Why ‘Riverdale’ Season 5 May Take Longer To Arrive Than You Hoped

The season 4 finale of Riverdale ended on a major cliffhanger. And while it may not have been the ending fans were expecting, it did bring Archie and his friends one step closer to transitioning into their adult lives. With the riveting season behind them, fans are anxious to find out when Season 5 will premiere

Riverdale season premiere
(L-R): Lili Reinhart, Cole Sprouse, KJ Apa, Camila Mendes and Casey Cott in the Riverdale season premiere | Robert Falconer/The CW

Season 4 of ‘Riverdale’ ended early

Initially, the fourth season of Riverdale was scheduled to air with 22 episodes, just like the last two installments. But due to COVID-19 safety measures, along with most other shows and films, the series’ production was shut down. 

In a statement to Deadline, Warner Bros. TV revealed that a crew member had tested positive for  COVID-19 and that the show (which is filmed in Vancouver) would pause production to keep the rest of the cast and crew safe. 

“We are working closely with the appropriate authorities and health agencies in Vancouver to identify and contact all individuals who may have come into direct contact with our team member,” the statement read. “Out of an abundance of caution, production on Riverdale is currently suspended.”

As a result, the season ended early with Episode 19. But the last installment of Season 4 was never meant to be the season finale. This is why fans didn’t see Archie and the gang graduate, and it’s also why the show ended with such a big cliffhanger. 

‘Riverdale’ Season 5 should pick up where it left off 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Mädchen Amick — who plays Alice Cooper on Riverdale and also directed the Season 4 finale — revealed that filming was halted right after Episode 19 was filmed. 

“The episode that I shot was the last episode that we completed as far as filming,” she said. “We were halfway through 20 when production stopped, so I was editing when production stopped. At that point, we didn’t really know that the season would be done.”

She also said that Season 5 would pick back up with the mystery, but with some changes.  “They’ll have to adjust some storytelling with what they had planned at the end of this season,” said Amick. “As far as my episode, it pretty much stayed intact the way it was written. There was a new layer that came into the story that now serves as an interesting cliffhanger.”

So, when will Season 5 premiere?

As of now, there is no word on when Riverdale will return for Season 5. Film and TV productions all over the world remain paused. And until COVID-19 safety precautions and restrictions are lifted, they will likely have to stay that way. 

For season 4 of Riverdale, the cast and crew started filming in June/July of 2019. And the season premiered later that year in October. But without knowing when the show will return to production, it’s hard to gauge when the new season will premiere. 

The good news is that fans can revisit past seasons of Riverdale on Netflix, and bide time by rewatching their favorite episodes.