Weirdly, the sixth season of Riverdale kind of has two premiere dates. The twisty drama only went away for about a month after Season 5 ended before debuting its “Rivervale” special — a five-episode event set in an alternate universe. The horror-inspired standalone will round out 2021 before Riverdale Season 6 returns to its core universe in 2022, with new episodes picking up after that explosive Season 5 finale.
Riverdale hasn’t really followed a steady release schedule. The CW drama often goes on hiatuses ranging from a couple weeks to a few months in the middle of seasons, and the schedule is getting even trickier in Season 6. Traditionally, the series has aired on Wednesday nights, but The CW moved it to Tuesdays for its five-episode “Rivervale” event, and that day is going to change again once the series returns in 2022. The remainder of the season will air on Sunday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, beginning with Episode 6 on March 20, 2022.
The sixth episode was originally going to air on March 6, but in mid-January, The CW announced it was pushing back the midseason premiere by two weeks in order to air the Critics Choice Awards on March 13. The awards show was originally scheduled for a Jan. 9 airdate, but was delayed due to the Omicron surge, and Riverdale moved back so that it could air the rest of its sixth season uninterrupted.
The upcoming chunk of episodes will be very different from the first five Season 6 episodes that aired in 2021. The “Rivervale” episodes are set in an alternate universe from the show’s main story, and although the cast and crew have mentioned that the horror stories will have an affect on the rest of Season 6, the March 6 premiere is expected to pick up directly after the Season 5 finale and truly continue the Riverdale story.
As a reminder, Season 5 ended with a ton of lingering questions, so when Season 6 returns from “Rivervale,” there’s a lot that’s going to go down. The big cliffhanger was that shocking explosion. In the final moments of Season 5, a bomb went off right beneath Archie and Betty, leaving their fates in question. The bomb was heavily implied to be a parting gift from Hiram Lodge, who was finally exiled from Riverdale after he attempted to blow up Pop’s, so it’ll be interesting to see what Season 6 looks like with Hiram no longer around. On top of all that, Veronica and Reggie are plotting to work outside the town’s newly established council to build a casino, and Tabitha is intent on rebuilding Pop’s with the help of her now-official boyfriend, Jughead.
Things are about to get spicy when Riverdale Season 6 kicks off its post-“Rivervale” run with Episode 6 on Sunday, March 20, at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
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