Netflix Promises "More Diversity" for Virgin River Season 5

Netflix drama head Jinny Howe said diversity and inclusion on Virgin River "continues to be a focus," while also giving fans a sneak peek at what they can expect from season five.

By Charlotte Walsh Aug 23, 2022 11:22 PMTags
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Virgin River is acknowledging its shortcomings. 

Jinny Howe, Netflix's head of drama, recently admitted that "more diversity and inclusion" is a priority for the romantic drama. The series, which focuses on the ups and downs that underpin the small, titular town, has only few actors of color and recently introduced the show's first LGBTQ+ characters in season four.

"Without getting specific, I will say that that continues to be a focus," Howe said in an interview with Deadline Aug. 23. "Some of our early casting conversations for season five, I think it's fair to say that that is going to continue to be a focus and something the audience will get to experience more in season five. It's definitely a priority, and I think you will see, as we expand the Virgin River community, that there will be more diversity and inclusion."

Virgin River stars Alexandra Breckenridge, Daniel Gillies and Martin Henderson, in addition to a large ensemble cast.

The popular drama is currently renewed through season five—but may go beyond that, with Howe, in the same interview, touting the show's "longevity and growth."

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"It feels like based on what we're seeing with season four and the anticipation for season five that there is a lot more storytelling to offer us," she said. "It will be exciting to see which characters continue to break out and audiences crave more of; we're paying very close attention, understanding that this is a really rich universe of characters and that people can't seem to get enough, myself included. So I think as long as that continues to be the case—which we're very hopeful for—you can rest assured that there will be more Virgin River."


Change seems to be the trend for Virgin River season five, as Patrick Sean Smith is taking over as showrunner from the original showrunner, Sue Tenney. But Howe assured fans that the next edition of the twisty drama will remain "true to what fans have loved" while featuring "new complex tensions and triangles."

Seasons one through four of Virgin River are now available to stream on Netflix. Season five has already started production. 

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