Some diehard Riverdale viewers keep up with the show every week as it airs on The CW, but for a lot of the show's fanbase, the best way to watch is to stream whole seasons in one big chunk, which they can do on Netflix. With the latest season of Riverdale currently releasing new episodes on The CW, audiences are impatiently waiting for the moment when Riverdale Season 5 will be on Netflix. Past seasons have followed a predictable pattern when it came to showing up on the streamer, but unfortunately, Season 5 will be a bit different.
Ever since Season 2, Riverdale seasons have consistently started in October and concluded in May on The CW, with Netflix releasing the season in full one week after the finale aired. That meant fans who waited for Riverdale to hit Netflix before watching could expect a new season to arrive on the streamer every May. However, Season 5 is almost definitely going to break that pattern. Because the coronavirus pandemic significantly delayed production on Season 5, Netflix users will most likely have to wait a month or two beyond the usual drop date to stream new episodes.
Season 5 premiered on Jan. 20, 2021, on The CW, which is about three months after the show's usual October premiere date. However, this season will reportedly have slightly fewer episodes than before, with writer Ted Sullivan claiming Season 5 has 19 episodes instead of the usual 22. Sullivan also revealed there will be a brief break after Episode 10, which should last about a month if it mirrors previous seasons' midseason breaks.
Although The CW has not yet revealed when the Season 5 finale will air, this info about the episode count and midseason break suggests it will probably fall sometime in late June or early July. Since Netflix always releases the Riverdale seasons a week after their finales air, fans can expect Season 5 to be streamable around that time.
While this is a bit longer of a wait than usual, fans can rest assured that Season 5 will be worth the extra month or two of waiting. The new season is radically shaking up the show by jumping seven years into the future, skipping over Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead's post-high school plans to reintroduce them as estranged friends now in their mid-20s.
Riverdale will continue to air new episodes of Season 5 on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. on The CW, with the season probably hitting Netflix sometime this summer.