A family-approved farewell. Those close to Luke Perry collaborated with producers and writers for the Riverdale season 4 premiere, in which the show paid homage to the late actor who previously stared on the show.

“One of our executive producers, Sarah Schechter, was very close to Luke and very close to his family, and we involved them as much as we could,” showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa said to reporters on October 2. “I think they read the script and then they provided those great photos.”

The episode, which aired on Wednesday, October 9, showed footage of Luke from previous tapings. The show created a sentimental sendoff for the actor and his character, Fred. “We kind of knew this was going to be brutal on the cast, especially KJ [Apa] who was Luke’s main scene partner,” Roberto explained.

Luke Perry Family Read the Script Collaborated Producers Riverdale Tribute Episode
Robert Falconer/The CW

Despite the unfortunate conditions, everyone was in support of laying Luke and Fred to rest. “I think everyone was really proud to gather to tell this tribute to Fred and to Luke, and I think everyone was, I don’t want to say happy to have a catharsis, but I think we’d been, when [Luke’s death] happened, we were all scattered, so there was something really special when we all gathered to do the table read that was cathartic,” he recalled. “But we knew it was going to be hard and it was.”

Close friend, Shannen Doherty also guest starred on the episode to pay respects to her pal. In the scene, Fred sacrificed his life to save Shannen’s character. “I am deeply honored to pay tribute to Luke on Riverdale. The care in which this show takes in honoring his memory is beautiful. He is missed. Today. Tomorrow. Forever,” Shannen, 48, wrote on Instagram back in July. Sources told In Touch exclusively the actress was “devastated” over the loss of her friend, adding, “she can’t believe he is gone.”

The Beverly Hills, 90210 alum died to March at the age of 52. The actor had suffered a stroke, leaving behind his son Jack, 22, and daughter Sophie, 19, with ex-wife Rachel “Minnie” Sharp. At the time of his death, he was engaged to Wendy Madison Bauer.

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