'Riverdale' Season 5 Release Date: When Will the Next Season Air After Current Run Cut Short?

The CW will air the season finale (Season 4, Episode 19) of Riverdale on Wednesday, May 5, a couple of episodes earlier than intended after the coronavirus shut down production on the show. However, Riverdale Season 5 has been greenlit, meaning that fans of the show should be able to see the missing episodes at some point later in the year.

However, fans might have a longer than usual wait before the release date of the next season of the show. The last three seasons of the show premiered in October, with Season 4 starting to film in July 2019.

That means that for Riverdale Season 5 to release in the show's usual October slot, filming will have to start on the show by late summer. For that to happen, however, lockdown in Vancouver, where Riverdale is filmed, will have to be lifted by then.

There is some possibility that this may happen. According to GlobalNews.ca, Vancouver city councilors in April were discussing the ramifications of restrictions being lifted in May, at the end of August or in December. If the latter ends up being the case, then the earliest likely release date for Riverdale Season 5 will be in spring 2021.

riverdale cast
'Riverdale' Season 5 may been delayed into 2021. The CW

There are some, however, who will want production to open as soon as possible. According to the Canadian Media Producers Association, a lockdown lasting until the end of June will cost the industry $2.5 billion.

While there was a three-month-gap between Riverdale Season 4 starting filming and the first episode airing on The CW, there are some signs that the show may be able to shorten that gap for Season 5.

The series is assumed to have three scripts ready to go, as the show was meant to run for 22 episodes. Season 4, Episode 20 is also believed to have been already filmed, which means that post-production on that can begin as soon as lockdown is lifted.

While fans will probably see those remaining episodes in some form, The CW show may have to make some big changes to them, which might delay their release date. Riverdale Season 5 is believed to feature a five-year time jump.

This was first rumored in a TVLine blind item and then confirmed by departing cast member Skeet Ulrich, who told Australia's The Today Show: "I know they want to take the show in a little bit [of a] different direction next season, too, and jump five years ahead."

If this is the case, the show will have to decide whether they will start the season in the current timeline and jump ahead later, or abandon the scripts and filmed episode they already have and start Season 5 with the time jump. Which option they choose will obviously affect the release date of Riverdale Season 5.

Though we do not know the release date of Season 5 yet, it is believed that Netflix will still air episodes of the show internationally the day after they air in the U.S. whenever the show returns.

Riverdale Season 5 is coming soon to The CW.