Bridgerton season 3 is off to a royally good start on Netflix as its forthcoming Prime Video rival gets raunchy first trailer

Penelope Featheringon sits by a window seat in Bridgerton season 3
Bridgerton season 3's record-setting viewership proves there's still life in Netflix's period drama. (Image credit: Netflix)

Bridgerton season 3 only made its Netflix debut last Thursday (May 16), but it's already setting records on the world's most popular streamer.

Per Netflix's Top 10 TV chart, in its first week, Bridgerton's latest installment – season 3 part 1 – amassed a whopping 45.1 million total views and 165.2 million viewing hours streamed.

Not only that, but Bridgerton's third season is the period drama's biggest opening weekend to date. As The Hollywood Reporter explains, season 2 could only muster 22.7 million views in its first weekend on the world's best streaming service, so its successor is certainly off to a royally solid start.

There are a few caveats to bear in mind when it comes to comparing Bridgerton's last two seasons, however. For one, season 2's early viewing figures were spread over a slightly shorter period – three days rather than the four that season 3's data was collected from. Since the second season of one of the best Netflix shows aired in March 2022, Netflix has also changed how it calculates its viewership data, too. While Bridgerton season 3 is outperforming its forebear, then, Netflix's rejigging of what constitutes a "view" means that it was always going to chalk up more impressive viewing figures than season 2 did.

With season 3 part 2 set to arrive on June 13, Bridgerton will surely see another spike in its viewing figures next month as fans flock to catch its next batch of episodes or binge watch season 3 in its entirety. 

That said, it won't be the only period drama that'll hope to get your bodice heaving in June. Yesterday (May 21), Prime Video released the official trailer for My Lady Jane, an irreverently funny and smutty reimagining of history that's been described as a "romantasy" by many observers. Here's its plot synopsis: "Inspired by the best-selling book, My Lady Jane is a radical retelling of English royal history, in which King Henry VIII’s son Edward does not die of tuberculosis, Lady Jane Grey is not beheaded, and neither is her scoundrel of a husband Guildford. 

"At the centre of this swashbuckling new series is the brilliant and headstrong Jane [played by newcomer Emily Bader], who is shocked to be crowned queen and finds herself the target of nefarious villains coming for the crown (and her head)... My Lady Jane is an epic tale of true love and high adventure."

We already knew that Prime Video's royally fun twist on Netflix's Bridgerton was on the way on June 27, but its first-look footage – which you can see above – suggests it'll be even more vulgar and rip-roaringly fun than its period-set sibling. One to keep an eye out for on our best Prime Video shows list in the coming weeks.

Bridgerton season 3 is a huge hit, regardless of what its critics are saying

But back to Bridgerton. Season 3 hasn't just broken the show's viewing record – it's also recorded the single highest weekly view count of any Netflix series since mid-2023, which is when the streamer began ranking shows by viewing numbers and hours. Clearly, none of us can get enough of the historical and scandal-laden romantic drama.

The most impressive thing about season 3 is that it's become another commercial hit with viewers despite its middling reviews. The Independent said that, while lead star Nicola Coughlan is "superb" as Penelope Featherington, the show is "losing its bite" with production design that looks like AI made it. In sharp contrast, Variety praised the chemistry between Colin Bridgerton (played by Luke Newton) and Penelope – the pair affectionately dubbed 'Polin' – in particular; its reviewer opining: "There is something about seeing the bond between Colin and Penelope transform from comfortably platonic to yearning and passionate that elevates this journey.

Variety's reporter goes on to add: "Coughlan and Newton have always had a beautiful rapport, but watching Colin realize he desires Penelope sexually, which is revealed through his fixation on her lips and a newfound fascination with everything she’s doing, creates a sparkling tension throughout season 3 part 1 that threatens to burst off the screen. In fact, during a carriage ride after a ball at the end of episode 4, 'Old Friends,' it nearly does". Will season 3 part 2 have enough to build on its predecessor's wild success, or will My Lady Jane usurp it as the best period drama around? We'll find out in June.

You might also like

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.