Moving forward, the waters of Virgin River will flow in the direction of progress.
In a new interview with TVLine’s sister site Deadline, Netflix drama head Jinny Howe acknowledges that diversity “continues to be a focus” for Virgin River. The small-town drama, which regularly dominates the streamer’s weekly Top 10 charts, employs few actors of color and only recently introduced its first recurring LGBTQ+ character.
Based on “early casting conversations for Season 5,” Howe says, “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 5. 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.”
Now for the other question on everyone’s mind: how many more seasons of Virgin River does the future hold? Howe sees “longevity and growth” for the drama, which is currently filming its fifth season, adding that Netflix will continue producing episodes “as long as the audience asks for it and shows up.”
“We see with Season 4 that the fandom is very strong and growing in many places as well,” Howe says. “It feels like, based on what we’re seeing with Season 4 and the anticipation for Season 5, that there is a lot more storytelling to offer us. 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.”
Are you looking forward to a more diverse and inclusive Virgin River? Drop a comment with your hopes for Season 5 below.