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The fifth season of Riverdale premiered on The CW on January 20, 2021, and concluded on October 6, 2021. It was announced on January 7, 2020.[1]

The first half of the season aired on Wednesday nights at 8:00 PM prior to Nancy Drew until March 31, before going on hiatus until August 11, airing at the same time prior to In the Dark.

It arrived on DVD and Blu-ray on January 18, 2022.


"The fourth season of RIVERDALE began with a funeral and tribute to Archie’s late father, the beloved Fred Andrews. Throughout the season, Archie tried to live up to his father’s memory by mentoring youths at his Community Center with the help of his pals Reggie and Munroe Moore. But the shadow of that tragedy loomed over Archie—and only darkened when Fred’s brother Frank arrived, bringing unforeseen complications with him, much to the chagrin of Archie’s mother. Meanwhile, after Betty saved her mom and sister from the Farm cult, she joined her brother Charles’s Junior F.B.I. Training Program. Veronica found herself locked in a season-long battle with her father Hiram and half-sister Hermosa over her burgeoning maple rum business. And, at the urging on FP, Jughead enrolled in a new school, Stonewall Prep, only to be caught up in a mystery that involved his grandfather, the secret author of a series of teen detective novels called “The Baxter Brothers.” His classmates turned out to be killers—and it was up to Betty and Jughead (pretending to be dead) to solve the murder of…Jughead Jones! At Thistlehouse, Cheryl was trapped in a gothic nightmare, fighting her demons, literal and metaphoric, with the loving support of her girlfriend Toni. She finally put her brother Jason to rest while maintaining her control over the Vixens as resident HBIC against Principal Honey. Kevin got dragged into an illicit tickle scheme, but still found time to put on a Variety Show with hit songs from “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.” And throughout the season, disturbing unmarked videotapes kept appearing on our characters’ doorsteps, ensuring that there would be one more mystery to solve. Season five of RIVERDALE will begin with our characters’ final days as students at Riverdale High. From an epic Senior Prom to a bittersweet Graduation, there are a lot of emotional moments and goodbyes yet to come—with some couples breaking up, as everyone goes their separate ways to college—or elsewhere. Then, we will redock with our gang as young adults, all returning to Riverdale to escape their troubled pasts. And life—and romance—will only be more complicated now that they’re in their twenties…"[2]



Guest starring


No. in series No. in season Episode title Written by Directed by Original airdate
77 1 "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax" Ace Hasan & Greg Murray Pamela Romanowsky January 20, 2021
78 2 "Chapter Seventy-Eight: The Preppy Murders" Janine Salinas Schoenberg & Devon Turner Gabriel Correa January 27, 2021
79 3 "Chapter Seventy-Nine: Graduation" Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa February 3, 2021
80 4 "Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio" Steve Adelson February 10, 2021
81 5 "Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming" Michael Grassi February 17, 2021
82 6 "Chapter Eighty-Two: Back to School" Ariana Jackson Gabriel Correa February 24, 2021
83 7 "Chapter Eighty-Three: Fire in the Sky" Ted Sullivan March 10, 2021
84 8 "Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key" Arabella Anderson Rachel Talalay March 17, 2021
85 9 "Chapter Eighty-Five: Destroyer" Ace Hasan Rob Seidenglanz March 24, 2021
86 10 "Chapter Eighty-Six: The Pincushion Man" Chrissy Maroon Gabriel Correa March 31, 2021
87 11 "Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows" Aaron Allen Tessa Blake August 11, 2021
88 12 "Chapter Eighty-Eight: Citizen Lodge" Brian E. Paterson James DeWille August 18, 2021
89 13 "Chapter Eighty-Nine: Reservoir Dogs" Evan Kyle Gabriel Correa August 25, 2021
90 14 "Chapter Ninety: The Night Gallery" James DeWille Mädchen Amick September 1, 2021
91 15 "Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats" Ariana Jackson & Evan Kyle Robin Givens September 8, 2021
92 16 "Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers" Janine Salinas Schoenberg September 15, 2021
93 17 "Chapter Ninety-Three: Dance of Death" Devon Turner Nathalie Boltt September 22, 2021
94 18 "Chapter Ninety-Four: Next to Normal" Tessa Leigh Williams Ronald Paul Richard September 29, 2021
95 19 "Chapter Ninety-Five: Riverdale: RIP(?)" Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Greg Murray Gabriel Correa October 6, 2021



On June 8, 2020, it was announced that production would resume in the following weeks, with COVID-19 production safety policies being put into place by Hollywood North's government Creative BC.[5] On June 24, however, it was announced that the production on the fifth season was expected to begin in August or September.[6]

Filming for the season officially began on September 14, 2020.[7]


On September 29, 2020, Erinn Westbrook was cast as a series regular for the role of Tabitha Tate.[8] The following day, it was announced that Drew Ray Tanner had been promoted to a series regular role.[4]


Critical response



  • There is a five-year time jump of events this season.[9]
  • The first three episodes were rumored to be titled, "Chapter Seventy-Seven: Stand to Reason," "Chapter Seventy-Eight: Follow the Green," and "Chapter Seventy-Nine: Riverdale's Reverie". Before COVID-19 pushed the intended final three episodes of the previous season over to this one.[10]
    • This was later confirmed to be true about the scrapped episode tiles. [11]
  • Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed in a recent interview with TVLine that a significant time jump would occur early in the fifth season.[12]
  • On August 17, 2020, Roberto announced that pre-production had begun.[13]
  • Production began on September 14, 2020 and is scheduled to end in May 2021.[14]
    • Production was halted on September 29, 2020 due to testing delays, though the stoppage is assumed to be temporary.[15]
    • On October 6, 2020, production resumed after being cleared to start filming again. [16]


Promotional images



  1. "CW Renews Batwoman, The Flash, All American, Supergirl, Legacies + More *Update Confirmed with Full Press Release*" - SpoilerTV
  2. "The CW’s New Season To Launch January 2021" - KSiteTV
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Westbrook
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Riverdale Promotes Drew Ray Tanner to Series Regular For Season 5" - E! Online
  5. "CW's Arrowverse, Riverdale Start Process to Resume Production" - Comic Book
  6. "Vancouver-Based TV Series Eye Tentative Production Return Dates; Local Talent Poised For Bigger Role Amid Travel Concerns" - Deadline
  7. [Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (@writerras) on Instagram: "After fourteen days of quarantining 🇨🇦 and months of prep, #Riverdale Season 5 starts shooting tomorrow. Spent the night in the bubble, reminiscing with these lovely people and celebrating @lilireinhart 24th birthday 🎂 How time flies. Looking forward to seeing the rest of the gang this week. Here we go....🚀🔥👩‍👦‍👦👀🚢🌊🐍💋👠💍🕸🍔🧗🏻‍♂️🏆🎰🎲🚑🚧🎢☠️"]
  8. "‘Riverdale’: Erinn Westbrook Joins Season 5 Cast As New Series Regular" - Deadline
  9. The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) on Twitter: "'Scream' Skeet Ulrich reveals what he's been up to during self-isolation and opens up about the death of castmate Luke Perry. #9Today"
  10. "Riverdale return date 2019" -
  12. Riverdale to Have Significant Time Jump Early in Season 5, EP Confirms - TVLine
  13. Pre-Production Tweet - RobertoAguirreSacasa (@WriterRAS) - Twitter
  14. ‘Riverdale’ Season 5 Begins Production In Vancouver - Deadline
  15. ‘Riverdale,’ ‘Batwoman’ Shut Down Over Testing Delays in British Columbia - Variety