'Riverdale' — Everything you need to know about Season 5

Riverdale's finest are back for a brand new season.
Riverdale's finest are back for a brand new season. (Image credit: The CW)

Fans will remember that Season 4 of Riverdale was forced to end early, airing just 19 episodes of the planned 22 due to the pandemic. In the end, episode 19 become a makeshift finale for Season 4, and the remaining three episodes will now become the first episodes of the new Season 5.

Showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasatold told Entertainment Weekly

"We actually had shot the prom [which will now open Season 5] and there were a lot of very dramatic things happening, but we still hadn't shot some of the big character moment between Archie, Veronica, Betty and Jughead. However, when we saw the cut of episode 19 it was great because it was all about the kids in one big story together, uniting against Mr Honey. It did end on a pretty shocking, disturbing cliffhanger so in the end it made a great season finale."

When will Season 5 of 'Riverdale' premier? 

Season 5 of Riverdale will air on The CW on January 20th at 8/7c. And there is also good news for Riverdale fans in the UK because the new episodes will also be available on Netflix UK from 21st January. 

The CW is available on most major streaming services in the United States. Our recommendation is to check out FuboTV. In addition to local The CW networks (in most markets - be sure to double check with your area before signing up), FuboTV has a competitive list of channels, as well as premium add-ons. And it's even better if you're a sports fan, with options for international events that you can't find anywhere else.

How to watch Season 5 of 'Riverdale' anywhere in the world 

If you're not in your usual The CW viewing market and still want to watch Riverdale, a VPN might be just the thing you need. A VPN allows your network traffic to flow through a specific set of servers in a specific country. So if you want to watch The CW in the U.S., you can watch The CW in the U.S.

The only catch is you need to be able to trust your VPN provider, because all of your network traffic — encrypted and unencrypted alike — will be flowing through it. For that, we've long been fans of ExpressVPN.


ExpressVPN is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

And it's a great way to watch Riverdale from anywhere in the world.

What drama can we expect from 'Riverdale' Season 5?

Probably the biggest shock heading for Riverdale fans in Season 5 is the fact the show jumps forward seven years into the future. While the new season will start with what are essentially the last three episodes of season four after it was cut short due to the pandemic, Season 5 will then take a huge jump in time where we will see our Riverdale favorites much later in their lives. 

Season 5 will open with a prom, showing the character's final days as students at Riverdale High. But as life at school comes to a close, couples will break up as everyone goes their separate ways as they head off to collage. As time then flashes forward seven years we will catch up with our old friends, now in their twenties, and find out what they have been doing since we last saw them. But with adulthood comes more responsibilities, more complicated relationships and of course, lots more drama. 

Lili Reinhart, who plays Betty Cooper, told Jimmy Fallon when she appeared on The Tonight Show last year: 

"It'll be nice to play an adult. I also really appreciate Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa], our show runner wanted to revamp. We're not going to be stuck in high school for seven seasons."

Talking of being all grown up, there is also a Riverdale baby on the way. Toni Topaz is expected to have a new bundle of joy heading her way in Season 5 after it was confirmed that actress Vanessa Morgan was to have her real-life pregnancy written into the show. 

The trailer for Season 5 also gives fans an insight into Veronica crying over a potential romance between Archie and Betty, and then there are those disturbing videos we saw make an appearance towards the end of Season 4. But who has been making the chilling masked videos? Will Season 5 see the mystery voyeur's true identity revealed? We don't have to wait much longer to find out. 

Who is in the cast on 'Riverdale' Season 5?

While Marisol Nichols, who played Veronica's mom, Hermione, and Skeet Ulrich, who played Jughead's dad, FP Jones, both bowed out of the show in Season 4, there are plenty of familiar faces returning for the new season of Riverdale. The returning cast include... 

  • Camila Mendes as Veronica Lodge 
  • KJ Apa as Archie Andrews 
  • Lili Reinhart as Betty Cooper 
  • Cole Sprouse as jughead Jones 
  • Casey Cott as Kevin Keller 
  • Madelaine Petsch as Cherry Blossom 
  • Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz

As Riverdale jumps forward seven years, there will inevitably be some new faces joining the cast. Probably one of the biggest changes in the new episodes will be that Veronica Lodge is now married, with British actor Chris Mason being cast as as her controlling and jealous husband. Chris, who you might recognise from shows like Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists and British crime drama, Broadchurch, is reportedly a Wall Street Alpha Dog who is threatened by Veronica's life in Riverdale

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The Resident star Erinn Westbrook has also joined the cast of Riverdale as Tabitha Tate, granddaughter of Pop Tate. Riverdale show runner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed the news on Twitter, teasing that Tabitha's arrival in Riverdale could spell drama for Pop Tate. It has been hinted that newcomer Tabitha will arrive in town full of entrepreneurial ambition and will be taking over Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe with the aim to turn the diner into a franchise... but will her plan work?  

In addition, Drew Ray Tanner's Fangs Fogarty has been promoted to series regular, and  Madchen Amick will be returning to her role as Alice Cooper on the show. 

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.