‘Virgin River’ Prequel Following Mel’s Parents in Development at Netflix

Netflix is developing a “Virgin River” prequel series.

“Virgin River” follows the lives of the residents of the eponymous Northern California town, including nurse practitioner Mel (Breckenridge), bar owner and veteran Jack (Henderson), town doctor Doc (Matheson), mayor Hope (O’Toole) and many more.

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If ordered to series, the prequel would follow Mel’s parents: Sarah Jensen, who died when Mel was young, and Everett Reed (John Allen Nelson), who was revealed as Mel’s biological father in Season 6 finale “Father Christmas.”

“Virgin River” premiered in 2019 and is now in production on its sixth season. The series, which consistently dominates the Netflix Top 10 when new seasons are released, is based on Robyn Carr’s novel series of the same name and was developed for television by Sue Tenney. Patrick Sean Smith serves as showrunner and is writing the prequel series.

In a column about Season 5 of “Virgin River,” Variety critic Aramide Tinubu wrote that Netflix would be smart to expand the “Virgin River” IP, saying, the show “could easily shift focus toward other characters currently living in the same timeline as Mel and Jack, or even delve into the lore of the town’s past, giving fans a glimpse of Virgin River in the ’80s or ’90s, centering known characters like Hope and Doc in their younger years. Multiple shows would allow long-term ‘Virgin River’ actors to exit or return as needed while providing a solid platform for more book characters to make their on-screen debuts.”

Deadline was first to report the news.

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