It goes without saying that season two of Bridgerton, Shondaland’s massively popular Netflix series, was indeed monumental in so many ways: In the form of Kate (Simone Ashley), Edwina (Charithra Chandran), and Mary Sharma (Shelley Conn), it brought South Asian women to the aristocracy of Great Britain; it revealed the inner workings of Lady Whistledown/Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan); it gave us Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) in a dripping-wet see-through shirt; Anthony Bridgerton being vulnerable; Anthony Bridgerton … okay, okay. We’ll stop. But the point is, the second season of Bridgerton broke records. In fact, it broke its own season-one record and stands as Netflix’s most-watched English-language show. Ever.

But don’t think the cast and crew of Bridgerton are resting on any laurels — because season three is now officially in production!

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That’s right, as you can see in this newly released behind-the-scenes tid-bit, Adjoa Andoh, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Thompson, Ruth Gemmell, Golda Rosheuvel, Claudia Jessie, Martins Imhangbe, Luke Newton, Nicola Coughlan, and others are back in London for the next season of Bridgerton, which will be newly helmed by Shondaland veteran Jess Brownell, who takes over as showrunner through season four. Brownell has previously written for Scandal, Inventing Anna, and the first two seasons of Bridgerton.

Bridgerton season three: the plot!

The excitement is palpable, because this next season is really going to blow wigs off the aristocracy. Because guess who’s at the center of it?

Polin! Yes, that’s Penelope and Colin. Pen + Col. 4eva. While the third book in Julia Quinn’s original Bridgerton series, An Offer From a Gentleman, follows Benedict’s love story, it feels only appropriate in the third season of Bridgerton for a third son and a third daughter to take the lead. Which mean the next installment of Shondaland’s hit Netflix series is all about #Polin!

After Kate and Anthony’s enemies-to-lovers story last season, season three will explore the friends-to-lovers trope as we watch Pen and Colin’s friendship blossom into something more. How do they get there? Well, you’ll have to watch and find out, but what we can divulge is that Penelope, after being thrown under the carriage by Colin at the end of season two, becomes more determined than ever to find a husband. As we know, Pen values her independence, and marriage will afford her the liberty to keep up her ruse as Lady Whistledown — and get as far away from her mother and sisters as possible.

Sadly for Pen, however, things don’t go exactly as planned, with the marriage mart proving harsher than ever. At the same time, Colin has returned from his summer travels sporting not just a new swagger but also a new look (will this be the return of the now-infamous #Colinstubble?!). Penelope, still scorned by Colin’s harsh words, couldn't care less, and she does everything she can to brush off her former bestie, much to Colin’s dismay. In an attempt to rebuild their friendship and get back in her good graces, Colin offers to help Pen find the confidence she needs in the marriage mart — which works a little too well, leading Colin to face up to his true feelings for Penelope, be they friendly or far more fervent.

But what would a season about Penelope be without #Peneloise? While Pen and Colin must figure out the true nature of their relationship, Penelope and Eloise are at an equal crossroads in their friendship. With Penelope’s new presence in the ton threatening the secrecy of Lady Whistledown and Eloise finding a new friend in an unlikely place, the rift that formed between the two women at the end of last season threatens to grow ever wider.

The cast!

Along with these details about just how Pen and Colin’s story will unfold, season three will also welcome some new faces to the ton!

First up is the recasting of Francesca Bridgerton. The lovely Ruby Stokes, who played Francesca for the first two seasons of Bridgerton, is off to take on another Netflix project, Lockwood & Co. Stokes will be replaced by the equally lovely Hannah Dodd, a rising star in the United Kingdom who comes off the back of Anatomy of a Scandal, where Dodd was a standout in the ensemble cast as the younger version of the series lead, Sienna Miller.

hannah dodd
Hannah Dodd
Michael Shelford

Elsewhere on-screen, Dodd was cast as one of the series leads in Hulu’s Find Me in Paris and continued in the role for two seasons. Simultaneously, Dodd was also featured in a recurring role for two seasons of the highly popular Hulu period series Harlots and was seen in Marvel’s Eternals.

What would a fresh season on the marriage mart be without a some new suitors to go along with it? Enter Daniel Francis, Sam Phillips, and James Phoon.

Francis stars as Marcus Anderson, whose charismatic presence draws as much attention — especially from certain matriarchs — as it does ire.

daniel francis
Daniel Francis
Robert Wallis

Francis, who boasts a stage career that includes roles in The Brothers Size at the Young Vic and Off the Endz at the Royal Court Theatre, is probably best known for his performance as Dave Shaw in the hit Harlan Coben thriller Stay Close for Netflix. He can also soon be seen in the upcoming AppleTV+ series Liaison, which stars Vincent Cassel and Eva Green, and season two of Amazon Prime’s The Wheel of Time.

Phillips will bring to life Lord Debling, who isn’t short on eccentricities. But he also has the wealth and title to back up his unusual interests — and secure plenty of attention from the ladies during the season.

sam phillips
Sam Phillips
Tom Brittney

With dozens of theater, film, and TV credits to his name, Phillips brings a roster of experience to the role. He’ll also soon be seen opposite Kenneth Branagh in the new Sky drama series This England, and Phillips recently filmed Christian Cooke's new feature film, Embers.

As for Phoon — a new face to the screen who recently finished filming the comedy horror series Wreck for BBC Three — when it comes to portraying the dashing Harry Dankworth in Bridgerton, let’s just say that all those serious good looks go a long way in making up for a certain lack of wit and intelligence.

james phoon
James Phoon
Michael Shelford

All in all, we think this is some exciting stuff. Make sure to watch this space for all your Bridgerton season-three updates and announcements. And in the meantime, you can always peruse our previous Bridgerton content, which features all the cast interviews and loads of behind-the-scenes stories and videos; catch up on the Bridgerton podcast; get your hands on some of the official Bridgerton merchandise; and, for even more behind-the-scenes goodness, check out Inside Bridgerton, the new hardcover book from series executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers that takes us even deeper into the Bridgerton world. From previously unseen photographs, to how and why the most memorable Bridgerton scenes came to be, to personal anecdotes about the casting process, Rhimes and Beers lead us through the creative process that brought this cultural phenomenon to life.

Inside Bridgerton

Inside Bridgerton

Inside Bridgerton

Now 77% Off
$10 at Amazon
Credit: Amazon

And lest we forget, get caught up on Julia Quinn’s book series, all before season three hits Netflix in the (hopefully) near future:

the duke and i

Shop Now
the viscount who loved me by julia quinn
Harper Collins
an offer from a gentleman by julia quinn
Barnes & Noble
romancing mister bridgerton by julia quinn
to sir phillip, with love by julia quinn
when he was wicked by julia quinn
it's in his kiss by julia quinn
on the way to the wedding by julia quinn

And be sure to check out all of the amazing, gorgeous Bridgerton merch out there to satiate even the most fervent of fans:

MTHRSHP: Belle of the Ball
MTHRSHP: Belle of the Ball
Credit: Pat McGrath
Anthony & Kate Spiced Chai
Anthony & Kate Spiced Chai
Credit: Republic of Tea
Inside Bridgerton
Inside Bridgerton
Credit: Amazin
Bridgerton Monopoly Edition
Bridgerton Monopoly Edition
Credit: Target

Valentina Valentini is a London-based entertainment, travel, and food writer and is also a senior contributor to Shondaland. Elsewhere, she has written for Vanity Fair, Vulture, Variety, Thrillist, Heated, and The Washington Post. Her personal essays can be read in the Los Angeles Times and Longreads, and her tangents and general complaints can be seen on Twitter at @ByValentinaV.

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