Comic-Con panel, cast member Cole Sprouse (Jughead) shared that “it was cathartic for all of us” to have Doherty on set for the season premiere. “I think it really put the cherry on top for that episode and made a nice tribute.”
In addition, Kerr Smith (The Fosters, Life Unexpected) has been cast in a recurring role as Riverdale High’s new principal, Mr. Honey. The character is described as “a bit of a hard-ass who takes a harder line with the students this year, especially with the seniors.” He will first appear in Episode 2, titled “Chapter Fifty-Nine: Fast Times at Riverdale High.”
Riverdale returns Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8/7c, where it will now lead into freshman drama Nancy Drew. (Watch our cast Comic-Con Q&A here.)
Are you looking forward to seeing Doherty pay tribute to Perry as part of Riverdale‘s sure-to-be-emotional premiere? Hit the comments with your reactions.