One Virgin River Character Might Be Recast in Season 6

One Virgin River Character Might Be Recast in Season 6
Image credit: Netflix

Well, dear fans, brace yourselves.


  • Although Season 6 will not be released until next year, Virgin River fans are still actively following the updates.
  • One of them turned out to be information about a possible recast, which was announced by the showrunner himself.
  • The reason is that the plot of the upcoming season is waiting for a time skip.

It's been almost three months since the Season 5 Virgin River Christmas Specials hit our small screens, wrapping up the mayhem of that wild ride. Even now, it is impossible not to think of the new drama that awaits Mel, Jack, and the rest of the people in the seemingly peaceful Northern California town. It has been a long time since the release of the episodes, but alas, the new sixth season is still a long way off.

So the only thing we can do in the absence of content, while we wait in agonizing excitement for the Virgin River story to continue, is to entertain ourselves with reports from cast and crew, while building theories and speculations. And so, parallel to the production of Season 6, more and more details are emerging, including possible cast changes.

While it seems that all of the current cast members will remain in place, Virgin River showrunner has shared that a recast is still being considered for one of the characters recently introduced to the show.

Which Character Could Be Recast?

While all of the fan-favorite cast members will apparently be returning for Season 6, details have emerged that a character introduced in the second half of Season 5 may be played by a different actor in the future. And no, we're not talking about Mel's real dad.

We're talking about... a dog. You may recall that Mel's life was turned upside down, and not just because she met her biological father: Jack gave her a puppy, a Labrador retriever the couple named Pony (because Mel had always wanted a pony!).

One Virgin River Character Might Be Recast in Season 6 - image 1

However, while the timeline for the five seasons was short, about six months, Season 6 will feature a time jump, so Pony will have grown up by then and may have to be recast.

'I'd always anticipated there would be a time jump after the holidays when we pick up with Season 6, so we were going to have that dog age naturally as we headed back into production,' showrunner Patrick Sean Smith explained. 'But we didn't account for the five-month strike. So I don't know where Pony is now in their maturation. I hope we don't have to recast, but we might have to.'

So When Is Season 6 Coming Out?

Netflix renewed Virgin River in May 2023, four months before the release of the first part of Season 5. Therefore, production should have started last summer, and Season 6 could have been released in the first half of 2024. However, WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes affected the production of Season 6.

Later, after months of wrangling with the AMPTP, the writers and actors were able to secure satisfactory contracts, and the creators of Virgin River announced that filming would run from February 2 to May 17, 2024. However, given the weather conditions in British Columbia in general and Vancouver in particular, it remains to be seen if the crew will be able to complete filming by mid-May or if production will be extended.

If filming is indeed completed by May 17, Netflix will release the new season early next year. On the other hand, this season could be pushed further out, into the summer of 2025, similar to the release of Seasons 3 and 4.

In other words, Patrick Sean Smith's hopes might actually come true and the crew won't have to find a new actor for the role, as the original big-eared master of the actor's craft might have matured enough to look like the same dog that has lived with Mel and Jack for an impressive amount of time by the time Season 6 is filmed.

Source: TV Line.