Netflix announces Bridgerton season three release date

The third installment will focus on the ‘friends-to-lovers’ storyline between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington

Maanya Sachdeva
Tuesday 12 December 2023 19:52 GMT
Nicola Coughlan defends Bridgerton changing book order for season 3

Netflix has set a release date for season three of its steamy drama Bridgerton, focussing on the love story between Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton.

The third installment of Bridgerton will be split into two parts of four episodes each, with part one premiering on 16 May 2024. Fans will have to wait almost a month for the second part to be released on 13 June 2024.

In addition to returning cast members, including Jonathan Bailey as Viscount Anthony Bridgerton, Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte and Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Netflix announced that three new actors will also appear this season.

These include The Crown star Sam Phillips as Lord Debling, Daniel Francis (Stay Close) as charismatic new entrant Marcus Anderson, and James Phoon (Wreck) as the dashing Harry Dankworth.

Considered one of Netflix’s biggest-ever successes, Bridgerton was adapted for screen from Julia Quinn’s romance novels.

Newton and Coughlan in ‘Bridgerton’ season two (COLIN HUTTON/NETFLIX)

Set in Regency Era London, each of the books is based on a different sibling of the noble Bridgerton family, as they embark on a quest to find a suitable match for marriage.

In season one, the perfectly eligible Daphne (Phoebe Dyvenor) “burned” for her brother Anthony’s friend, Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings ( Rege-Regé-Jean Page). In season two, Anthony was overcome with desire for Kathani Sharma (Simone Ashley) – the older, hot-tempered half-sister of his fiancee Edwina Sharma (Charithra Chandan).

Now, in season three, it’s Colin’s (Luke Newton) turn to fall head over heels in love – but is his long-term friend Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) really “The One”?

Mild spoilers for season two follow

According to the season synopsis, Penelope is ready to give up her eternal crush on Colin after she overhears him saying he could never court her. Instead of focussing her energies on Colin, the 18-year-old, who moonlights as the ton’s resident gossip Lady Whistledown, decides to take a husband.

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Yet, as the rest of the synopsis reads, “lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly.

“Meanwhile, Colin has returned from his summer travels with a new look and a serious sense of swagger. But he’s disheartened to realise 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.”

With Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

Last year, Coughlan, 36, revealed that season three of the show, produced by Shondaland, will break away from the order of Quinn’s books.

Instead of following Benedict Bridgerton’s quest for love, the Derry Girls star announced, season three will be “Colin and Penelope’s story” in a post on Instagram.

On paper, Colin and Penelope’s story is told in Romancing Mr Bridgerton, the fourth bookin Quinn’s series.

Filming for season three began in July last year, when Netflix shared a cast video including Coughlan and Newton, 30.

In the video, Newton as Colin opens the door of a carriage to reveal Coughlan who says: “Bridgerton season three filming has officially begun.”

She then turns to Newton and asks him: “You coming in?”

“Let’s go,” the actor replies, before joining his on-screen partner in the carriage.

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