Netflix is returning to Virgin River for a highly anticipated sixth season. Here’s your extended look into everything known about the upcoming sixth season of the feel-good drama, including production dates, what to expect from the story, potential release date, and much more.
The renewal for Virgin River came in May 2023, ahead of season 5’s release at Netflix’s Upfront Event. 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. As we reported in February 2024, we’ll see multiple returning faces for the upcoming wedding, with Mel’s sister Joey (played by Jenny Cooper), her husband Nate (played by Dan Payne), and their children attending the wedding alongside Jack’s Marine Corps comrades Zeke (Garfield Wilson), Josh (Eric Brecker), and Tom (Andrew Zachar).
Also, in case you missed it, Netflix is currently in the early stages of development of a spin-off to the series. Patrick Sean Smith is spearheading the new spin-off focused on the love story of Everett and Sarah, who are Mel’s parents. Season 6 of the show will feature flashbacks serving almost as a backdoor pilot.
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 Viewer’s 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 Virgin River being given larger episode orders. Both seasons 4 and 5 were upped from 10 episodes to 12, with the most recent season splitting those extra two episodes off into holiday specials.
Courtesy of an interview with Ildiko Susany, The Viewers’ Perspective in November 2023 confirmed that we’re returning to the reduced episode count of 10 for season 6.
Where is Virgin River season 6 in production?
Writing on the sixth season began in early 2023, although Netflix declined to comment until the May 2023 renewal announcement.
Cameras were at one point 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 continuing to have a budget of between $3 and $5 million per episode.
Of course, that couldn’t get underway due to the dual Hollywood strikes beginning with the writers in May and later joined by SAG-AFTRA (the union representing actors), which would go on strike just a couple of weeks earlier than that initial filming start date.
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 of the writers 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.”
In November 2023, 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.”
In December 2023, we got word that a filming schedule had been set with filming set to begin on February 2nd and run through to May 17th. This has now adjusted slightly, according to the Director’s Guild of Canada, with filming now set to get underway beginning February 21st and run through to May 30th, 2024.
Filming was announced by the Instagram page for Virgin River Instagram page to be underway as of February 21st.
Who will be directing in season 6 of Virgin River?
So far, we’ve got confirmation of two directors who are going to be behind the cameras in season 6:
- Martin Wood is a Virgin River regular, having directed 18 episodes so far, and will be returning for season 6.
- Rama Rau will be making her Virgin River debut in season 6, having previously directed on Murdoch Mysteries, Diggstown, and Honey Bee.
When will Virgin River season 6 be released on Netflix?
With cameras expected to have stopped rolling by the end of May 2024, a 2024 release date for season 6 is a possibility but may be a stretch and that was seemingly confirmed when Netflix excluded the show from its 2024 roster of 90+ new and returning shows.
We’re currently predicting an early 2025 release date for Virgin River season 6 on Netflix.
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. Ted Sarandos teased that this would be released on Netflix Games in Q1 2024.
Are you looking forward to watching Virgin River season 6 on Netflix? Sound off in the comments below.