There are few Netflix shows fans love more than Virgin River, and to their delight, they’re going to get a whole lot more of it in the future. Not only did Virgin River season 5 release in two parts in fall 2023, but Netflix already announced Virgin River season 6 is in the works.
It’s not a surprise that Netflix would want to keep the hit romantic drama series going for as long as possible. Alexandra Breckenridge recently opened up about her hopes for the series being renewed for season 6, and the Mel Monroe actress got her wish — as did we all!
Now that Netflix has confirmed Virgin River season 6, it’s time to keep fans updated with everything we know about the upcoming season, including details on the renewal, reduced episode count, filming status, release window, and more! The latest update was added on Thursday, Feb. 22.
Season 6 release pushed to 2025
On Feb. 1, Netflix revealed its lineup of movies and shows slated for released throughout 2024, but Virgin River was noticeably absent from the shows list. Unfortunately, later that day, confirmation arrived that season 6 would no longer be eyed to release in 2024. Instead, the next season of the series will be released in 2025. When in 2025? Hopefully sooner rather than later!
While a number of other popular shows will still release on Netflix in 2024, there's a handful of shows that will miss the year altogether due to strike delays that pushed back production and post-production. It would be a Christmas miracle if season 6 was able to be released by the end of the year, but Netflix seems to have accepted a 2025 release.
Virgin River season 6 is officially renewed
On May 17, 2023, as part of Netflix’s first upfront presentation, the streamer announced the exciting news that Virgin River had been renewed for a sixth season. Virgin River season 6’s renewal arrived ahead of the fifth season’s release in September 2023.
How many episodes will there be in season 6? On Nov. 10, 2023, The Viewer’s Perspective published an interview with Virgin River writer Ildiko Susany, who revealed the official episode count for season 6. While the previous two seasons contained 12 episodes, the sixth will go back to basics with a 10-episode season. It’s unclear whether Netflix had given the reduced episode count order to season 6 prior to the writers’ strike or if it’s a result of the strike.
Even though Virgin River fans had been hoping season 5 would follow suit with seasons 3 and 4 and release in July 2023, Netflix revealed that the release date had been pushed to fall. Virgin River season 5 part 1 began streaming on Thursday, Sept. 7. The first part consists of 10 new episodes full of romance, drama, and fire. But more episodes arrived that fall.
In addition to the release of season 5’s first 10 episodes on Sept. 7, the final two episodes of season 5’s 12-episode order released on Nov. 30. These two episodes are holiday-themed episodes. Fans have long wanted a Virgin River Christmas special, and season 5 finally delivered two episodes taking place during the holidays. We'll get into spoilers from the season and what they mean for season 6 a bit further down!
Season 6 started filming in February 2024
On Feb. 22, a lot of great Virgin River news was announced by Netflix. On top of news that a potential prequel spinoff is in the works (more on that below!), Deadline confirmed that season 6 officially kicked off filming in Vancouver. Production will likely continue through the spring and then go into post-production. Netflix has already confirmed the season will release in 2025.
See Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson in the all-smiles filming announcement below!
During an Instagram live with Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson revealed that the sixth season would likely begin filming in early 2024. He also let it slip that cameras could begin rolling around February or March, meaning the season could wrap filming sometime in the summer for an eventual release in 2025. That's exactly what's happening!
As much as Virgin River fans will wanted season 6 to start filming immediately after season 5, the writers were still hard at work at crafting the season. The showrunner Patrick Sean Smith revealed to Glamour that prior to the writers’ strike, they had completed half of the episodes. On Oct. 9, 2023 the show’s official account revealed that the writers had excitedly returned to work on the remainder of season 6 following the resolution of the strike.
In her interview with The Viewer’s Perspective, Susany revealed that the writers would be completing work on the back half of season 6 “in a little over a month,” which means the writing on the season finished before the end of 2023. The writing process on season 6 began in spring 2023 before the strikes took place, but the writers were still working on scripts as of November 2023. Being so, season 6's targeted production start date in early 2024 makes all the sense.
The writers’ and actors’ strike delays
Executive producer and writer Richard Keith shared on Instagram that if the strikes weren’t resolved by the end of 2023, season 6 of Virgin River likely would not premiere until 2025. Thankfully, both of the Hollywood labor strikes ended — the writers’ strike in late September 2023 and the actors’ strike in early November 2023 — before the end of the year. However, we still have to wait until 2025 for season 6.
From July 2023 and into September, the ongoing writers’ strike prevented the Virgin River writers — as well as all writers across the entertainment industry — to continue to write new episodes. Not only will season 6 be slightly delayed because of the strike, but most shows fans look forward to each fall weren't able to air on the small screen in September and October as usual. Being so, there have been widespread delays and postponements in the entertainment industry.
The writers’ strike wasn’t the only strike that Hollywood had to contend with, as the Screen Actors Guild also joined the Writers Guild. That means, both guilds struck in tandem and the dual work stoppage impacted the future of programming. Thankfully, both guilds reached resolutions and earned new deals from the studios.
Martin Henderson inadvertently teased season 6
Even though the strikes impacted the production of season 6 and the promotional plans for season 5, Virgin River season 5 still premiered in fall 2023l. Getting ahead of the promotional cycle, Martin Henderson posted a photo of himself from set and accidentally captioned the photo with “season 6,” leading fans to think cameras started rolling on the next season.
However, season 6 had not started filming at that point. Henderson simply made a typo when sharing the photo with his fans. When season 6 starts filming in spring 2024, Henderson and the whole cast will surely tease fans on social media as normal, and they will be able to promote and talk about season 6 when its released in 2025 as normal, too!
WARNING: Spoilers from Virgin River season 5 from this point forward!
Virgin River season 5 part 1 ending cliffhangers
Ahead of the holiday episodes, Virgin River season 5 episode 10 ends with a tease of what’s to come. Mel receives a phone call from her sister and learns that their mother had been having an affair with a man in Virgin River years ago. The love letters Joey found leads her to believe that this man could be Mel’s real father.
Elsewhere in the lead up to part 2, Lizzie tells Denny that she thinks she’s pregnant, which could surely throw a wrench in his plans to return to college. Doc signs on for a clinical trial for his macular degeneration, and it’s set to begin after the new year. He’s willing to take the risk on getting his vision back in the trial.
Brie and Mike begin a relationship, as do Cameron and Muriel (and gossip surely spread swiftly). Less romantically, Kaia tells Preacher that body has been discovered in the fire wreckage, and that has him worried for obvious reasons related to Wes. And finally, we learned that Calvin is the father of Charmaine’s baby, who still have yet to be born. But she does finally give birth in the Christmas episodes!
We're going to meet Mel's parents in the past
Along with the news that Netflix has been developing a Virgin River prequel series based on Mel's parents, Deadline revealed that before the spinoff gets the official green light, viewers will be able to get a glimpse into potential prequel in season 6. The upcoming season will feature flashbacks to Mel's mother Sarah and her birth father Everett, setting up the prequel. Virgin River's new showrunner Patrick Sean Smith will be writing and developing the prequel.
According to Deadline, they're still in the process of casting the younger versions of Sarah and Everett, who would then likely reprise their roles in the prequel spinoff should it be ordered to series. The potential prequel doesn't appear to be a limited series by way of Bridgerton's prequel spinoff Queen Charlotte, which means there's potential fans could see all sorts of drama go down in Virgin River in the past. Does this mean we'd get a young Doc, Hope, and more, too?!
What could happen in season 6?
Prior to the release of episodes 11 and 12, which marks the official conclusion of the fifth season, it was tough to predict exactly would could happen in season 6. However, some pieces of the puzzle had been teased toward the end of season 5, such as Lizzie’s pregnancy, Doc’s clinical trial, and Mel and Jack’s intention to buy Lilly’s farm.
Mel and Jack see buying the farm as an opportunity to grow their family, in whichever way works best for them. Jack also suggests that the farm could be a great place to get married. Being so, there could be a wedding in the works for season 6. Obviously, there will be plenty more ups and downs for each character to endure separately and as a community.
Season 5 part 2 contained a lot of answers to our questions, namely the identity of Mel's biological father. She and Jack embark on a holiday scavenger hunt around town to find him, and they finally do: Everett Reid. (No, we didn't know him prior to this season.) Elsewhere, Lizzie's pregnancy is confirmed, Cameron and Muriel seemingly hit a rough patch, the truth about Wes' body closes in on Preacher, and Lark might not be who we (or Brady) think she is.
After the holiday episodes, Smith revealed that Doc's trial will be successful, so that's a cliffhanger we don't have to lose sleep over. The showrunner also offered a number of teases about the upcoming season, including a continued focus on Mel and Jack, Mel continuing to get to know Everett (and learning what he has to tell her!), Brady and Brie still having a shot at love, and so many other juicy tidbits to look forward to in season 6. Check out all of the teases here!
Susany teased season 6 as much as she could to The Viewer’s Perspective, sharing this small tidbit on the trajectory of the forthcoming episodes:
"I’m not sure how much I can give away for season six, but I will say we are very excited to focus on Mel and Jack, but we will still have everyone’s stories as well. We are definitely thrilled about Mel and Jack’s journey in season 6."- Ildiko Susany
Stay tuned for more Virgin River news and updates from Netflix Life!