“Bridgerton” smashes Netflix viewership records

“Bridgerton” smashes Netflix viewership records
Source: Netflix

Once again, Shonda Rhimes has made Netflix history as her newest show “Bridgerton” smashes Netflix viewership records..

Her success streak with “Bridgerton” is continued by the three-time Emmy Award-nominated production team behind ABC primetime powerhouses such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal” and “How to Get Away with Murder.” The binge-worthy, bodice-ripping, Regency period romantic drama has become the biggest series in Netflix history.

The powerful algorithms of Netflix were no match for the phenomenal success that the “Bridgerton” series has seen. The Regency-era romance has already been extended for a Season 2.

Huge viewing audiences for the “Bridgerton” series

Netflix reports “Bridgerton” was viewed by 82 million viewers in the first 28 days online – that’s 41% of Netflix’s worldwide viewership of 200 million. The show’s debut was bigger than even the entertainment giant may have expected. In 83 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Brazil, France, India and South Africa, “Bridgerton” placed No.1 worldwide and reached the Top 10 in every region excluding Japan.

The timing of the “Bridgerton” series possibly played a major part in the popularity of its release. It came in the aftermath of the current deadly COVID-19 surge, with people tired of months of quarantine in many nations.

Regé-Jean Page (left) and Phoebe Dynevor in 'Bridgerton' on Netflix.
Source: Netflix

Season 1 of the show, created by Chris Van Dusen, focuses on Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), and her relationship to the Duke of Hastings, portrayed by heartthrob Regé-Jean Page. The “Bridgerton” cast has also been a smashing success for the series, which is based on Julia Quinn’s bestseller series of novels.

What’s next for the “ton?”

Season 2 begins production in the UK in the spring and will chronicle the quest for an ideal marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as chronicled in “The Viscount Who Loved Me,” the second book of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series.

An element of the show’s success has been its portrayal of ethnic diversity – which is not typically seen in period dramas, it’s fair to say. Although there is no evidence that the real-life wealthy elite of the 18th century were culturally unified, it is known that ethnic minorities at that time lived in London alongside one another. However, “Bridgerton” has broken period-drama barriers with its portrayal of powerful, wealthy aristocrats (and royalty) played by Black actors and onscreen mixed-race relationships. The show incorporates LGBTQ elements as well while also somewhat addressing sexism and equal rights related to the time period in which it is set.

The historical drama and romantic genres have been redefined by Netflix’s “Bridgerton,” smashing race stereotypes while making global stars out of Page and Dynevor. In the meantime, we eagerly await to see what is next for Mrs. Whistledown, the Duke and Duchess and the “ton” in “Bridgerton.”

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