Virgin River Season 5: Taking inspiration from classic small-town series like Friday Night Lights and Dawson’s Creek, Netflix hit Virgin River has an old-school feel. The pace is leisurely, the relationships are slow burners, and the electronics are few and far between—but Netflix has moved fast to capitalize on its unexpected success, quickly renewing Virgin River for seasons four and five in the wake of the release of season three. Now that fans have raced through season 4 of Virgin River, they’re itching to find out when they can expect season 5—and what that season might look like.
We’ve got good and bad news on that front: Filming for the fifth season was unexpectedly pushed back four months, from March 2022 to July 2022. Alexandra Breckenridge, who plays Mel, let slip to Glamour during a conversation about This Is Us that Virgin River had been delayed: “They’ve been trying to get me to come back since I’ve been on Virgin River,” she said of This Is Us, which ended earlier in 2022. “We were supposed to start shooting season five of Virgin River in March, but it was pushed to July. So had we started when we were supposed to, I don’t know that Sophie and Kevin [of This Is Us] would’ve ended up together.”
The good news: What’s on Netflix confirmed in July 2023 that Virgin River Season 5 had begun filming in British Columbia. Filming formally wrapped in late November of 2023, with the official Virgin River Instagram sharing, “That’s a WRAP on Season 5! 😉”
Season 5 of Virgin River will follow season 4’s footsteps and boast 12 episodes, rather than the 10 episodes of seasons one through three. Per What’s on Netflix, each episode of season 5 cost between $3 and $5 million to make.
‘Virgin River’ Season 5: Plot
Henderson had just finished filming the beginning of the fifth season when he spoke to Glamour about what’s in store. “The baby stuff gets really interesting…A lot of stuff gets wrapped up and then there’s a whole bunch of new beginnings, new storylines,” he said. “I can’t give too much away. I know someone might move away. Someone might leave.”
Breckenridge, for her part, noted to New Beauty that she thought season five included some of the best episodes yet. “I think this season has started out well, and we’re getting into a few episodes soon that are pretty heavy. They’re really intense and I think that they’re some of the best episodes we’ve ever done,” she said.
O’Toole seemed to confirm the “heaviness” of the season, saying to Hello!: “There is a big thing that happens right in the middle of the season that brings the community together in a very big way and it’s a kind of timely topic that’s happening in our country and I’m really glad that they’re going there.”
Spoilers for Virgin River season 4. At the end of the fourth season, we learned that Doc’s grandson, Denny, has Huntington’s disease. Tim Matheson, who plays Doc, noted in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that this news will, of course, affect his own character: “Most doctors feel like, ‘I could fix this.’ There’s that conflict. But what’s great is that Hope has invited Denny into their home, and he becomes a part of their home. Maybe even more than medical attention, being surrounded by that love is equally important as medical treatment for his illness.”
We also saw Brie confront her abusive ex, Don. “Without giving anything away, I can at least tell you that Brie is somebody who follows through on her promises. Where that takes her, I cannot reveal,” Zibby Allen told TODAY. She also said to People about her relationship with Brady: “I really hope that they figure out how to navigate something that’s real,” she said. “I think they’re so different, right? They come from such different walks of life. So the big question mark is, ‘Can they make it last and have a real day-to-day relationship?'”
Meanwhile, we learned at the end of season 5 that Preacher may or may not have killed Vince. “I can’t tell you [if Preacher killed Vince],” showrunner Patrick Sean Smith told EW. “It is something that we pick up immediately. We pick up right after that incident in season 5.” He added: “I know how important that relationship is. Not just between Preacher and Paige, but also Preacher and Christopher, so it’s definitely something that we will service and address in season 5.”
Not to mention the arguably biggest reveal of season 5: Charmaine revealing to Jack that the twins actually aren’t his—not long after Mel revealed that her baby is Jack’s. Is one of them bluffing? Does Jack have one biological child on the way, or three? (For his part, Henderson said during interviews for season 5: “We’ll give him Mel’s baby, but Charmaine’s babies are not his.” For more about why Charmaine has been lying, he said: “You’re going to find out in season five.”)
Then there’s Jack’s ex-wife, Mandy, who we’ve heard about but never met…until now? Speaking to Glamour, showrunner Sean Smith said mysteriously: “I would say, check out season five and see if Mandy makes an appearance.”
‘Virgin River’ Season 5: Release Date
Seasons three and four of Virgin River were released a year apart, in July 2021 and July 2022 respectively—signaling that Netflix may be aiming to release one new season of the show per year. Which could suggest that season five could be released as early as July of 2023, if we’re lucky.
As for future seasons? Expect a bunch of them. For one thing, there are 24 (yes, 24) Virgin River books in the Robyn Carr book series the show is based on. For another, Howe told Deadline: “We’re paying very close attention, understanding that this is a really rich universe of characters and that people can’t seem to get enough, myself included. So I think as long as that continues to be the case—which we’re very hopeful for—you can rest assured that there will be more Virgin River.”
‘Virgin River’ Season 5: Cast
What’s on Netflix reports that four new actors are joining the cast of Virgin River season 5: Susan Hogan, Elise Gatien, Kandyse McClure, and Paolo Maiolo. It’s not clear what characters they’ll play in the new season.
Netflix has also confirmed that season 5 will feature more diversity than previous seasons, with Netflix’s head of drama Jinny Howe telling Deadline: “I think it’s fair to say that [diversity] is going to continue to be a focus and something the audience will get to experience more in season five. It’s definitely a priority, and I think you will see, as we expand the Virgin River community, that there will be more diversity and inclusion.”