'Bridgerton' Season 3 Release Window, Cast, Plot, and More

Yearning for More 'Bridgerton'? What to Expect From Season 3

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton season 3

If you’re longing for more steamy period romance, you’re in luck: Netflix has granted Shonda Rhimes’ massively successful Bridgerton adaptation a third and fourth series. Based on the Bridgerton book series by author Julia Quinn, Netflix’s Bridgerton chronicles the lives and love lives of the younger members of the esteemed Bridgerton family, featuring delicious and modernized Regency-era drama, gorgeous costumes, and intense looks of yearning that will take your breath away.

We know for a fact that there’s plenty more of that to come in Bridgerton season 3—read on to find out everything there is to know about London’s glamorous upcoming season.

When will Bridgerton season 3 release on Netflix?

Unfortunately, there is no official release date yet. Though fans are undoubtedly anxious to know if season 3 will still be released in 2023, everything is up in the air, despite creator Shonda Rhimes having revealed to Virgin Radio UK that Bridgerton season 3 had finished filming and editing in April earlier this year. Realistically, this should mean that Bridgerton‘s third season could still debut on Netflix in 2023; but the streamer may be reluctant to release one of its biggest shows while there is still so much uncertainty surrounding the strikes in Hollywood—uncertainty of its own making.

There have, however, been rumors swirling around that Bridgerton‘s third outing could release in December 2023. These rumors were fueled by an Instagram post from Netflix Portugal’s official account.

Though that same post is still up on the account, the caption has since been altered—but the comments beneath it prove fans won’t be so quick to forget that particular misprint. December 14 is still a definite possibility, and if true, it means that audiences will be treated to new Bridgerton stories twice in one year, as the spinoff prequel series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story premiered back in May.

Which couple will be featured in Bridgerton season 3?

In a deviation from the books, Bridgerton season 3 will focus on Colin Bridgerton’s romance with Penelope Featherington, as told in the fourth novel in the series—Romancing Mr. Bridgerton—rather than older brother Benedict’s story from An Offer From a Gentleman. Jess Russell, who has taken over Bridgerton showrunning duties for seasons 3 and 4, explained in an exclusive interview with Variety the reasoning behind this change:

“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,” she says. “I feel like, especially in the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realizing 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.”

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton looking longingly at one another in Bridgerton season 3

Bridgerton season 2 left the soon-to-be-destined couple in a precarious position; Penelope overheard Colin boasting to his friends that he would “never dream of courting Penelope Featherington,” leaving her devastated and more invested in her Lady Whistledown side hustle than ever. There’s plenty of drama (and steamy scenes) to look forward to, as well as seeing if Penelope’s friendship with Eloise can ever recover from their heartbreaking falling out. An official synopsis, as reported by Variety, reads:

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 (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.

For those who had been hoping for more Benedict (myself included), fret not; in that same interview, Russell said that the Bridgerton family’s second son will be a “vital part of season 3,” likely setting the stage for him to get his turn in the spotlight in Bridgerton season 4.

Which cast members will return in Bridgerton season 3?

Most of Bridgerton‘s beloved cast members will return for season 3, including Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, Ruth Gemmell as Violet Bridgerton, Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, and Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte. Given this is Penelope’s season, expect the Featheringtons to play a significant role as well, with Polly Walker returning as Lady Featherington. The legend that is Julie Andrews is also expected to reprise her narrating role as Lady Whistledown.

For those dying to know: yes, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and Kate (Simone Ashley) are also returning for Bridgerton season 3, as they settle into their new lives as viscount and viscountess. Season 1 breakout star Phoebe Dynevor, who plays eldest daughter Daphne Bridgerton, has sadly stated that she will not be returning for season 3, though she’s left the door open for future appearances.

Netflix has also revealed three new characters that will be gracing the ton with their presence, including Daniel Francis, who will be playing a character called Marcus Anderson; Sam Phillips, who will be portraying Lord Debling; and James Phoon, who will be playing Harry Dankworth. Reportedly, all three are potential new suitors for Penelope—and Colin—to contend with.