Netflix has renewed Bridgerton for seasons 3 and 4. Shonda Rhimes' Bridgerton was an unexpected hit for Netflix, a steamy period drama based on the popular novels by Julia Quinn.
Set in Regency London, it featured a tremendous cast, with particular praise going to Regé-Jean Page who played the Duke of Hastings. It was also refreshingly diverse, with Golda Rosheuvel playing Queen Charlotte - taking advantage of an intriguing theory among historians that Charlotte was indeed Black.
Netflix wasted no time renewing Bridgerton for season 2, which will follow the pattern of Quinn's novels and move on to the story of the next member of the Bridgerton household. Jonathan Bailey's Anthony Bridgerton will take center-stage, with Simone Ashley cast as his lover Kate Sharma, who will presumably be based on the books’ Kate Sheffield character. Sadly Page turned down Bridgerton season 2, reportedly unhappy because of the minor rule his character was due to play. While that news has disappointed many fans, season 2 is still certain to be tremendously successful for Netflix.
According to Deadline, Netflix has officially renewed Bridgerton for seasons 3 and 4 as well. In an official statement, Rhimes said this was both a credit to the quality of Quinn's novels and her entire team at Shondaland. "From the first time I read Julia Quinn’s delicious Bridgerton series, I knew these were stories that would captivate a viewing audience," she observed. "But the evolution of this adaptation would not be a success without the many significant contributions of the entire Shondaland team." Naturally, in true Bridgerton style the renewal announcement was supported by a comment from Lady Whistledown herself.:
In 2017, Netflix shook the entire industry when they struck what has been reported as a $100 million deal with Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes. It was seen as a statement of intent, with Netflix determined to improve the quality of its content in an age of increasing competition between streaming services. Bridgerton season 1, Rhimes' first production for Netflix, proved this was a sound investment; the swift renewal for seasons 3 and 4 suggests Netflix know they have something quite unique on their hands, because it's very rare for them to make decisions so far in advance. Rhimes rightly takes this as a tremendous statement of confidence in the quality of Shondaland's work.
There are eight books in Julia Quinn's series of novels, so it's entirely possible Bridgerton will actually run well beyond these four seasons. Each one of the novels focuses on a different member of the Bridgerton family and their love-lives, while the ongoing mystery of Lady Whistledown's true identity. The series has already deviated from the original story, however, by revealing Penelope Featherington is really Lady Whistledown, a revelation that wasn't made until book 4 in the novels. It's possible the rewrite was made simply because Rhimes rightly figured people could work out the truth simply by picking up the books, but it certainly means the show will have to move further from Quinn's story as it continues. It's going to be fascinating to see what Bridgerton has in store.