The Virgin River Universe Will Expand with a Spinoff Proving Romance Isn't Dead!

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We may not be headed to Virgin River just yet, but the cast sure is!

Since we all love a little small-town gossip and great news, here are a few tidbits to spread around and discuss courtesy of Deadline:

Virgin River is back in production today!

Parents-To-Be - Virgin River

While we still won't get to escape to our favorite town and all the melodrama that ensues there until 2025, at least we know the strike delays are out of the way, and filming is back in motion.

And since the cast loves us so much, they'll hopefully be teasing us with tidbits to hold us over along the way.

Mel's Next Chapter - Virgin River Season 5 Episode 10

But that's not all we have to mull over in the interim.

The hit Netflix series will take a spin at its own spinoff in the form of a prequel.

If you're a Netflix aficionado, you'll know that one of their other massive hits is Bridgerton, and they found enormous success with a prequel series that centered the iconic Queen Charlotte in her youth, thus producing what is arguably the most incredible love story in the franchise.

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story has become a crown jewel of the franchise and allowed viewers to take a break from one timeline to expound upon a love story from another.

Sharing A Moment - Queen Charlotte

And they did this without seriously impacting the nature of Bridgerton.

Hopefully, Virgin River can replicate that level of flourishing and compelling storytelling.

What's the Virgin River Prequel About?

You didn't think Melinda Monroe was the only headstrong woman in her family to find an impossibly beautiful love in Virgin River, did you?

Beaming Mel (Tall) - Virgin River

Yes, the Virgin River prequel will center on Mel's mother, Sarah, and her romantic affair with Everett Reid.

During Virgin River Season 5 Episode 10, we learned that Mel's sister discovered a series of artifacts from their mother's past, including a love letter derived from Virgin River decades ago.

That love letter was from a man who was, without a shadow of a doubt, Mel's biological father.

The Virgin River Christmas special picked up where that bombshell revelation left off, with a roller coaster reunion between the two that didn't go according to plan.

Holiday Spirit -tall - Virgin River Season 5 Episode 12

By the special's end, all was right in the Virgin River world between Mel and Everett, but there are still so many questions about her parents, their past, and this epic but short-lived romance.

So what better way to explore the love story and get to know the fierce, inspiring woman Mel still holds dear than through a prequel series?

Related: Virgin River's Holiday Review: Jingling Bells & Juggling Plots

The prequel is currently in development and the search is on for the leads who will embody Sarah and Everett and bring the characters and their beautiful love story to life.

If the leads have half the chemistry and charisma of Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, we'll be in for a treat.

Joey's Revelation - Virgin River Season 5 Episode 10

In the meantime, Virgin River Season 6 will ease us into this by featuring a series of flashbacks to Sarah and Everett in their youth, touching upon the love story that will be expanded into the prequel.

Virgin River's showrunner Patrick Sean Smith will also write and develop the prequel, and he previously spoke about what he hopes to explore in the sixth season regarding Sarah and Everett's romance:

"What we're exploring more in Season 6 is who Everett Reid is, what his backstory is, what his connection to Virgin River was when he met her mom, and then also what it is today," he said, adding that Season 6 will explore the "relationship of Everett with the town as well as Everett and Mel."

This pattern of exploring love stories via prequels must be the hottest new thing to come out of Hollywood.

Mourning Together- Tall - Virgin River Season 5 Episode 7

In addition to the massive success of Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, romance drama Fanatics were thrilled to learn that Outlander is also throwing its hat into the ring in a similar vein.

Outlander: Blood of My Blood is a prequel that centers on the beautiful love story between Jamie Fraser's parents, Ellen MacKenzie and Brian Fraser.

Related: Outlander: Blood of My Blood: Everything We Know

It'll continue the legacy of its origin show.

Who said romance is dead? Lies and fallacies!

Jamie Prepares for Battle with Claire's Support - Outlander Season 7 Episode 7

We're living in a Romance Drama Renaissance, and it feels good!

We don't have an official airdate for Virgin River Season 6 but fret not TV Fanatics. We'll keep you updated with Everything We Know.

Over to you, Virgin River Fanatics!

Are you thrilled about the cast returning to production? What are your thoughts on this Virgin River spinoff? Let's hear it below!

Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. She is an insomniac who spends late nights and early mornings binge-watching way too many shows and binge-drinking way too much tea. Her eclectic taste makes her an unpredictable viewer with an appreciation for complex characters, diverse representation, dynamic duos, compelling stories, and guilty pleasures. You'll definitely find her obsessively live-tweeting, waxing poetic, and chatting up fellow Fanatics and readers. Follow her on X.

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Virgin River Quotes

Doc: I don’t need spice. I want to walk down the street and be able to hold your hand.
Hope: Yeah, I hate all that “coupley” crap.

Whenever things got rough my instinct was to head home because that’s where I felt safe. But I realized that the idea of home doesn’t really exist for me anymore, because you were my home.

Mel [to Mark]