EXCLUSIVE: Virgin River just completed its fifth season with a two-episode Christmas special. It followed a 10-episode Part 1, which was released in September. The upcoming sixth season won’t follow the same pattern.
“No, I don’t know if I would do the holidays again. It’s sort of, been there done that, and I feel like we did it in a big way that I wouldn’t even know where to start to explore,” Virgin River showrunner Patrick Sean Smith told Deadline in an extensive interview. “I think we’re probably looking at a 10-episode season moving forward.”
More from Deadline
After producing 10 episodes in Seasons 1-3, Virgin River went up to 12 episodes in Seasons 4 and 5. The hit romantic drama starring Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson is now expected to go back to 10 episodes a season, starting with Season 6, with no more holiday specials planned.
The Virgin River writers, led by Smith, who joined as executive producer/showrunner at the start of Season 5, had finished half of the scripts for Season 6 when they went on strike in May.
“Coming back to it, we’re finishing the second half,” he said in the post-mortem interview, in which he reveals “another time jump from the holidays to when Season 6 starts.”
Smith also has good news on Doc’s medical trial prognosis and teases more Mel and Jack, weddings and returning villains next season, which, according to Smith, is slated to begin production in the first half of 2024.
“We’re going to start as soon as the Vancouver weather allows. So hopefully in the spring is what I’ve been hearing,” Breckenridge told Deadline in a separate interview. “I keep trying to tell them they should just pick up Season 7 so we can just knock Seasons 6 and 7 and call it a day.”
While an early Season 7 renewal has not happened — at least not yet — both Breckenridge and Smith indicated that there are no plans to end Virgin River with Season 6.
“I’m not aware of it being the final season. Hopefully we’ll get more,” Breckenridge said.
Added Smith, “There’s no plans of wrapping anything up. I think, as long as these characters are living, there are always going to be stories to tell, and that’s an incredible opportunity for any showrunner.”
Best of Deadline