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Chesapeake Shores Season 5 Release Date, Cast, And Plot - What We Know So Far

You probably know Hallmark to be the home of quaint romantic movies and a never-ending stream of holiday-themed films, but the network is also home to the wholesome and grounded extended family drama "Chesapeake Shores." Based on a series of books by author Sherryl Woods, the series follows Abby O'Brien (Meghan Ory), a divorced mother of two and successful businesswoman who returns to her small hometown on the Chesapeake Bay to be closer to her family, which includes her parents, grandmother, two sisters, and two brothers.

With four seasons under its belt, "Chesapeake Shores" has become a fan-favorite show for Hallmark fans, and the O'Briens are an extended TV family with whom they love spending time. As the long-awaited fifth season of the series approaches, we gathered up hints about what's coming down the pike when the show finally returns this summer. Here's everything we know about "Chesapeake Shores" Season 5.

What is the release date for Chesapeake Shores Season 5?

After "Chesapeake Shores" aired a shortened fourth season of just six episodes in the late summer of 2019, Hallmark renewed the emotional family drama for a fifth season consisting of 10 episodes in summer 2020. Like most TV shows around the world, though, the series was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and production on the new episodes was delayed until early 2021. Luckily for fans, the wait is almost over, as we finally have a premiere date for the show's long-awaited return. The new season will air in the show's traditional Sunday-night time slot and debut Sunday, August 15 (via Deadline).

When the series returns, it will have been nearly two full years since we last saw the O'Briens, since it seems the previously announced spin-off movie that was to follow the O'Brien sisters to Rome for a wedding of a friend did not happen. Although there are no concrete explanations for why that is — in fact, there's hardly been any mention of the movie since it was first announced in early 2019 — it seems pretty likely that the pandemic either delayed or simply forced Hallmark to abandon the plans for the film completely.

Who is in the cast of Chesapeake Shores Season 5?

Most of the "Chesapeake Shores" cast is returning for the show's fifth season, which means the entire O'Brien family is intact. Meghan Ory is reprising her role as eldest daughter Abby, Emilie Ullerup returns as middle daughter Bree, Lacy J. Mailey is back as youngest daughter Jess, Brendan Penny returns as eldest son Kevin, and Andrew Francis is back as youngest son Connor. Meanwhile, Treat Williams is also returning as Mick, the patriarch of the O'Brien family, Barbara Niven is reprising her role as Megan, his estranged wife and the mother of the five adult siblings, and Diane Ladd returns as Nell, Mick's mother and the family matriarch. And while it hasn't been confirmed officially, it seems fairly likely that Jessica Sipos, who plays Kevin's wife Sarah, and Carlos Marks, who portrays Jess' fiancé David, will also be back in the fold.

Unfortunately, things won't be the same outside of the extended O'Brien family. Jesse Metcalfe, who plays country music singer and Abby's on-again, off-again boyfriend Trace Riley, is exiting the show in Season 5. According to Deadline, the character's storyline will wrap up "early" in the season, so it looks like the Abby and Trace reunion that fans waited all of Season 4 to see will be cut short.

However, it's not all bad news. Shortly after Metcalfe's departure was revealed, Hallmark announced that Robert Buckley ("iZombie," "One Tree Hill") had joined the show as Evan McKenzie, a successful but young entrepreneur who's involved in a new development in town.

What is the plot of Chesapeake Shores Season 5?

Although the fourth season of "Chesapeake Shores" was short, it packed in a lot of drama for the O'Brien family. The season ended with Jess and David getting engaged after opening a new B&B, Bree signing with an agent who revealed he wanted to take her new play to London, Connor landing a new gig, and Abby and Trace briefly reuniting after a season spent apart. Meanwhile, Mick also offered Abby a chance to go into business together just as she received an offer to return to her old job.

When the show returns, it will presumably pick up where a lot of these stories left off, barring a significant time jump. (The show hasn't used the device much, but it's not unheard-of, especially after so much time off the air.) Unfortunately, Hallmark hasn't confirmed much about the new season yet. What we do know, though, is that, according to Deadline, this season will see Abby coming into her own after accepting her father's offer to be his new business partner. She'll also be challenged by Robert Buckley's character, Evan, who is in town working on a new development. And knowing what we do about the world of "Chesapeake Shores," we wouldn't be too surprised if Evan also becomes a new love interest for Abby. 

Judging by the promo that Hallmark just released, it's going to be a whale of a season no matter how everything goes down.