Having made its debut back in March, Bridgerton Season 2 continued the show’s run of success – breaking its own record to become the most-watched English-language series on Netflix. So fans were delighted at the news that it’s been greenlit for a third and fourth season, and that there’s a Queen Charlotte spin-off in the works, guaranteeing plenty more Regency romance to come. In an interview for E! News at Time100’s Next Gala, Simone Ashley, the actress who plays Kate Sharma in the franchise, revealed that the next chapter will ‘get super steamy’, adding that it would be ‘condensation central’. Bridgerton is well known for its romantic content, frequently including racy scenes between love interests.
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington
It was recently announced that the next series will deviate from the order of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton novels on which the Shondaland sensation is based: focusing not on Benedict Bridgerton, but his brother, Colin, and his relationship with Penelope Featherington. Nicola Coughlan spills the tea on Bridgerton’s biggest secret In the April issue, Lady Whistledown herself tells Annabel Sampson why she doesn’t want to be a poster girl for body positivity and what it’s like to find yourself brandished across a billboard in Times Square Filming for the next instalment is now underway, with Netflix having shared a fun behind-the-scenes video back in July. There have since been further glimpses of the production process on social media, including images of Luke Newton and Nicola Couglan (aka Colin and Penelope) on set as the stars of the upcoming season.
What is the plot of Bridgerton Season 3?
Season 1 was based on the first of the Bridgerton books, The Duke and I, and followed Daphne Bridgerton’s dalliance with the Duke of Hastings; before Season 2 drew from the next novel in the series, The Viscount and I, about the eldest of the siblings, Viscount Bridgerton, and his will-they-won’t-they romance with Kate Sharma. Fans had expected the formula to continue for the next series, with the book An Offer from a Gentleman zoning in on the love life of Benedict Bridgerton.
Jonathan Bailey as Viscount Bridgerton and Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma
A post to the Bridgerton social media later dispelled the idea, with a message in the voice of Lady Whistledown, reading: ‘Dearest Readers, It is only fair that in this author’s third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair’s social season should find its focus on a third son… as well as a third daughter. This author can confirm that he upcoming season will focus on none other than the budding relationship between Mr Colin Bridgerton and one Miss Penelope Featherington. With Penelope’s days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom? Time will tell, and as always, so will this author.’ The announcement is signed: ‘Yours truly, Lady Whistledown.’ Played by Nicola Coughlan, Penelope Featherington is a fan favourite in both the books and small-screen adaptation. And of course, she’s also (spoiler alert) the show’s anonymous letter-writer Lady Whistledown, which means it will be interesting to see how her position at the centre of the action will impact her role as the gossip-mongering narrator. Colin Bridgerton, meanwhile, portrayed by Luke Newton, has so far been Penelope’s close friend, yet she’s ever-more tortured by her romantic feelings for him.
Jess Brownell, who is taking over from showrunner Chris Van Dusen for the upcoming series, told Variety: ‘I really feel like it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching both of these actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them a little bit. We know who they are as people… there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realising that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there. Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up.’ While the show doesn’t follow the plot of the books to the letter, in Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the fourth novel in the series, Colin finally starts to view his little sister’s best friend in a new light – just as she discovers an unexpected secret about him. And of course, Penelope has plenty of secrets of her own, meaning a romantic union between the two is never going to be straightforward.
Will the same cast return for Bridgerton Season 3?
While Season 1 heartthrob Regé-Jean Page, departed the franchise after his starring role, most of the ensemble cast have continued to be key players. Simone Ashley, who starred as Kate in Season 2, told Deadline, ‘We’re going to be back! Kate and Anthony are just getting started.’ Showrunner Brownell confirmed to Variety that ‘Benedict, who is book three, he will be a vital part of Season 3.’ The actor who plays him, Luke Thompson, told Entertainment Weekly: ‘The show is such an ensemble effort anyway, and it does feel like there’s so much to get our teeth into even when you’re not in the driver’s seat. It’s not like I’m sitting around waiting for my big moment, because it’s such a huge group effort, and that’s what makes it satisfying to do. As long as Benedict keeps being explored, I’m happy.’
Bridgerton make up artist reveals the secrets behind Season 2’s show-stopping looks
There are few things on TV as visually captivating as Bridgerton – be it the dazzling gowns, the lavish interiors, or the radiant make up. Lily Worcester talks to Season 2’s award-winning make up artist Erika Ökvist on how to get the Bridgerton look There has been one casting change, however, as Ruby Sokes, who played the youngest Bridgerton daughter, Francesca, has been cast as the lead in a new Netflix show, Lockwood & Co. Hannah Dodd, who recently played the younger version of Sienna Miller’s character in Anatomy of a Scandal, will be stepping into the role. Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma, Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton, in Bridgerton’s second season
When will Bridgerton Season 3 be released?
There’s no set release date as yet, but producer Shonda Rhimes said at the Season 2 premiere: ‘We’re already working on Season 3, so we can have a shorter time between seasons.’ It’s looking likely that the show will return in 2023. Netflix has already begun to tease fans with hints about what’s to come. A recent post of Coughlan in costume as Penelope had the caption: ‘Miss Penelope Featherington has come a long way since the Hearts and Flowers Ball of past seasons. Something tells me this wallflower will only continue to grow to new heights.’