The CW’s new Riverdale drama is moving right along. The show has already cast some characters that will go from the Archie comics to the small screen, and now everyone’s favorite redheaded high school student finally has a dad. Beverly Hills, 90210 alum Luke Perry has signed on to play the part.
An exclusive report from Deadline says that Luke Perry will co-star in the series as Archie’s dad, Fred Andrews. The comic version of the character is normally mostly bald and very pudgy, so they are obviously looking to shake things up a bit in casting the former teen heartthrob.
Luke Perry is still a household name to the many, many Generation Xers who were glued to their television sets on a weekly basis when Beverly Hills, 90210 was on. The show lasted from 1990 through 2000, giving fans a lot of teen and young adult drama to hold on to. Perry’s character was moody bad boy with a heart of gold Dylan McKay, and the actor inspired many a screaming teen. It’s only fitting that he’s finally graduated (ha) to playing the father of a teen who will surely be as tortured as Dylan was. I mean, the character left the famous zip code after a mob hit on him goes bad and kills his fiancé. How much more tortured can a guy with impossibly long, skinny sideburns get?
Luke Perry left the show near the beginning of the sixth season, returning permanently during the show’s last season, and has kept busy since his time on 90210. He starred opposite Ashley Judd in the independent film Normal Life in 1996, the Rodney King drama Riot in 1997 and had a small, but memorable, role in The Fifth Element that same year. Most of Perry’s work since the show, though, has continued to be in TV. He’s starred in or had appearances on a number of series over the years, including Spin City, the harrowing prison drama Oz, Jeremiah, Will & Grace, John from Cincinnati and Criminal Minds.
It’s not really a surprise that Riverdale is reinventing Fred Andrews, since the drama is planning to reinvent pretty much everything about the Archie Comics series. The show will still center on Archie, Betty, Veronica, Jughead and all their friends and families, but instead of being a happy-go-lucky look at teenage life (Archie’s biggest problem is not being able to decide which girl he likes better), they will focus on examining the oddities and hidden conflicts of small town life that hide under the picture-perfect façade.
TV super producer Greg Berlanti is behind Riverdale, and if he knows what he’s doing, he’ll be sure to make good use of Luke Perry and his fan base, who are all perfectly aged to have their own teens who’ll likely be interested in watching a new show from The CW. If a little nostalgia can’t make a parent sit down and watch a TV series with their teen, nothing can.