COURTESY OF NETFLIX
Warning: major spoilers for Bridgerton season 2 ahead.
Dearest gentle reader, we are most pleased to confirm Bridgerton season 3 is coming sooner than you think. And as the next season steadily approaches, more and more information about the show is being revealed, much to our delight.
Netflix's Bridgerton, created by Chris Van Dusen and produced by Shonda Rhimes, has quickly cemented itself as a pop culture landmark in the three years since its premiere. The Regency-era romance drama broke records when it first debuted on the streamer in 2020, and has only continued its historic streak with its sophomore season, which hit Netflix in March 2022.
During April 2022, Bridgerton's second season was Netflix's most watched English-language TV series of all time. The show has received critical acclaim for both of its seasons, earning praise for its costuming, acting, dramatic and sexy storylines, and its diverse on-screen representation.
Audiences are head over heels in love with the universe of the ‘Ton. So much so, in fact, that more than a year before the second season was set to air, the series was renewed for a third and fourth season. The third season’s showrunner will be Jess Brownell, who has worked on other Shondaland hits like Scandal and Inventing Anna.
And now, dearest reader, with your best interests in mind, we've compiled a guide of everything you need to know about Bridgerton season 3, including new and returning cast members, plot details, the show's release date, trailers, and more.
When is Bridgerton season 3 coming out on Netflix?
On December 12, 2023, Netflix revealed the release date of Bridgerton season 3, surprising fans with a bombshell: the third season will be split into two parts.
Bridgerton season 3 will officially be released on the streamer in two 4-episode parts, with Part 1 (episodes 1-4) dropping on May 16, 2024 and Part 2 (episodes 5-8) arriving a little less than one month later on June 13, 2024.
Bridgerton season 3 started production in London during summer 2022. That July, the official Bridgerton Instagram account posted a mashup clip of the cast back on set and ready for action. The video starts off with star Jonathan Bailey recreating a hand gesture from season 2 in which he turns a number two into a three, and then a slew of other cast members joining him in the gesture. The Reel ends with Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan jumping into a carriage together, ushering in the era of #Polin. (!!!)
Is there a trailer for Bridgerton season 3?
There is no official trailer for Bridgerton season 3 yet, but on December 12, 2023, Netflix delivered a special message from Lady Whistledown herself alongside a video featuring clips from the series, fan comments, posts, and TikToks. “Gentle reader, you thought I was silenced — but you thought wrong," Lady Whistledown addresses her audience via voiceover, revealing the release date of the third season with flair. “Yours truly,” she signs off shortly after, her tone as mischievous as ever. Oh, are we in for a ride. On February 2, Netflix released an exclusive first look at footage from the third season (see above), and woah — the intense yearning radiating between Penelope and Colin during a “suitor practice session” is almost too much to handle.
We got an even bigger taste of that Polin intensity in a clip Netflix released on February 14, 2024 in honor of their global virtual fan event. The streamer revealed the first minute of the third season, in which Penelope and Colin are having a heated discussion arguing about Penelope's spinster status and their fraying friendship. “You miss me but you would never court me, is that correct?” Penelope asks Colin, confronting him about what she overheard him say about her at the ball in season 2. “It just never occurred to me that you of all people could be so cruel.” Watch the clip for yourself below.
Are there any first-look photos for Bridgerton season 3?
Yes! Netflix has shared 17 never-before-seen photos of the forthcoming season. Scroll through the gallery above to see shots from the episodes and take a peek at Penelope and Colin looking intensely in love, Kanthony very much in love, one of Penelope's potential suitors, and Penelope and Colin clearly working through some individual emotional turmoil. But more on that below. (Get the tissues ready, y'all.)
What will Bridgerton season 3 be about?
Bridgerton season 1 told the love story of Daphne Bridgerton and the Duke of Hastings, and season 2 followed the enemies-to-lovers arc of Anthony Bridgerton and Kate Sharma. It seems as though Bridgerton is sticking to its source material format of following a new love story each season, as the third season will center on the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington. Actress Nicola Coughlan revealed season 3's major plot focus at Netflix's FYSEE panel event in May 2022. "Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time and I can confirm to you all that season 3 is Colin and Penelope's love story," said Coughlan at the event.
ICYMI, Bridgerton is based on a series of novels of the same name, written by historical romance author Julia Quinn. The novels detail the major romances of the eight Bridgerton siblings. As noted by Variety, the first two seasons of Bridgerton followed the events of the first two Bridgerton books: The Duke and I and The Viscount Who Loved Me. The third book in the series follows the love story of Benedict Bridgerton, the second Bridgerton son.
However, the Bridgerton TV series plans to jump ahead, instead depicting the events of the fourth novel, Romancing Mister Bridgerton, in season 3. Straying from the chronology of the books, this decision moves up Penelope and Colin's love story — which makes sense when you consider the season 2 finale.
During S2's final episode, Penelope overheard her long-time crush Colin declaring that he would never marry her. Knowing what we know now, the scene serves as a perfect set-up for #Polin in season 3. Netflix later confirmed this in the official synopsis for season 3, which reads as follows: “[Bridgerton's third season] finds Penelope Featherington has finally given up on her long-held crush on Colin Bridgerton after hearing his disparaging words about her… She has, however, decided it’s time to take a husband, preferably one who will provide her with enough independence to continue her double life as Lady Whistledown, far away from her mother and sisters. But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly."
“Meanwhile,” the synopsis continues, "Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realize that Penelope, the one person who always appreciated him as he was, is giving him the cold shoulder. Eager to win back her friendship, Colin offers to mentor Penelope in the ways of confidence to help her find a husband this season. But when his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly. Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise, who has found a new friend in a very unlikely place, while Penelope’s growing presence in the Ton makes it all the more difficult to keep her Lady Whistledown alter ego a secret.”
In September 2022, Netflix revealed the first page of the script from episode one, titled “Out of the Shadows," in a special Bridgerton challenge video with the cast. Nicola Coughlan even read the opening line of the episode: “Dearest Gentle reader, we've been apart for far too long. At last, London's smart set has made its return and so too has this author. As the season begins, the question on everyone's minds is, of course, which newly minted debutante will shine the brightest. The crop this year appears to be dazzling indeed. Unfortunately, not every young lady can attract the light.”
On February 14, 2024, Netflix held a virtual global fan event that featured cast and crew members of the show like executive producer Shonda Rhimes, season 3's showrunner Jess Brownell, Bridgerton author Julia Quinn, and actors Nicola Coughlan, Luke Newton, Golda Rosheuvel, Adjoa Andoh, Claudia Jessie, Luke Thompson, and Martins Imhangbe. (Kanthony was notably absent from the panel.)
During the event, Coughlan and Rosheuvel teased that the third chapter of the series is “a season for the wallflowers." Netflix shared those exclusive first look photos (which are featured in the gallery of this story) as well as the season's episode titles (see above!), an exciting announcement that Netflix will be throwing a Bridgerton-themed wedding for one lucky super-fan couple IRL, and the confirmation that a fan-favorite book moment (Penelope treating Colin's hand injury) will be included in the sixth episode.
“Usually we’re meeting a new person who’s falling in love with one of our regulars,” creator Rhimes said about the upcoming season. “But this time, we know the people who are falling in love. We’re already rooting for them because we already know them, and I’m excited for that.”
“Colin and Penelope are underdogs in many ways…we get to see these characters step into their power this year, which I think will make a lot of people who have ever had an unrequited crush or felt like an underdog before feel very seen,” said showrunner Brownell.
Who is in the cast of Bridgerton season 3?
Nicola Coughlan is set to lead this season as Penelope Featherington, but do not fear, most of the show's namesake — the Bridgerton family — is confirmed to return for season 3. This list includes this season's romantic focus Luke Newton (Colin), Claudia Jessie (Eloise), Luke Thompson (Benedict), Ruth Gemmell (Violet), Florence Hunt (Hyacinth), and Will Tilston (Gregory). The eldest Bridgerton son will also be returning as the 9th Viscount, along with his new wife the Viscountess: Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley are also on board to reprise their roles as Anthony Bridgerton and Kate
Also confirmed to return are Adjoa Andoh (Lady Danbury), Golda Rosheuvel (Queen Charlotte), Lorraine Ashbourne (Mrs. Varley), Jessica Madsen (Cressida Cowper), Martins Imhangbe (Will Mondrich), Hugh Sachs (Brimsley), Emma Naomi (Alice Mondrich), Kathryn Drysdale (Genevieve Delacroix), and Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, and Polly Walker as Philipa, Prudence, and Portia Featherington, respectively.
However, we are unfortunately the bearer of some bad news: Phoebe Dynevor, who played the poised Daphne, will not be returning for Bridgerton season 3. While speaking to Screen Rant in late January 2023, the actress shared that there weren't any interesting story arcs on the horizon for her Bridgerton character, or any story arcs at all: “Sadly not in season 3. Potentially in the future. But season 3, I'm just excited to watch as a viewer.”
Variety reported shortly after that Phoebe had alluded to her exit in a recent interview with the outlet: "Well I did my two seasons. I’ve done what I wanted to do with that character and she had a great arc. If they ask me back in the future, who knows?”
While we hope to see more of Phoebe as Daphne in future seasons (maybe a cameo?), there's more additions to the Bridgerton season 3 cast that will help fill out her absence. Actress Hannah Dodd has joined season 3, and will portray the “elusive” Francesca Bridgerton. Hannah's addition is a recasting, as the role was originally played by Ruby Stokes. (Ruby exited the show to lead another Netflix series, Lockwood & Co.)
In July 2022, Entertainment Weekly revealed that three more actors have signed on to join the S3 cast. Daniel Francis will play Marcus Anderson, who is described as “a charismatic presence who lights up any room he enters, attracting the notice of certain matriarchs in the ton and the ire of others”; Sam Phillips (who has appeared in The Crown) will portray Lord Debling, “a genial lord with unusual interests”; and James Phoon will play “the handsome, yet dim-witted Harry Dankworth.” You can take a peek at these new actors in the video below, posted by Shondaland TV's official Twitter account:
Back in October 2022, Deadline announced that one more new character was added to season 3. Hannah New, who stars in the historial adventure series Black Sails and has also appeared in Disney's Maleficent, has been cast as Lady Tilley Arnold. Hannah's character is described as “a firebrand widow,” per Deadline, and the full description for her character reads as follows: “Widowed at an early age, she enjoys the privileges and power that come with being at the helm of her former husband’s estate, living life on her own terms with financial independence and sexual freedom.” Sounds like Lady Tilley Arnold will definitely be shaking things up in the Ton.
Will Bridgerton season 3 feature more Kanthony?
Yes! Back in March 2022, actress Simone Ashley (who portrays Kate Sharma) told Teen Vogue that season 3 continues Kate and Anthony's love story and will show what life is like for “post-marriage Kanthony.”
In late October 2022, while talking to E! News, Ashley teased what to expect from Kanthony and Polin in season 3, promising that the third installment of the sexy historical saga will “get super steamy." “[It's condensation central,” said Ashley, adding that she's definitely pleased with the progression of Kanthony on-screen. "I'm very happy when I'm reading the scripts. When I receive them, I've got a beaming smile on my face."
For her November 2022 cover story for British Vogue, Ashley further indulged that the third season would focus on Kanthony's “honeymoon phase” and life after the honeymoon period, in which they settle into married life and Kate settles into her role as Viscountess.
“We’re filming a dance this week and tonally, it’s so different — sweet, endearing and light, compared to the heaviness of their story last season,” Ashley told the outlet. "Even though [Kate] comes across as fierce, people like that are sometimes the softest on the inside. They develop that skin because they’re vulnerable. You see her insecurities and fears. She’s f*cking nervous and I think there’s strength in admitting that.” We're literally on the edge of our seats.
This story will continue to be updated as news about Bridgerton season 3 breaks.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
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