Season 5 of The CW's American teen-drama television series Riverdale was renewed on January 7, 2020. The season began airing on January 20, 2021 and went on hiatus after the airing of "Chapter Eighty-Six: The Pincushion Man". The series returned on August 11, 2021.
The fourth season of RIVERDALE began with a funeral and tribute to Archie’s late father, the beloved Fred Andrews (Luke Perry). Throughout the season, Archie (KJ Apa) tried to live up to his father’s memory by mentoring youths at his Community Center with the help of his pals Reggie (Charles Melton) 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 (Molly Ringwald). Meanwhile, after Betty (Lili Reinhart) saved her mom (Mädchen Amick) and sister from the Farm cult, she joined her brother Charles’s Junior F.B.I. Training Program. Veronica (Camila Mendes) found herself locked in a season-long battle with her father Hiram (Mark Consuelos) and half-sister Hermosa over her burgeoning maple rum business. And, at the urging on FP (Skeet Ulrich), Jughead (Cole Sprouse) 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 (Madelaine Petsch) was trapped in a gothic nightmare, fighting her demons, literal and metaphoric, with the loving support of her girlfriend Toni (Vanessa Morgan). She finally put her brother Jason to rest while maintaining her control over the Vixens as resident HBIC against Principal Honey (Kerr Smith). Kevin (Casey Cott) 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…Based on the characters from Archie Comics, RIVERDALE is from Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television and CBS Television Studios, with executive producers Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (“Supergirl,” “Glee”), Greg Berlanti (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl”), Sarah Schechter (“Arrow,” “The Flash,” “Supergirl)” and Jon Goldwater (Archie Comics Publisher & CEO).
|1||"Chapter Seventy-Seven: Climax"||Ace Hasan & Greg Murray||Pamela Romanowsky||January 20, 2021|
|PROM NIGHT INTERRUPTED - Betty and Jughead's investigation into the auteur leads them to the discovery of a secret underground for red-band screenings. Elsewhere, in order to impress the visiting Naval Academy Commandant, Archie agrees to participate in a boxing exhibition against another candidate – KO Kelly. Meanwhile, as Cheryl prepares for prom, she stumbles upon a major secret that Toni's been keeping from her.|
|2||"Chapter Seventy-Eight: The Preppy Murders"||Janine Salinas Schoenberg & Devon Turner||Gabriel Correa||January 27, 2021|
|GAME CHANGER — Betty and Jughead’s investigation into the auteur takes a twisted turn after receiving a call from Bret. Meanwhile, Archie is forced to make an impossible decision when the person responsible for his father’s death needs his help. Elsewhere, Veronica and Hermosa come up with a plan to force Hiram into early retirement, and Cheryl makes a business move.|
|3||"Chapter Seventy-Nine: Graduation"||Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa||Gabriel Correa||February 3, 2021|
|STAY INNOCENT — With Graduation Day around the corner, the gang consider their next steps beyond Riverdale High. Archie learns whether he will be able to graduate with his classmates. FP makes a difficult decision about his and Jellybean’s future.|
|4||"Chapter Eighty: Purgatorio"||Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa||Steven A. Adelson||February 10, 2021|
|SEVEN-YEAR TIME JUMP — After spending seven years away from Riverdale, Archie returns to find the town is now under Hiram Lodge’s grip and on the verge of becoming a ghost town. When Toni catches him up on what’s been going on, Archie reaches out to the rest of the gang to return home.|
|5||"Chapter Eighty-One: The Homecoming"||Michael Grassi||Steven A. Adelson||February 17, 2021|
|THE FIGHT FOR RIVERDALE HIGH — Toni, Alice, Archie and Kevin fight to keep Riverdale High’s doors open after learning that its budget had been cut by Hiram Lodge. Veronica gets creative when she discovers Chad is having her followed. Jughead starts a new job after debt collectors show up in Riverdale.|
|6||"Chapter Eighty-Two: Back To School"||Ariana Jackson||Gabriel Correa||February 24, 2021|
|BULLDOG PRIDE — Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead prepare for their first day as Riverdale High’s newest teachers. Veronica introduces her husband Chad to the group after he shows up unexpectedly in Riverdale. After realizing they are out of funds, Archie and Toni turn to Cheryl for help restarting the football and cheer teams. Finally, Betty, Kevin and Alice follow a lead after learning that Polly may be in trouble.|
|7||"Chapter Eighty-Three: Fire in the Sky"||Ted Sullivan||Gabriel Correa||March 10, 2021|
|A FEW GOOD MEN — Following in his Grandpa Artie’s footsteps, Archie begins to recruit Riverdale’s new volunteer fire department. Toni’s attempt to lure Cheryl out of Thornhill and back into daily life in Riverdale leads to more tension between the two. Elsewhere, Betty, Alice and Kevin’s latest investigation leads them into conflict with Hiram. Finally, as Veronica comes up with a risky plan to support Riverdale’s local businesses, Jughead and Tabitha begin to unravel an old mystery surrounding some strange sightings in the town.|
|8||"Chapter Eighty-Four: Lock & Key"||Arabella Anderson||Rachel Talalay||March 17, 2021|
|THE QUEEN OF CHAOS STRIKES AGAIN — A big announcement forces everyone to take stock of their current lives. Cheryl sets a risky plan in motion after learning some surprising news about Toni. Jughead tries to make sense of a strange encounter he had. Kevin and Fangs make a big decision about their future together.|
|9||"Chapter Eighty-Five: Destroyer"||Ace Hasan||Rob Seidenglanz||March 24, 2021|
|SCHOOL SPIRIT — After the Bulldogs lose several football games, Archie and Veronica come up with a plan to boost school spirit. Jughead turns his attention to a student who he thinks might need his help. Betty seeks guidance from Cheryl after being faced with a difficult decision to make. Finally, Kevin is forced to face a dark moment from his past.|
|10||"Chapter Eighty-Six: The Pincushion Man"||Chrissy Maroon||Gabriel Correa||March 31, 2021|
|PARENT-TEACHER NIGHT — While preparing for the school’s Parent-Teacher night, Archie is caught off guard when his former Army General shows up in Riverdale with some unexpected news. Cheryl pushes back after hearing that Hiram and Reggie have expressed interest in taking over the Blossom maple groves. Jughead’s unconventional way to get through a case of writer’s block causes Tabitha to be concerned for his safety. Finally, Betty and Alice receive some unexpected visitors.|
|11||"Chapter Eighty-Seven: Strange Bedfellows"||Aaron Allen||Tessa Blake||August 11, 2021|
|RETURN TO RIVERDALE — In the aftermath of the prison break at Hiram's jail, Archie leads the charge to round up the remaining convicts on the loose. Tabitha reaches out for Betty's help when she realizes Jughead is missing. When Penelope re-enters the fold, Cheryl becomes suspicious of her true intentions.|
|12||"Chapter Eighty-Eight: Citizen Lodge"||Brian E. Paterson||James DeWille||August 18, 2021|
|MICHAEL CONSUELOS GUEST STARS AS YOUNG HIRAM LODGE — Hiram shares with Reggie his origin story and how he went from a young Jaime Luna to the powerful kingpin of Riverdale. Elsewhere, Reggie reflects on his relationship with his father.|
|13||"Chapter Eighty-Nine: Reservoir Dogs"||Evan Kyle||Gabriel Correa||August 25, 2021|
|COYOTE UGLY — While helping Eric deal with his PTSD, Archie is forced to confront his own past trauma in the Army. To find the Lonely Highway killer, Betty and Tabitha come up with a way to lure truckers to Pop’s. Cheryl extends an invitation to Kevin and Veronica gives Reggie a shot to prove her wrong.|
|14||"Chapter Ninety: The Night Gallery"||James DeWille||Mädchen Amick||September 1, 2021|
|MÄDCHEN AMICK DIRECTS THE EPISODE — Cheryl enlists the help of Archie, Kevin, Fangs and Reggie after she learns there is palladium underneath her maple groves. Meanwhile, Betty and Alice confront a trucker who may have been involved in Polly’s disappearance. Elsewhere, Jughead and Archie each confront events from their past.|
|15||"Chapter Ninety-One: The Return of the Pussycats"||Ariana Jackson & Evan Kyle||Robin Givens||September 8, 2021|
|ROBIN GIVENS DIRECTS THE EPISODE — After going MIA during the middle of her world tour, mega-star Josie McCoy returns to Riverdale unexpectedly. But it's not until she reunites with her former bandmates Valerie and Melody, that she opens up about the real reason why she's back. Elsewhere, Veronica gets creative after a surprise visit from her old friend Alexandra Cabot. Finally, Toni steps in to help Tabitha and Veronica land a deal.|
|16||"Chapter Ninety-Two: Band of Brothers"||Janine Salinas Schoenberg||Robin Givens||September 15, 2021|
|GHOSTS FROM ARCHIE'S PAST - After hearing some unexpected news about his former commanding officer, Archie opens up to Uncle Frank about his time in the Army. Veronica comes up with a clever way to raise funds after Chad calls the SEC on her. Finally, Cheryl and Kevin attempt to take control of the ministry, and Jughead goes on an apology tour.|
|17||"Chapter Ninety-Three: Dance of Death"||Devon Turner||Nathalie Boltt||September 22, 2021|
|REIGN OF TERROR — After learning that a friend has gone missing, Tabitha enlists help from Jughead and Betty to investigate the disappearance. Penelope plants doubt in Kevin's mind, which leads him to confront Cheryl about the ministry. Finally, an explosion at the mines leaves several lives hanging in the balance.|
|18||"Chapter Ninety-Four: Next to Normal"||Tessa Leigh Williams||Ronald Paul Richard||September 29, 2021|
|MOTHER'S DAY IN RIVERDALE — Refusing to accept what's going on around her, Alice creates an imaginary musical fantasy world in which the Coopers are one big happy family again. But as her mother continues to spiral, Betty does her best to pull her back to reality. Meanwhile, Tabitha ropes Jughead into a family dinner with her parents, and Veronica and Archie make a big decision about their future.|
|19||*"Chapter Ninety-Five: Riverdale: RIP(?)"||Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa & Greg Murray||Gabriel Correa||October 6, 2021|
|OUT WITH THE OLD — As the gang pick up the pieces after a rough year back in Riverdale, an incident at Pop’s forces them to make a difficult decision about the future of the town.|
THE CW GIVES EARLY ORDERS TO 13 CURRENT SERIES FOR NEXT SEASON
Network Gives Early Renewals for the 2020-2021 Season to "All American," "Batwoman," "Black Lightning," "Charmed," "DC’s Legends of Tomorrow," "Dynasty," "The Flash," "In The Dark," "Legacies," "Nancy Drew" "Riverdale," "Roswell, New Mexico" and "Supergirl"
Ahead of Its Midseason Debut, "Katy Keene" Receives Order for 13 Additional Scripts
January 7, 2020 (Burbank, CA) —The CW Network today renewed 13 of its current scripted series for the 2020-2021 season, as well as ordering 13 additional scripts of KATY KEENE, which will make its debut on February 6, 2020 (8:00-9:00pm ET/PT), it was announced today by Mark Pedowitz, President, The CW Network.
"These early orders for next season give our production teams a head start in plotting out story arcs and a jump on hiring staff, and this also provides us with a strong foundation of established, fan-favorite CW shows to build on for next season," said Pedowitz. "We’ve been thrilled with the creative direction of all three new series, and even though we are in the very early stages of our new full stack streaming strategy, which allows viewers to catch up on our new shows from the beginning, we’re already seeing incredibly positive results from our multiplatform viewership for NANCY DREW and BATWOMAN."
The current series being ordered for the 2020-2021 season include second seasons of BATWOMAN and NANCY DREW, as well as ALL AMERICAN (Season 3), BLACK LIGHTNING (Season 4), CHARMED (Season 3), DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (Season 6), DYNASTY (Season 4), THE FLASH (Season 7), IN THE DARK (Season 3), LEGACIES (Season 3), RIVERDALE (Season 5), ROSWELL, NEW MEXICO (Season 3), and SUPERGIRL (Season 6). Specific premiere dates for each series will be announced at a later time.
Additionally, in advance of its series premiere next month, The CW has ordered 13 additional scripts of KATY KEENE, which is based on the Archie Comics characters and stars Lucy Hale, Ashleigh Murray, Jonny Beauchamp and Julia Chen.
- It was announced on February 23, 2020, that Skeet Ulrich and Marisol Nichols would be exiting the series after the fourth season. 
- However, due to the production of the last three episodes of the fourth season being halted and moved to season 5, they would be for the fifth season.
- On June 12, 2020, Marisol Nichols said she would be returning to season 5, and that Hermione "will be back stronger and better than ever" and that she is "really excited in telling [Hermione's] story and that side of her."
- Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa confirmed in a recent interview with TVLine that a significant time jump would occur early in the fifth season.
- On August 17, 2020, Roberto announced that pre-production had begun.
- Production began on September 14, 2020, and concluded in June 2021.
- Production was halted on September 29, 2020 due to testing delays, though the stoppage is assumed to be temporary.
- On October 6, 2020, production resumed after being cleared to start filming again.
- October 15, 2020, was Skeet Ulrich's final day on set.
- On December 19, 2020, Vanessa Morgan confirmed Toni's pregnancy when she left on maternity leave and thanked showrunner and producers for being accommodating and writing her pregnancy into the show.