What could be a better beginning for fall than the release of the much-awaited fifth season of Virgin River? Dropped on Netflix on September 7, 2023, the fifth season seems to successfully hook the devout fans of the show to the couches, with the second part following its predecessor soon. The show’s increasing popularity has already secured another installment for its fans.
Renewed for a sixth season on May 17th, the fans of Virgin River couldn’t be more grateful to the creators and showrunners of the series who revisited their decision to seal the fate of the show with season 5.
Taking the fans by surprise, the first season of Virgin River, when it dropped on Netflix in December 2019, garnered exponential fame and a fan base that remains unparalleled even today. From Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, and Colin Lawrence to Jenny Cooper, the A-List stars of the fifth season of the show have left the fans of the show wanting more.
Even though the show has received a swift renewal, the fans are riled up with a slew of burning questions in their minds. However, adding a potion to this cauldron of burning questions lately are the two WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that pose a threat to the timely release of the sixth season.
Considering that the production schedules of a plethora of popular shows have ceased, fans are worried whether the sixth season will also be indefinitely postponed.
Here’s what we know about the same.
Virgin River Season 6: When can we expect the new season to arrive on Netflix?
At the time of writing this article, Netflix has not confirmed the exact release date of Virgin River season 6. The premiere of the new season will indubitably depend upon the timely completion of the production and post-production schedules.
Recently, actress Alexandra Breckenridge shared a sad update with her fans on Instagram. The actress confirmed that the sixth season of this Netflix series has been put on hold owing to the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Expressing her frustration at the situation, the actress said that it felt “weird” to sit at her home in Atlanta, Georgia, when she had prepared to be at Vancouver this time. She added, “I’m always homesick when I’m there but now my body feels like it’s supposed to be in Vancouver so it’s very bizarre.”
The latest update squashed all excitement that was spiked by Henderson when he posted a photo of himself from the set a few weeks ago. In the photo, he was sitting in front of a mountain with a grin on his face and wearing a lens. It was initially captioned while referring to season 6 instead of season 5. The edited caption then read:
“Waiting on set finding sunbeams shooting season 5… sorry I originally wrote season 6 which was a silly mistake because we haven’t made season 6.”
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Based upon this caption, it is confirmed that Virgin River season 6 has not begun with its production process. Since season 5 immediately started filming after season 4 was released, we expect a similar production schedule to be followed for the sixth season. This suggests that the filming process might kickstart in late 2023.
However, this can only materialize into reality if WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes cease to continue. If the writers had already started working on the season before the strike, we could expect the season to be released sometime in early 2024. Be that as it may, the filming won’t continue with actors on strike, even if the writing part is presumably over.
The strikes will continue until the agreement is met. That being said, if Virgin River season 6 starts filming by the end of 2023, we can expect it to hit the Netflix library in mid to late 2024.
What can we expect to happen in Virgin River season 6?
Since episodes 11 and 12 have not yet been released on Netflix, it is difficult to predict what exactly could go down in the sixth installment of Virgin River. Be that as it may, we expect the upcoming season to pick up from where its predecessors left off. For instance, we expect the season to cover Lizzie’s possible pregnancy, Mel and Jack’s wish to buy Lilly’s farm, and Doc’s clinical trial.
In the fifth season so far, Mel and Jack show their inclination to buy the farm to expand their family. Not only that, but Jack also suggests that the farm could provide a great setting for their marriage. So, does this suggest that there might be a wedding in Virgin River season 6? Perhaps.
In an interview with Deadline, Netflix’s head of drama, Jinny Howe, hinted at the change that season 5 is going to bring, saying:
“I think what’s going to be interesting is to see this universe continue to grow and expand and to see new characters, other characters return. A lot of that was set up in the Season 4 finale but it’s going to be really exciting to see all of that come to a head in Season 5. And some of the soap that’s going to come out of these new complex tensions and triangles.”
This change is expected to come to fruition in Virgin River season 6.
Not only that, but in an interview with Glamour, Breckenridge disclosed that the arrival of a new showrunner, writers, and directors would certainly herald more LGBTQ+ stories in order to induce more inclusivity in the show.
How many episodes will be there in Virgin River season 6?
At the time of writing this article, the creators of the show have not revealed the official episode count of the season. However, we do assume that season 6 will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, featuring an expanded 12-episode order. If the writers’ strike impacts future episodes and the production process, we might not even get this expanded episode order. Thus, at the moment, we predict 10 or 12 episodes for season 6.
Additionally, we also expect Patrick Sean Smith to serve as the showrunner for the sixth installment and replace Sue Tenny for the fifth season.
Who are the expected cast members of Virgin River season 6?
We expect the following cast members to be featured in Virgin River season 6. This assumption traces back to an Instagram post involving a Zoom call of a table read for season 5. This call included the following list of cast members, so we assume that they will also be a part of the sixth season of Virgin River and will reprise their respective roles:
- Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe
- Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan
- Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea
- Tim Matheson as Dr Vernon Mullins
- Benjamin Hollingsworth as Dan Brady
- Zibby Allen as Brie Sheridan
- Gwynyth Walsh as Jo Ellen
- Colin Lawrence as John ‘Preacher’ Middleton
- Sarah Dugdale as Lizzie
- Jenny Cooper as Joey Barnes
- Nicola Cavendish as Connie
- Chase Petriw as Christopher
- Kai Bradbury as Denny Cutler
- Mark Ghanime as Dr Cameron Hayek
- Marco Grazzini as Mike Valenzuela
- Teryl Rothery as Muriel
- Steve Bacic as Vince
- Christina Jastrzembska as Lydie
- Trevor Lerner as Bert Gordon
- Lucia Walters as Julia
- Keith MacKechnie as Nick
- Emma Oliver as Young Mel
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In addition to the above-mentioned list of cast members, we also expect the three new faces who were confirmed to be joining the cast of Virgin River season 5 in November 2022 to reprise their roles for season 6:
- Susan Hogan
- Elise Gatien
- Paolo Maiolo
Apart from these core cast members, the following list includes all the recurring or minor roles:
- David Stuart as Reporter Ted Ford
- Audré Alleya Stephenson
- Melanie Merkosky
- Brent Fidler
- Serge Houde
- Helenna Santos
- Gabrielle Jacinto
When will Virgin River season 5 part 2 release on Netflix?
Following the tail end of the first part of Virgin River season 5 that dropped on Netflix on September 7, 2023, two special festive episodes will reportedly be released on streaming on November 30, 2023, treating you for the holiday season.
For more release date updates on Virgin River season 6, stay tuned to Web News Observer!