Bridgerton season three breaks impressive Netflix viewing record

Bridgerton season three breaks impressive Netflix viewing record

The new season of the hit Netflix period drama Bridgerton has set a new record for the streaming service.

Four episodes of Bridgerton season three were released on Netflix last Thursday (16 May), with a further four episodes arriving on the streamer in June.

In the first four days of its release, Bridgerton clocked up 45.05 million views, according to Netflix’s own figures – around double the previous season. This is estimated equate to around 165.2 million hours of viewing time.

The tally represents the highest weekly view count for any Netflix series since the streamer began publishing viewing rankings in June 2023.

However, across both film and TV, there has been one release that surpassed it – the Millie Bobby Brown fantasy film Damsel, which accrued 50.8 million views when it came out in March.

The third season of Bridgerton is adapted from the 2002 romance novel Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn, and focuses on the love affair between Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton) and Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan).

Earlier this month, Coughlan opened up about her experience shooting the series’ much-discussed sex scenes, revealing: “We knew we had to hit certain points, but we were able to flow with it and make it seem natural and organic.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in ‘Bridgerton' (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in ‘Bridgerton' (LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX)

“It’s amazing having that control. It makes you feel very empowered.”

In a two-star review of the new episodes, The Independent TV critic Nick Hilton wrote: “Where previously Bridgerton demonstrated a raunchy streak – a combination of bonnets and buttocks – that set it apart from the generic tweeness of a matchmaking period drama, it has begun to descend into many of those banal tropes. The writing (never a huge strength) is particularly flimsy, while the production design looks increasingly like the hyper-saturated, uncanny results produced by an AI tool.

“That all results in a show that established fans will slurp down, without ever really acknowledging the subtle differences in taste. But where Emma managed to stick the emotional landing – making its heroine flawed but likeable – Bridgerton seems to think that likeability involves the meticulous excision of all edge. For a show that marketed itself as Jane Austen with more bite, this third instalment could learn much from its forebears about how to really sink your teeth in.”

Bridgerton is available to stream now on Netflix.