bridgerton close up colin and penelope talking

Dearest gentle reader, this author is delighted to inform you that Bridgerton has claimed a spot in the record books as the most in-demand romantic drama TV show.

The hit Netflix series returns this week with the first part of season 3, and it looks like demand is higher than ever.

What would Lady Whistledown say?

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope

Bridgerton has taken the title from long-standing record holder Outlander, with data-science firm Parrot Analytics calculating the raunchy period drama’s global demand rating at 33.9 times greater than that of the average TV show.

Stats stars at Parrot Analytics tell us the demand for season 3 is about twice as high as it was in the lead up to season 2.

And they reckon that could have something to do with the franchise growing, with last year’s spin-off Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story also proving a hit.

bridgerton demand each season new

Christofer Hamilton, Industry Insights Manager at Parrot Analytics, said: “This would have helped keep enthusiasm from existing fans high in the gap between season 2 and 3 of Bridgerton. A spin-off series like Queen Charlotte also provides another entry point to introduce new audiences to the Bridgerton universe.    

“A closer look at the demographics of both shows reveals how Queen Charlotte broadened the audience of the Bridgerton universe.  

“While the audience for both shows skews heavily female (> 80% of the audience is female), Queen Charlotte was more successful at appealing to a range of age groups.  Specifically, a higher share of the audience for Queen Charlotte came from older age groups compared to the original series.”

bridgerton compared to queen charlotte new

The first part of Bridgerton season 3 drops on Netflix worldwide on 16 May, with four episodes being made available.

It’s based on Romancing Mister Bridgerton, the fourth novel in Julia Quinn’s series of books the show is based on.

The novel follows the romantic escapades of Colin, the third eldest child in the Bridgerton family.

It takes place in 1824 but does include some flashbacks, including a scene in which a 15-year-old Penelope Featherington – who grows up to write her infamous gossip column under the pseudonym Lady Whistledown – becomes besotted with him.

This is the first time Netflix is dropping Bridgerton in two parts.

Season 1 was released in its entirety on 25 December 2020, followed by every episode of season 2 on 25 March 2022.

But this week we’ll get just four episodes of season 3 – “Out of the Shadows”, “How Bright the Moon”, “Forces of Nature” and “Old Friends”.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope and Luke Newton as Colin

The final four episodes – “Tick Tock”, “Romancing Mister Bridgerton”, “Joining of Hands” and “Into the Light” – will come to the platform on 13 June.

Parrot Analytics has previously examined the double release strategy when You adopted it from Stranger Things and other shows that had done it in the past.

They say platforms have had better luck capturing audience attention lately by spacing out releases rather than dropping them all in one go.

While entire seasons of shows being instantly available had become the norm, many series these days are dropping in two parts or even week to week, just like in the pre-streaming days of old.

Header image: © 2024 Netflix, Inc.

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