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Riverdale's Season 4 Premiere Will 'Honor' Luke Perry

Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa previews 'a tribute to our fallen friend'

Amanda Bell

Riverdale fans might want to stock up on Kleenex this summer because it sounds like the Season 4 premiere is going to be an emotional doozy. Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has revealed in a tweet that the new season's first episode will be titled "In Memoriam" and will pay tribute to the late, great Luke Perry as well as his character, Fred Andrews.

"Probably the most important episode of Riverdale we'll do this year, if not ever," Aguirre-Sacasa wrote, to caption an image of the premiere's script cover. "A tribute to our fallen friend. Thankful for this opportunity to honor Luke & Fred."

In March, Perry died at the age of 52 after being hospitalized for a massive stroke. Production was temporarily halted on the third season in the wake of his passing, and the first episode of Riverdale that aired after his death paid tribute to him with an in memoriam message at the end -- a dedication Aguirre-Sacasa promised would appear after each episode so long as the show remained on air.

Perry's final scene as Fred Andrews came the next month and featured the character doing what he did best: helping his son Archie (KJ Apa) work through his latest conundrum.

After the Season 3 finale still left Fred's fate unclear, Aguirre-Sacasa told TV Guide about how the show might choose to honor the actor and wrap up his storyline in a thoughtful way. "We have to really honor Luke, who was such an important part of the show and such an important part of our family. Then I think we [have] got to address what happens to Fred in a believable, emotional, grounded way," he explained. "Whatever we decide, I don't think it's going to be one of our crazy gonzo plots. I think it's going to be something hopefully more simple and more profound."

Riverdale's fourth season will premiere this fall on Wednesday, Oct. 9 at 8/7c on The CW.

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)

​Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, ​Riverdale

Luke Perry as Fred Andrews, Riverdale

Art Streiber/The CW