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. The renewal announcement for season six, dropped on May 17th, was a blessing for the ardent viewers to the show. However, it was not surprising, given the ratings and popularity the show received.
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 show have left the fans of the show wanting more.
Satiating this thirst, Netflix will be releasing the fifth season of Virgin River on September 7th, 2023. Following its tail-end is the renewal of the sixth season, which has riled up the fans 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: Will the strikes impact the production schedule and release date?
Recently, Henderson posted a photo of himself from the set. 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.”
View this post on Instagram
Based upon this caption, we realize 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 the fall of 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 release 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?
It’s too early to predict the plot arcs for season 6, but we do ascertain that the renewed season will pick up from where its predecessors left off. Towards the end of Virgin River season 4, the viewers see Charmaine suffering in chronic pain and is afraid of losing her twins. In a shocking turn of events, she is compelled to confess to Jack and Mel that the two boys aren’t actually his. We contend that this will be one of the major determining story arcs of the fifth season, which could be later explored in the sixth installment.
Not only that, but the upcoming installments of the series will also underscore the relationship of the most beloved couple of the show, Mel and Jack, as they encircle the tangents of family, the arrival of a new baby girl, and so much more.
In conversation with New Beauty, Alexandra Breckenridge teased some of the plot points regarding the future seasons of the show:
“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. I never say that either! I think that there’s a high sense of drama that starts to come up this season that it’s going to leave people on the edge of their seats. At least, I hope. I’m excited to get into that.”
In the fifth season, we expect Virgin River’s mayor Hope to continue recovering with Lizzie’s help and jump back to her mayoral duties. In season four, Brie revealed her rape to Brady and firmly decided to report her sexual assault and take her former boyfriend-rapist Don to court. Taking this story arc further, we expect the fifth and the sixth seasons to cover Brie’s trial following her revelation of the assault and the emotional repercussions of the same.
On a more romantic front, we’re afraid that we might be bidding adieu to Paige once and for all, as the previous installment left Preacher and her in a cabin with Vince unconscious. There’s a new love interest for Preacher, Julia, who was introduced to us in the fourth season. Is there room for a love triangle in the upcoming installments of Virgin River?
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.”
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
View this post on Instagram
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
For more release date updates on Virgin River season 6, stay tuned to Web News Observer!