“Bridgerton” season three will be released in two installments.
However, for the first time, the season will be released in two installments.
Part one premieres on May 16, while part two will arrive a month later on June 13.
Here is everything we know so far about the upcoming season.
“Bridgerton” season three will focus on the romance between Colin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington.
While previous seasons of the hit Netflix show have followed the “Bridgerton” books by Julia Quinn in order, season three will skip ahead to the fourth book, “Romancing Mister Bridgerton.”
The book focuses on the romance between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).
Coughlan announced the news at Netflix’s FYSEE exhibition 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 three is Colin and Penelope’s love story,” Coughlan said. “I have kept that secret since two weeks into season two. This is the first time I am saying it here.”
Julia Quinn, the author of “Bridgerton,” and Jess Brownell, the new series showrunner, defended the timeline change.
Some fans criticized the decision to skip Benedict Bridgerton’s storyline. But, Jess Brownell, the new “Bridgerton” showrunner who took over from Chris Van Dusen, told Entertainment Weekly: “We’ve spent two seasons really getting to know Pen and Colin. We’ve been watching Pen’s crush and seeing how oblivious Colin is to it. That’s a dynamic that you can only play out for so long before something has to change.”
Brownell added that she didn’t want Benedict to settle down yet since he is a fan favorite. Quinn echoed this in a May 2023 interview with Business Insider.
“What I try to tell people is, look, once a character has their season, we don’t see them as much, right? So, if you love Benedict, you want him to wait as long as possible,” Quinn told BI.
Colin will be the one pursuing Penelope in season three.
In the upcoming episodes, Penelope will move on from her crush after Colin mocked her at the end of season two. Instead, she will try to find a husband who can support her double life as London’s notorious gossip writer, according to the plot summary provided by Netflix.
“But lacking in confidence, Penelope’s attempts on the marriage mart fail spectacularly,” the summary reads.
When Colin returns to London, Penelope ignores him. Subsequently, Colin offers to help Penelope find a husband, creating the circumstances for their romance to bloom.
“When his lessons start working a little too well, Colin must grapple with whether his feelings for Penelope are truly just friendly,” the summary said.
Colin’s siblings, Eloise and Benedict, will play important roles in season three.
The Netflix plot summary states that season three will show the aftermath of the falling out between Penelope and Colin’s sister, Eloise (Claudia Jessie).
At the end of season two, Eloise discovers that her best friend Penelope is Lady Whistledown. This comes after Penelope publicly disgraces Eloise in one of her Whistledown newspapers to save herself from Queen Charlotte’s (Golda Rosheuvel) wrath.
“Complicating matters for Penelope is her rift with Eloise (Claudia Jessie), 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,” the Netflix summary reads.
Brownell told Variety in May 2022 that Colin’s older brother, Benedict (Luke Thompson), will be a “vital part of season three.” This may mean season three will sow the seeds for Benedict’s eventual romance.
Brownell also confirmed that the series will not include Penelope’s weight loss story from the books.
“We think that Penelope is beautiful, and I don’t think it’s really a part of her story,” Brownell told Variety.
Most of the Bridgerton family will still be involved in the upcoming season.
In December 2023, Brownell told Entertainment Weekly that their arc in season three would not include any more conflict.
“It was really thrilling to have Simone and Johnny back and getting to see what Anthony and Kate’s married life looks like,” Brownell said.
Ruth Gemmell, Will Tilston, and Florence Hunt are also expected to return as Lady Violet Bridgerton, Gregory Bridgerton, and Hyacinth Bridgerton, respectively.
Brownell told EW that Violet’s past will also be explored in season three.
Unfortunately, Simon and Daphne Basset will not be returning in season three.
Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page) and Daphne Basset (Phoebe Dynevor) were the lead characters of “Bridgerton” when it first premiered in December 2020. Now the couple are married and their role in the story has been reduced.
Page left after season one and is still adamant that he will not return to the show. He told Variety in 2022 that the show is free to recast his role.
Dynevor did reprise her role in season two, appearing in five episodes. However, in January 2023, Dynevor told Screen Rant that she would not appear in the third season.
“Potentially in the future. But in season three, I’m just excited to watch as a viewer,” she said.
She also told Variety that she felt that Daphne’s arc was complete.
“I did my two seasons,” she said. “If they ask me back in the future, who knows? For now, I am just really enjoying having new experiences and making films, and we’ll see what happens.”
Hannah Dodd will replace Ruby Stokes as one of the younger Bridgerton siblings in season three.
In May 2022, Deadline reported that Stokes, who had played the sixth Bridgerton child, Francesca, for the first two seasons, would leave the show to star in another Netflix series, “Lockwood & Co.”
She was replaced by Dodd, who has appeared in “Enola Holmes 2,” “Anatomy of a Scandal,” and “Find Me in Paris.”
“But it was incredible being part of a cultural moment like ‘Bridgerton,'” she added.
Netflix canceled “Lockwood & Co.” after its first season.
Ruby Barker, who plays Marina Thompson, has also exited the series.
In the first two seasons, Colin only had eyes for one woman, Penelope’s cousin Marina Thompson (Ruby Barker). However, Marina ends up marrying another man. In season two, episode four, Colin seeks her out again, but she rejects him.
Brownell told Entertainment Weekly that Colin’s previous relationship with Marina is officially over.
“Colin closed that chapter with Marina last season, and he really took Marina’s message to heart about focusing on his own stuff and not projecting romantic fantasies onto the past,” she said. “When he returns this year, that is a chapter that’s been closed.”
In October 2023, Barker told the “LOAF” Podcast that she would not return to the show. She also criticized Netflix for not providing enough support for her mental health.
“Not a single person from Netflix, not a single person from Shondaland, since I have had two psychotic breaks from that show, have even contacted me or even emailed me to ask if I’m OK,” Barker said.
Four new actors have joined the cast, possibly as alternative love interests for Penelope and Colin.
Marcus Anderson, played by Daniel Francis, is described by Netflix 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.”
Meanwhile, Sam Phillips will play Lord Debling, who is described as having “unusual interests.”
James Phoon plays Harry Dankworth. “What Dankworth lacks in wit and intelligence, he more than makes up for with serious good looks,” says Netflix’s description.
In October 2022, Deadline reported that Hannah New had been cast in a new role. Best known for her role as Eleanor Guthrie in Starz’s “Black Sails” series, she will play a widow called Lady Tilley Arnold. Like Lady Danbury, she now enjoys her independence both financially and with romantic suitors.