'Riverdale' Season 5 Promises a Time Jump, But When Will It Hit Netflix?

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Feb. 23 2021, Updated 12:56 p.m. ET

Now that it's into its fifth season, Riverdale has become an iconic teen show of its era. After keeping its first four seasons in high school, the show is set to take a leap into a new format this year. The first episode of the new season debuted on The CW on Jan. 20, but some of the show's biggest fans don't watch it on cable. Instead, they're wondering when the new season will hit Netflix. 

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When will 'Riverdale' Season 5 be on Netflix?

Although no precise premiere date has been set for Netflix, we do know that The CW has a deal with Netflix that gives the streamer rights to all shows that debuted before the 2019-2020 season. What this has typically is meant is that the new seasons hit Netflix in May, eight days after the season finale has aired on network TV. 

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The show's fourth season debuted on Netflix a little bit early, but there has been no indication that the fifth season will repeat that departure from the norm. Riverdale's Season 5 finale doesn't currently have an end date, but there are 19 episodes in this season, which means it will likely be several months before the show is available to those without a cable subscription. 

This streaming deal is unique to the U.S. Internationally, episodes of the show are available the Thursday after they air. That means that, at least as far as Riverdale is concerned, international Netflix users have access to every episode before Americans do. What's more, they can watch the show week to week, the same way that those who watch the show on cable do. 

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'Riverdale' Season 5 features a time jump.

Although the first episode of Season 5 takes place at the Riverdale crew's final prom, the fifth season is going to take fans to a pretty distant point in the future. At some point in the fifth season, the show will jump ahead seven years and find Archie and his friends at very different points in their lives. At that point, the show will begin to tackle more mature, adult storylines. 

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“I feel like this is the kind of thing the show needed to kind of freshen up all the characters,” KJ Apa told TVLine about the time jump. “The new world of Riverdale, now that we are playing older characters, has changed a little bit.” 

In fact, Archie and his friends all disperse after high school and reunite seven years later to save their town from Hiram Lodge. 

“We learn that everyone kind of went their separate ways," KJ said. "Archie enlisted in the Army after graduation, and when he returns, after all that time in the Army, he discovers the town is on the verge of becoming a ghost town, thanks to Hiram.”

Archie and his friends are going to do what it takes to save Riverdale, but this new version of the show will also explore how each of the core cast has changed over the years. They're not kids anymore. 

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