Netflix is returning to Virgin River for a highly anticipated sixth season, which was announced ahead of season 5 premiering across two parts in 2023. Filming was initially scheduled to begin on the new season in the summer of 2023, but the show has been one of the titles caught up in the strikes. With the Christmas episodes now available on Netflix, let’s dig into everything known about the upcoming sixth season of the feel-good drama Virgin River.
As mentioned, the renewal for Virgin River came in May 2023, when we got the news at Netflix’s Upfront Event, where the show had been handed a sixth season renewal ahead of Virgin River season 5 that arrived with two parts in September and November. The early renewal has become a habit of the show, with every season given an early renewal (and often filming ahead of the announcement) since season 2.
The future of Virgin River continues to look pretty safe on Netflix. Jinny Howe, the head of scripted drama at the streamer, teased in an interview with Deadline in 2022 that so long as fans keep turning out for the series, “you can rest assured that there will be more Virgin River.”
Let’s dig in then; what do we know about season 6 of Virgin River?
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What to Expect from Virgin River Season 6
Warning: Some spoilers for Virgin River season 5 are below.
With the Christmas episodes now out in the wild, we now know that Mel’s father, Everett Reid, will be in the picture in the future despite their horrific first meeting.
The two-holiday specials end with Everett revealing to Mel that he’s got something serious to tell Mel before the credits begin to roll. What could he have to say? Does she have siblings? Something about her mother? That’ll be one of the key storylines heading into season 6.
Expect at least two weddings in the next season of Virgin River, with Mel and Jack finally looking to tie the knot. Could that mean we get a bit of a time jump headed into the next season? It sounds possible.
The showrunner for Virgin River season 6 spoke to Glamour Magazine about the show’s future and gave away some hints. Patrick Sean Smith teased that the events of the upcoming Christmas episodes will “directly propel us into season 6.”
Other insights from that interview included:
- Ava will be returning in season 6.
- We will see a resolution for Preacher in season 6 and how complicated his relationship with Kaia is, but Smith says he’s worried for Preacher’s future.
- The relationship between Cameron and Muriel will be explored further.
More Mel and Jack in Season 4
Ildiko Susany spoke to The Viewers Perspective in November 2023, telling the outlet that there’ll be a more significant focus on Mel and Jack but added, “We will still have everyone’s stories as well. We are definitely thrilled about Mel and Jack’s journey in season 6.”
In a recent live stream on Instagram, Martin Henderson and Alexandra Breckenridge seemed to confirm this, too. The pair suggest that things have “shifted some stuff around,” with Breckenridge saying after also speaking to Sean, “I feel like we’re going to be working a lot more.”
While season 5 did have generally positive reviews, some feared that the show strayed more into other storylines, with Mel and Jack taking more of a backseat. That evidently won’t be the case in season 6.
Reduced Episode Count for Season 6 of Virgin River
For the past two seasons, we’ve grown accustomed to the fact that Virgin River was given larger episode orders.
Both seasons 4 and 5 were upped from 10 episodes to 12, with this season splitting those extra two episodes off into holiday specials.
In an interview with Ildiko Susany, The Viewers’ Perspective in November 2023 confirmed that we’re returning to the reduced episode count for season 6.
Where is Virgin River season 6 in production?
According to our sources, writing on the sixth season had begun in early 2023, although Netflix declined to comment consistently until the May 2023 renewal announcement.
Cameras were due to begin rolling in the summer of 2023. Numerous sources state that production was initially scheduled to start on July 24, 2023, with the show still having a budget of between $3 and $5 million per episode.
SAG-AFTRA (the union representing actors) would go on strike just a couple of weeks earlier than that start date and have been on strike ever since, meaning that the production start for Virgin River season 6 (set to take place in Vancouver, Canada again) is now delayed indefinitely.
Thankfully, the writer’s strike ended in September 2023, meaning that the writer’s room could continue for the sixth season. On October 10th, the Virgin River Series account posted the first look at the writers involved in season 6 along with the caption:
“Thrilled to have our writing team back in action, diving into Season 6!”
Thanks to The Viewer’s Perspective, we can put the names of the faces in the picture:
- Patrick Sean Smith
- Erin Cardillo
- Richard Keith
- Tesia Joy Walker
- Mary Page Keller
- Thomas Ian Griffith
- Jackson Aaron Sinder
- Ildiko Susany
- Becky Hartman Edwards
Also on the writing team are Nate Tedford, Jen Troy, and Rachel Borders.
Ahead of the writers’ room re-opening, Smith told Glamour Magazine in an interview that they’ve “half of season six written, so now we just have to get back for the second half.”
It’s expected that filming on season 6 will begin in early 2023, with late February/March 2024 suggested, with filming again in Canada. Henderson confirmed the rough filming start in a live stream, saying:
“There will be more, we will be going back to resume or to start season six sometime in the New Year, probably February, something like that. So there will be more.”
When will Virgin River season 6 be released on Netflix?
Without cameras rolling until very late 2023 or, more likely at this point, 2024, seeing the show return before the close of 2024 seems like it may be a hard target to hit.
We’re currently predicting a very late 2024 or 2025 release date for Virgin River season 6. It’s likely to be the latter, however.
Throughout the strikes, numerous producers, writers, and actors suggested that the longer the strikes, the more likely a 2025 release date would be. That sentiment was on display via an Instagram post by executive producer Rich Keith, stating:
“All I want for Christmas is my two… uninions to get a fair deal from the AMPTP. If they don’t hurry up there won’t be any #VirginRiver on @Netflix until 2025…”
Ahead of the sixth season’s release on Netflix, Virgin River will be getting some more content in the form of a new title within the Netflix Stories app.
Are you looking forward to watching Virgin River season 6 on Netflix? Sound off in the comments below.