Since the tragic and untimely death of actor Luke Perry, who is best known for his role as teen heartthrob Dylan McKay in the '90s teen drama "Beverly Hills, 90210," his recent television show "Riverdale" has halted production on the currently unfinished season. While most are still in shock of Perry's passing and in the wake of his death, many are asking, "How will the television adaptation of the Archie comics continue without Perry's crucial character?"
While Perry's character might not be crucial, Perry portrayed Archie's father, Fred Andrews. Fred Andrews character was important in that he was the only genuine, honest and good-hearted character in the series. He was a single father who did everything to make his son and his town the best they could be. In the fictitious town of Riverdale, Fred was the only realistic character and he proved to be the only ray sunshine in the darkness that consumes it.
Since his character has already faced death multiple times, it will be interesting to see how the storyline will change due to his passing. Fans are worried about how Perry's death will unfold in the series, but this is nothing new to Hollywood.
Many well-known shows have had to deal with the loss of one of their cast members. In the early seasons of the '80s classic Cheers, they had to deal with the death of Nicholas Colasanto who portrayed the beloved bartender, Coach. Coach's character died when Colasanto died. Similar shows have followed in "Cheers" footsteps. When dealing with the untimely death of John Ritter on "8 Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter," the ABC sitcom addressed the character's death similar to Ritter's actual death. It was a sudden and unexpected heart attack.
Three years later, John Spencer who portrayed Leo McGarry on the NBC political drama "West Wing" also passed away. The character he was playing was supposed to run for vice president alongside actor Jimmy Smits. The duo was supposed to win the election and carry the show into more seasons. However, his character died in the show the same way Spencer passed away in real life, a heart attack.
However, when actor Corey Monteith's, who played Finn, died during his time on the television show "Glee," the show chose not to reveal the cause of Finn's death. Another character simply says "Everyone wants to talk about how he died too, but who cares? One moment in his whole life — I care more about how he lived." This left viewers feeling sad for his loss and frustrated with how it was handled.
Some movie franchises have had to deal with the passing of major characters. Heath Ledger passed away shortly after wrapping up Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight." Recently, a family member of Ledgers said that he was supposed to reprise his role as the Clown Prince of Crime in the "The Dark Knight Rises." At the time of the release of the third movie in Nolan's Batman trilogy, there was speculation of Nolan killing off the Joker in respect of Ledger, but instead, Nolan decided to write the Joker out of the script because he couldn't replace Heath Ledger as the Joker.Heading back to "Riverdale" and the loss of Perry, the show recently released that every episode will be dedicated to Luke Perry. While everything is still fresh, they will most likely write his character out of the show. To find a replacement for Luke Perry wouldn't fit the series. It was clear that Perry was the only man to play Fred Andrews in this television adaptation of the beloved Archie comics, and it appears fans young and old won't stand for anything less.