Why Is It Going to Take 2 Years to Make a New Season of ‘Bridgerton’?

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Netflix
Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty/Netflix

By the time Bridgerton airs its eighth and final season, I fear I’ll be fighting to swap the TV to Netflix at the retirement home in order to catch up with the Regency Romance. It’ll be 2075, and every person on the show will have been recast. I’ll have to watch it on my 47th-generation iPad, with a Netflix app run entirely by AI. Alas, finally, we’ll be able to watch Gregory Bridgerton—played by some nepo baby from the OG Bridgerton cast, I’m sure—fall in love. I’ll be hooting and hollering from a walker.

Exaggeration, yes, but the wait time between seasons of Bridgerton is starting to feel unbearable. Since the show began, we’ve had to wait two years between seasons—Season 1 came out in 2020 during the middle of the pandemic, Season 2 arrived in late 2022, and now, Season 3 premiered in the spring of 2024. We got a spinoff in 2023, although that didn’t really feed our full appetite for Bridgerton. Now, Season 4 is slated for 2026. It makes no sense. Television series used to debut one 22-episode long season every year. Now, it takes two years to produce eight episodes, and sometimes even less. What’s with the lengthy wait time?

There are different answers for various TV shows. Of course, the back-to-back WGA and SAG strikes last summer slowed everything down. When it comes to shows like House of the Dragon, intense overseas shoots and big dragon CGI complicate timing—which I can forgive, except for the fact that HBO used to release a new season of Game of Thrones every year. Still, I’ll give the pass to shows that need big special effects. Take your time. Don’t overwork those design whizzes.

‘Bridgerton’ Season 4: Who We Want More of (and Less of)

Series like Euphoria with casts that have broken through in Hollywood struggle to find timing, another solid reasoning to delay production. How can you get Sydney Sweeney, Zendaya, and Jacob Elordi in a room together these days? Answer: You apparently can’t. Stranger Things is working with this dilemma and the aforementioned visual effects complications constantly. Those actors—who were little kids in the first season—can now legally rent cars, probably. They’re also now starring in Pixar flicks and Oscar winners, making scheduling tricky.

But Bridgerton falls into neither category. The cast is notable, yes. But for the most part, it’s only because they’re in Bridgerton. Regé-Jean Page quit the show to pursue bigger acting roles, yet, four years later, his biggest project is still Bridgerton. These actors can’t be more famous than Bridgerton because, at this point, their projects are rarely (if ever!) bigger than Bridgerton. Everyone should be willing to clear their schedules to shoot a new season.

The period series does, however, employ a good amount of CGI to establish settings like Regency-era houses, lush English gardens, and a big balloon action sequence. Now that the show has worked with CGI for three seasons and a spinoff series, it’s hard to walk that back, but really, I beg: Bridgerton viewers do not need the CGI. They’d much rather have a new season every year than have to wait for pretty scenery. The appeal of Bridgerton isn’t in sunlit corridors—it’s in darkened rooms, after midnight, where two characters profess their feelings under forbidden sheets. No CGI needed there! Just some really great chemistry.

‘House of the Dragon’ Kicks Off Season 2 With a Gruesome Kill

I’d be able to look past the production delays if it were just Bridgerton and a couple of other shows, but it feels like every streaming series faces an insurmountable amount of setbacks these days. Squid Game became Netflix’s biggest show ever in 2021—one would think the streamer would want to fast track a second season to maintain subscribers, especially as it cuts down on password sharing and continues to hike prices. Nope! It’s been three years since the series premiered with no Season 2 release date in sight. Wednesday—two years later, the crew only just started working on Season 2. Stranger Things—two years later, no word on the final season.

Film still of Serverance

It’s taken Apple TV+ more than two years to get us a new season of Severance, its biggest hit since Ted Lasso. Hot off the success of WandaVision in the beginning of 2021, Disney+ announced a spinoff centered around Agatha (Kathryn Hahn). Now, three years later, no one cares about WandaVision any more; and yet, we’re about to get an entire series about the show’s villain in late 2024. HBO and Mike White conceived The White Lotus during the pandemic to be a short, one location shoot while dealing with quarantine measures. Although the series was delayed due to the pandemic, now—almost two years after Season 2 premiered—the production hasn’t even wrapped, almost four months after it began in Thailand.

Film still of The Bear

The drive for keeping up a show’s momentum has fizzled out. The only recent streaming series that has successfully revved up major audiences with a new season every year is The Bear, which has dominated the late-June release window since 2022. The Bear has won Emmys, Golden Globes, and other awards. In the meantime, stars Ayo Edebiri and Jeremy Allen White have worked on Inside Out 2 and The Iron Claw, respectively—while also making time to shoot new seasons yearly. The Bear has managed to keep things rolling by working strategically; the team shot Seasons 3 and 4 earlier this year to prevent conflicts or delays heading into 2025.

When Bridgerton’s first season premiered in December 2020, The Bear simply didn’t exist yet. And somehow, in the summer of 2024, both shows will have aired their third season. Next year, if all goes according to plan, The Bear will lap Bridgerton and premiere its fourth season. At this point, it feels like presidential election cycles come around more often than new seasons of our favorite TV shows—and my patience is wearing thin.

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