Riverdale's population is going to go down next season, because two of the teen drama's stars just announced they are leaving the show. While the bulk of Riverdale's stories are centered on the young cast of characters, the parents have also become major players over the past several seasons. That's why is was a huge shock to the whole fandom to find out that F.P. Jones and Hermione Lodge won't be in Riverdale Season 5. Both Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols announced on Sunday, Feb. 23 that they would be departing from the series after its currently airing fourth season ends.
This exit is a big shake-up for Riverdale, which has included Ulrich and Nichols as main cast members ever since its first season. Ulrich plays Jughead Jones' reformed father F.P. Jones, the former leader of the Southside Serpents biker gang who has since become Riverdale's sheriff. And Nichols plays Veronica Lodge's mother Hermione Lodge, the duplicitous wife of mafia boss Hiram Lodge who often fluctuates between helping his criminal schemes along and hatching her own plans to stab him in the back. Riverdale has already been renewed for a fifth season, confirming the show will continue on without F.P. and Hermione.
Despite their importance, both characters have not gotten much to do in Season 4, with F.P. sometimes stepping in to help out Archie and Hermione sitting on the sidelines as Veronica and Hiram continue their long-standing rivalry.
TVLine broke the news of Ulrich leaving Riverdale after Season 4, and shared a statement from the actor explaining that he felt it was time for him to take on new challenges.
I’m incredibly grateful for the friendships I’ve made on Riverdale, and I will miss seeing everyone on a daily basis. I’m proud to have been part of such a talented group of people, in front of the camera and behind. But I’ve decided that it’s time for me to move on to explore other creative opportunities.
Ulrich will next appear in the upcoming sci-fi movie Bios alongside Tom Hanks. He also took to Instagram to share the news, thanking fans for their support and emphasizing that his time on Riverdale was very special to him.
Nichols also shared a statement about her departure with TVLine, saying that Riverdale's cast has become family for her but she is ready to take on new opportunities.
I had an incredible time bringing Hermione Lodge to life and working with my amazing cast, who became family. We had so many wonderful times together during the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. We really do have the best fans ever. I am looking forward to the next chapter and am excited about the future.
Nichols also confirmed the exit news on social media, tweeting her appreciation for Riverdale's fans and reminding them that she will still be in all the remaining episodes of Season 4. Her next project is Spiral, the next installment in the Saw franchise, which also stars Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock.
It is not clear how Riverdale will explain F.P. and Hermione's departure story-wise, but showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa did provide a pretty crucial clue in his statement on the news, via Variety.
Part of life in Riverdale — and part of growing up — is saying goodbye to people. I’m grateful to Skeet and Marisol for their incredible work on the show these last four years, and we all wish them well on their future endeavors. F.P. and Hermione will never be far from our hearts. And, of course, they’re always welcome back in Riverdale.
Given Aguirre-Sacasa's open invitation to have Ulrich and Nichols return to the show in the future, it sounds like neither F.P. nor Hermione will be killed off at the end of Season 4.
The fourth season of Riverdale airs new episodes Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, and is expected to conclude in mid-May.