Bridgerton

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Bridgerton
Bridgerton Title Card.png
Genre
Created byChris Van Dusen
Based onBridgerton series
by Julia Quinn
Starring
ComposerKris Bowers
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes16
Production
Executive producers
Producers
EditorJim Flynn
Running time57–72 minutes
Production companies
DistributorNetflix
Release
Original networkNetflix
Original releaseDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25) –
present (present)

Bridgerton is an American historical-romance television series based on Julia Quinn's novels. Created by Chris Van Dusen, it is Shondaland's first scripted show for Netflix. It revolves around the eponymous Bridgerton family and is set in the competitive world of Regency era London's ton during the social season where marriageable youth of nobility and gentry are launched into society.

The first season debuted on December 25, 2020, to generally positive reviews, with 625.49 million hours viewed it became the most-watched English-language series on Netflix at the time of its premiere before being overtaken by its sophomore season.[1]

Bridgerton's second season became the most watched English-language television series on Netflix at the time with 656.16 million hours in its first 28 days of release.[2][3] It premiered on March 25, 2022, with generally positive reviews and debuted number one in 92 countries on the platform.[4] It was also the most viewed show on United States television screens for three weeks per Nielsen Media Research.[4][5][6]

The show's record-setting second season, which surpassed season one in viewership, cemented Bridgerton as a franchise per Entertainment Weekly.[7] The series as a whole gave the romance genre its own cinematic universe with the female gaze front and center according to Slate.[8]

Before the first season aired, the show was already in pre-production for a second season which was officially announced in January 2021.[9][10][11] By April 2021, the series was renewed for a third and fourth season.[12]

Premise[edit]

Set against the backdrop of the Regency era, the eight close-knit siblings of the noble and powerful Bridgerton family – Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth – navigate London high society in search of love, surrounded by friends and rivals alike.

Bridgerton family tree[edit]

Edmund †
8th Viscount Bridgerton
Violet
Dowager Viscountess
Bridgerton
Anthony
9th Viscount Bridgerton
BenedictColinDaphneEloiseFrancescaGregoryHyacinth


Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

Jonathan Bailey plays Anthony, Viscount Bridgerton
Nicola Coughlan plays Penelope Featherington
Adjoa Andoh plays Lady Danbury
  • Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, the sharp-tongued, insightful doyenne of London society
  • Lorraine Ashbourne as Mrs. Varley, the Featheringtons' housekeeper
  • Jonathan Bailey as Anthony, 9th Viscount Bridgerton, the eldest Bridgerton son and head of the family
  • Ruby Barker as Marina, Lady Crane (née Thompson) (season 1; guest season 2), a Featherington cousin from a family of rural gentry
  • Sabrina Bartlett as Siena Rosso (season 1), an opera singer and Anthony's former lover
  • Harriet Cains as Philippa Finch (née Featherington), the middle Featherington daughter
  • Bessie Carter as Prudence Featherington, the eldest Featherington daughter
  • Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington, the youngest Featherington daughter and close friend of Eloise
  • Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Basset, Duchess of Hastings (née Bridgerton), the fourth Bridgerton child and eldest daughter
  • Ruth Gemmell as Violet, Dowager Viscountess Bridgerton, mother of the Bridgerton children
  • Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton, the eighth and youngest Bridgerton child
  • Claudia Jessie as Eloise Bridgerton, the fifth Bridgerton child and second daughter
  • Ben Miller as Archibald, Baron Featherington (season 1), the patriarch of the Featherington family
  • Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, the third Bridgerton son
  • Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (season 1),[13] one of London's most eligible bachelors
  • Golda Rosheuvel as Queen Charlotte
  • Ruby Stokes (recurring season 1–2) and Hannah Dodd (season 3) as Francesca Bridgerton, the sixth Bridgerton child and third daughter
  • Luke Thompson as Benedict Bridgerton, the second Bridgerton son and an artist
  • Will Tilston as Gregory Bridgerton, the seventh Bridgerton child and youngest son
  • Polly Walker as Portia, Dowager Baroness Featherington, the matriarch of the Featherington family
  • Julie Andrews as the voice of Lady Whistledown, the author of a scandalous society newsletter
  • Simone Ashley as Kate, Viscountess Bridgerton (née Sharma) (season 2), a spinster recently arrived from India
  • Charithra Chandran as Edwina Sharma (season 2), a debutante and Kate's sister
  • Shelley Conn as Lady Mary Sharma (née Sheffield) (season 2), Kate's stepmother and Edwina's mother
  • Rupert Young as Jack, Baron Featherington (season 2), the new head of the Featherington family
  • Martins Imhangbe as Will Mondrich (season 2; recurring season 1), a retired boxer and confidant of the Duke of Hastings; Gentleman's club owner
  • Calam Lynch as Theo Sharpe (season 2), a printer's apprentice at the printing shop where Lady Whistledown publishes her work who befriends Eloise

Recurring[edit]

  • Molly McGlynn as Rose Nolan, Daphne's loyal maid and confidant
  • Joanna Bobin as Lady Cowper, Cressida's mother
  • Jessica Madsen as Cressida Cowper, a gossip-mongering and Daphne's rival debutante
  • Jason Barnett as Jeffries, the Bassets' butler
  • Hugh Sachs as Brimsley, the Queen's gossip-mongering secretary
  • Geraldine Alexander as Mrs. Wilson, the Bridgertons' housekeeper
  • Kathryn Drysdale as Genevieve Delacroix, a high society modiste and dressmaker
  • Simon Ludders as Humboldt, one of the Bridgertons' footmen
  • Julian Ovenden as Sir Henry Granville, an artist who befriends Benedict
  • Oli Higginson as Footman John, a Footman in the Bridgerton household often working for Eloise

Guest[edit]

  • Jamie Beamish as Nigel, Baron Berbrooke, Daphne's suitor
  • Caroline Quentin as Lady Berbrooke, Nigel's mother
  • Freddie Stroma as Prince Frederick of Prussia, the Queen's grandnephew
  • Amy Beth Hayes as Lady Trowbridge, the hedonistic widow of an earl
  • James Fleet as King George III
  • Céline Buckens as Kitty Langham, a general's wife
  • Chris Fulton as Sir Phillip Crane, Marina's husband, a baronet
  • Daphne Di Cinto as Sarah, Duchess of Hastings, Simon's mother
  • Richard Pepple as the Duke of Hastings, Simon's father
  • Pippa Haywood as Mrs. Colson, the housekeeper at the Hastings' country estate
  • Emma Naomi as Alice Mondrich, Will Mondrich's wife
  • Anthony Head as Lord Sheffield, Lady Mary's father and Edwina's grandfather
  • Shobu Kapoor as Lady Sheffield, Lady Mary's mother and Edwina's grandmother
  • Rupert Evans as Edmund, 8th Viscount Bridgerton, father of the Bridgerton children

Episodes[edit]

Series overview[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
18December 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
28March 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)

Season 1 (2020)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byTeleplay byOriginal release date [14]
11"Diamond of the First Water"Julie Anne RobinsonChris Van DusenDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
In 1813, Daphne Bridgerton debuts into the London social season. Queen Charlotte gives her high praise over other debutantes, including the three Featherington sisters. A new scandal sheet written by the mysterious Lady Whistledown circulates London. Marina Thompson, Lord Featherington's distant cousin, comes to stay for the season under the supervision of Lady Featherington. Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings, returns to London after his father's death; Lady Danbury coaxes him into joining the season. Anthony drives away many potential suitors for Daphne, except the detestable Lord Berbrooke. Marina picks up the slack, irritating the Queen and Lady Featherington. After breaking up with his mistress, Siena Rosso, Anthony promises Daphne to Berbrooke, dismaying her. Lady Featherington deduces that Marina is pregnant. After Berbrooke accosts Daphne, and she hits him to protect herself, Simon arrives and suggests they pretend to court in a mutually beneficial arrangement; Daphne agrees, attracting the attention of the ton.
22"Shock and Delight"Tom VericaJanet LinDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Flashbacks reveal Simon's tragic childhood. After his mother died in childbirth, Simon's cruel father rejected him after discovering his stammer. Lady Danbury came to his aid, guiding him in managing his stammer and supervising his education. On his father's deathbed, Simon vows he will never sire an heir to spite his father. In the present, the Queen grows more frustrated with Lady Whistledown's writings. Eloise Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington are confused as to how one becomes with child. Marina remains confined to her room, but shares with Penelope that her child was conceived in love with a man named Sir George Crane, who is fighting in Spain. Simon and Daphne's ruse works perfectly, but Anthony is upset. When Simon tells Anthony what Lord Berbrooke tried to do to Daphne, Anthony cancels his offer with Lord Berbrooke, but Berbrooke acquires a special marriage license to Daphne and threatens to ruin her name. Lady Bridgerton intervenes and is able to get Lady Whistledown to reveal a scandal that forces Berbrooke to withdraw from London.
33"Art of the Swoon"Tom VericaLeila Cohan-MiccioDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Simon and Daphne become closer, leading to Daphne turning down multiple proposals. Lady Featherington tries to match Marina again, but she waits for George to write back. Determined to prove that she is still the true ruler of London society, the Queen schemes to match Daphne with her nephew, the handsome and kind Prince Friedrich of Prussia. Lady Danbury tells Simon that he needs to propose to Daphne or step aside to make way for the superior match. Simon reluctantly calls off the ruse with Daphne. Benedict Bridgerton suspects Eloise of being Lady Whistledown. Anthony tries to take up with Siena again, but she turns him down. George writes to Marina, claiming that there was nothing between them, but unbeknownst to Marina, the letter was faked by Lady Featherington. Lady Bridgerton pushes Anthony to think about a match for himself. Simon decides to leave London ahead of schedule as a heartbroken Daphne embraces Prince Friedrich's attentions.
44"An Affair of Honor"Sheree FolksonAbby McDonaldDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Prince Friedrich invites Daphne to the palace and gifts her a beautiful necklace. Marina is presented to older suitors in want of heirs, in an effort to marry her quickly. Eloise decides she will find out Lady Whistledown's identity. Daphne attends a boxing match with Prince Friedrich. Marina is set up with an older suitor and is saved by Colin. Prince Friedrich prepares to propose at a sumptuous fete, but an undecided Daphne flees to the garden. Simon approaches her to say goodbye and apologize. Daphne, upset, runs into a hedge maze, followed shortly by Simon, and the two kiss passionately. Anthony interrupts and demands that Simon marry Daphne. Simon refuses, and Anthony challenges him to a duel at dawn. Penelope is crushed by Colin's attention to Marina, which causes a fight with Eloise. Anthony plans to use the duel to free himself from society and be with Siena. Lady Featherington discovers the extent of her husband's gambling debts. Daphne realizes that Cressida Cowper, her rival for Prince Friedrich's affections, witnessed what happened in the garden and races to stop the duel. Simon tells her that the reason he cannot marry her is because he cannot provide her with children. Weighing her options, Daphne firmly declares they will marry anyway.
55"The Duke and I"Sheree FolksonJoy C MitchellDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Daphne and Simon petition for a special license but are refused due to the Queen's ire. Prince Friedrich visits Daphne for closure. Anthony promises to take care of Siena no matter what, but modiste Genevieve Delacroix claims she has left town. As money issues plague the Featherington home, Penelope grows more jealous of Colin's attention to Marina. Cressida and Daphne confront each other. Benedict is invited by Sir Henry Granville to a party. Lady Featherington orders Marina to cut out Colin. Simon and Daphne appeal to the Queen for an early wedding; with King George growing more incapacitated, the Queen is moved by Simon's impassioned plea. Simon and Daphne are married in a simple church ceremony. Marina gets a proposal from Colin at the wedding reception, but with the request of a long engagement. The Queen takes interest in Eloise's investigation of Lady Whistledown's identity. Lady Bridgerton and Daphne's conversation about sex leaves Daphne with more questions. Simon and Daphne stay at an inn on their way to Clyvedon. Daphne finally confronts Simon over his avoidance of her, and the pair realize that they are madly in love and consummate their marriage.
66"Swish"Julie Anne RobinsonSarah DollardDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Simon and Daphne as the Duke and the new Duchess arrive at Clyvedon for their honeymoon and spend much time together, romantically and sexually. Daphne has difficulty building a relationship with the housekeeper Mrs. Colson. Colin announces his engagement to Marina, to his family's dismay. Daphne and Simon mingle with the villagers. Penelope tries to ruin the engagement by confiding in Colin that Marina is in love with another man. Colin suggests he and Marina marry sooner than their families desire by traveling to Scotland. Simon turns his attention to the books after hearing that his tenants' rent has increased. Daphne is told that she offended the village by not being able to pick a winning pig at the fair. Mrs. Colson reveals more about Simon's upbringing to Daphne. Penelope discovers that George's letter was faked, but Marina chooses to marry Colin anyway, intending to move on from George. With the help of her lady's maid, Daphne realizes that Simon can have children but does not want to. She has sex with the intention of getting pregnant and confronts him afterward, blaming him for being ambiguous about his inability. Lady Whistledown publishes Marina's secret, shocking Colin.
77"Oceans Apart"Alrick RileyJay Ross & Abby McDonaldDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Simon and Daphne's dispute continues, and Daphne decides to return to London after Lady Whistledown's latest publication surfaces. Eloise prepares for her debut and continues to try to uncover Lady Whistledown in order to convince her to restore the Featherington name. Daphne arranges a chaperoned meeting for Colin and Marina. Simon decides to live separate lives if Daphne is not with child. The Queen is impatient with Eloise's progress in uncovering Lady Whistledown. The Queen throws the Featheringtons out of her luncheon because of Marina's scandal. Lady Danbury invites Daphne to a lively party with the married women of the ton, where Daphne, deciding to help Marina, tries to locate Sir George. To settle his debts, Lord Featherington approaches Will to convince him to throw his next fight; Will considers it. Anthony and Simon come to blows. Daphne discovers why Simon does not want to have children. Eloise realizes that Genevieve is the most likely person to be Lady Whistledown. Marina attempts to end her pregnancy and faints. At the opera, Daphne begins menstruating, is therefore not pregnant, and cries in her mother's arms, with Simon overhearing.
88"After the Rain"Alrick RileyChris Van DusenDecember 25, 2020 (2020-12-25)
Sir Phillip Crane arrives to tell Marina that George, his brother, died in battle. Marina finds out George intended to marry her. Phillip offers to marry Marina himself, but she turns him down. Eloise confronts Genevieve and, believing her to be Lady Whistledown, tries to convince her to write in the Featheringtons' favor. Daphne learns of Simon's childhood from Lady Danbury and Simon's letters that his father never read. Simon reconsiders what he wants after spending time with Daphne's younger siblings. Anthony invites Siena to Daphne and Simon's ball, but Siena tells Anthony to move on. Will throws the fight and receives his winnings from Archibald, who is murdered by his "associates". Marina discovers she is still pregnant and departs London to marry Phillip. Before Penelope can profess her love, Colin announces he is leaving to tour the world. The Queen's agents attempt to capture Lady Whistledown, but Eloise tips her off. Simon and Daphne reconcile after their ball. Anthony announces that he will find a wife without love. Eloise realizes that Genevieve is not Lady Whistledown, who is revealed only to the audience as Penelope. Later, Daphne and Simon have their first child, a son.

Season 2 (2022)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
91"Capital R Rake"Tricia BrockChris Van DusenMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Anthony starts seeking a wife, and immediately becomes one of the season's most eligible bachelors. He meets with several eligible ladies but no prospects intrigue him. Eloise is set to make her debut in society, but her presentation to the queen is interrupted by the return of Lady Whistledown's scandal sheets. On a morning ride, Anthony meets a young woman he later learns is Miss Kate Sharma. Lady Danbury has sponsored the Sharma family for the season, and Kate and her stepmother Lady Mary aim to find Mary's accomplished daughter Edwina a husband. Edwina wants a love match, but is unaware that Mary's noble parents have offered access to the family fortune if she marries a peer. Kate overhears Anthony proclaiming to a group of other gentlemen that he does not care if he loves his wife so long as she is agreeable. The queen names Edwina the season's diamond, and Anthony resolves to make her his wife. Meanwhile, Portia struggles with her family's finances before the new Featherington heir, Jack, arrives in London.
102"Off to the Races"Tricia BrockDaniel RobinsonMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Edwina has drawn the eye of several suitors, and Kate has taken charge of deciding which ones Edwina will meet. To Anthony's dismay, she is staunchly against Anthony courting her. Colin returns from his travels, while Eloise becomes intrigued with finding out Lady Whistledown's identity once again. After learning that Edwina will be at the horse races accompanied by another lord, Anthony takes his family and manages to ingratiate himself with Edwina. Queen Charlotte plans to use Edwina to unmask Lady Whistledown and invites the Sharmas to the palace. Benedict entertains the prospect of studying art. Anthony impresses Edwina with a speech at a soiree hosted by Lady Danbury. Mme. Delacroix catches Penelope at the market.
113"A Bee in Your Bonnet"Alex PillaiSarah L. ThompsonMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
In a flashback to ten years prior, the late Edmund Bridgerton goes hunting with Anthony. When they arrive back at the house, Edmund is stung by a bee and dies. Subsequent flashbacks portray Violet's grief in the aftermath of Edmund's death and the pressure Anthony faced in becoming the new viscount. In the present day, the Bridgertons are at their country estate preparing for their prestigious annual ball, and Anthony has invited the Sharmas to stay for a few days ahead of the party. Along with Kate and Edwina, the siblings play a spirited game of pall-mall that results in Anthony and Kate muddying up their clothing while retrieving balls in the woods. To Kate's dismay, Anthony charms Edwina and tries to propose at dinner but backs out at the last moment. Benedict is accepted at the Royal Academy Schools while Eloise becomes interested in women's rights. Fearing that Jack will marry Cressida Cowper and oust the Featherington women from their home, Portia plots to have Prudence marry him. Penelope recruits Mme. Delacroix to be part of the Lady Whistledown scheme. In the gardens of Aubrey Hall, Kate is stung by a bee, causing Anthony to panic; the two almost kiss.
124"Victory"Alex PillaiChris Van Dusen & Jess BrownellMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Guests begin arriving at Aubrey Hall for the Bridgerton ball. Unaware of their mutual attraction, Edwina encourages Kate to spend time with Anthony, thinking Kate's disapproval keeps him from proposing. Kate goes on a hunt with the men, where she and Anthony share another physical moment. Colin visits Marina, now Lady Crane, and meets her new husband. Marina's marriage is not happy, but she tells him to move on. Daphne tries to get to know Edwina, but is unconvinced that she is a good match for Anthony. Portia arranges for Jack and Prudence to be caught alone to force them into marriage, but Jack reveals that he is secretly penniless and had been planning to marry Cressida for her fortune. Daphne catches Anthony and Kate in a compromising position in the library and urges Anthony to be honest with his feelings. As the Sharmas prepare to depart for London, Anthony proposes to Edwina, and she says yes.
135"An Unthinkable Fate"Tom VericaAbby McDonaldMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Queen Charlotte heartily approves of Anthony and Edwina's engagement and even offers to sponsor the wedding. Both families go to promenade; Anthony becomes jealous when Kate goes on a boat ride with another man. Eloise sneaks out to Bloomsbury to attend a meeting about equal rights and meets Theo Sharpe, an assistant at Lady Whistledown's printer. Mary's parents, the Sheffields, visit London to meet Edwina, but at dinner they display contempt for Mary and Kate, and their arrangement that Edwina should marry a nobleman comes to light. Defending all three of the Sharma women, Anthony orders the Sheffields to leave, but is hesitant to continue the marriage; Kate convinces him to do so even as they admit to their feelings. Upon learning that several gentlemen are interested in investing in Jack's mines, Portia convinces him to take their money.
146"The Choice"Tom VericaLou-Lou IgbokweMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Preparations are underway for Anthony and Edwina's wedding. Edwina feels that Anthony does not love her; Daphne tries to steer Anthony into calling it off to no avail. Kate offers her mother's bracelets for Edwina to wear, but her sister tells her to wear them instead. At the wedding, Kate and Anthony cannot help but stare at each other; when Kate drops her bracelet, Anthony rushes to help her. Edwina realizes there is more to their relationship and runs away from the altar. A furious Queen Charlotte has the guests stay in the garden as Edwina composes herself. Kate tries to explain herself to Edwina and Anthony confirms he is intent on the marriage; Edwina eventually decides that she cannot marry him. Kate and Anthony are left alone in the church and kiss. In the chaos, Lady Danbury and Violet reconcile, Jack makes potential business connections, and Eloise takes the opportunity to visit Theo once again.
157"Harmony"Cheryl DunyeOliver GoldstickMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Following the failed wedding, the Bridgertons and Sharmas, along with Lady Danbury, are shunned by the ton despite their best efforts. Queen Charlotte accuses Eloise of being Lady Whistledown and gives her three days to come clean, or risk punishment for her family. Eloise confides this in Penelope; in an attempt to protect her, Penelope writes that Eloise has been seen fraternizing unchaperoned with political radicals. The news embroils the Bridgertons in further scandal and nobody arrives at the ball they are hosting. Colin considers investing with Jack. Kate and Anthony sleep together in a gazebo on the grounds; the next day, Anthony attempts to visit Kate but is told that she has departed on a horse. Anthony follows Kate into a rainstorm on horseback and rescues her after she is thrown from her horse and knocked unconscious.
168"The Viscount Who Loved Me"Cheryl DunyeJess BrownellMarch 25, 2022 (2022-03-25)
Kate is still unconscious and Lady Whistledown has been suspiciously quiet. Portia convinces Jack to host a ball to celebrate the family's recent successes and invites the Bridgertons and Sharmas; Jack considers moving to America to start over before their fraud is discovered. Eloise ends her friendship with Theo after Penelope falsely tells her that servants have been gossiping about them. Benedict learns that he was likely accepted to the Academy due to a donation from Anthony. Kate awakens from her coma and Anthony proposes to her, but she declines, citing her desire to return to India. Edwina reconciles with Kate and convinces her to attend the ball. After Penelope points out a piece of gossip about two guests, Eloise realizes she is Lady Whistledown and the two argue and end their friendship. Portia turns on Jack and sends him back to America while keeping some of the funds he had gathered for herself. Penelope overhears Colin telling other gentlemen that he would never court her. Kate and Anthony dance at the ball, but the Queen neatly saves their reputations by claiming that canceling the wedding was her idea. Anthony and Kate declare their love for one another. Penelope decides to continue on as Lady Whistledown. After traveling for six months, Kate and Anthony, now wed, join the rest of the Bridgertons for another game of pall-mall at Aubrey Hall.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Bridgerton executive producer Shonda Rhimes

On July 20, 2018, Netflix announced that Shonda Rhimes, through her production company Shondaland, would produce the screen adaptation of the bestselling novels of the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn, while Chris Van Dusen would serve as showrunner.[15] Quinn explained on The Tamron Hall Show that when she heard from her agent that Rhimes was interested in adapting her novels, she "almost fell off of [her] stool", and quickly agreed to the offer.[16] Season 1 of the show adapted The Duke and I, the first book of Quinn's series.

Van Dusen said in a Shondaland article: "I think [period shows] are considered a bit traditional and conservative. With Bridgerton, I wanted to take everything I loved about a period show and turn it into something fresh, topical, and relatable."[17]

Season 2[edit]

Before the first season aired, the show was already in pre-production for a second season which was officially announced in January 2021.[10][11] It is focused on Anthony and based on the book The Viscount Who Loved Me.[9][11] On April 13, 2021, creator Van Dusen revealed on Twitter that the series had additionally been renewed for a third and fourth season.[18][19]

Season 3[edit]

Unlike the first two seasons which followed the order of the book series, the third season will focus on Colin, based on Quinn's fourth novel Romancing Mister Bridgerton.[20] Jess Brownell would serve as writer and showrunner for the third and fourth seasons, replacing Van Dusen.[21][22]

Casting[edit]

Unlike the series of novels,[23] Bridgerton is set in an alternate history with a racially integrated London where people of color are members of the ton, some with titles granted by the sovereign. Creator Chris Van Dusen was inspired by historical debate over the 1940s African ancestry claims of Queen Charlotte "...to base the show in an alternative history in which Queen Charlotte's mixed race heritage was not only well-established but was transformative for Black people and other people of color in England."[24][25][26][27] Van Dusen says the series is not "color-blind" because "that would imply that color and race were never considered, when color and race are part of the show."[28]

Season 1[edit]

On June 19, 2019, Julie Andrews was cast as Lady Whistledown, whose voice-overs explain much of the series' action.[29] In addition, Phoebe Dynevor and Regé-Jean Page were cast to play the leads with Jonathan Bailey, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Nicola Coughlan, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Ruth Gemmell, Adjoa Andoh and Polly Walker co-starring.[30]

Season 2[edit]

On January 21, 2021, it was announced that Jonathan Bailey would be reprising his role as Anthony and would be the center of the show's sophomore season. The following month, Simone Ashley had been cast as Kate.[31] On April 5, 2021, Charithra Chandran joined the cast as Edwina, Rupert Young joined to play a new character,[32] with Shelley Conn cast as Kate and Edwina's mother Mary, and Calam Lynch cast as Theo Sharpe.[33] On May 28, 2021, Rupert Evans joined the cast as Edmund Bridgerton, the late patriarch of the Bridgerton family.[34]

Page did not return for the second season despite being asked to come back as he only signed a one-year deal and wanted to explore other opportunities outside the show. In addition, the plan has always been for each season to focus on a different Bridgerton sibling and their quest for marriage, and his character is insignificant in the succeeding novels.[35][36]

Season 3[edit]

In April 2022, Bailey and Ashley were confirmed to return for the third season as Viscount and Viscountess Bridgerton, exploring their married life and duties as heads of the eponymous family.[37] The following month, Hannah Dodd was cast to replace Ruby Stokes as Francesca Bridgerton for the third season. Stokes exited the show due to scheduling conflicts.[38] Chandran will not reprise her role as Edwina for the season.[39] In July 2022, Daniel Francis, Sam Phillips, and James Phoon were cast in undisclosed capacities for the third season.[40]

Filming[edit]

Season 1[edit]

Principal photography commenced in July 2019 and wrapped in late February 2020.[41] Bridgerton was filmed in London and Bath,[42] as well as at various estates and parks around England. Although the series takes place in London, most street scenes were filmed in Bath, York, and Chatham. The grounds of Wilton House were used for Hyde Park and the grounds of Somerley were used for Hampstead Heath. Garden scenes were filmed at Painshill near Cobham and the Commissioner's House in Chatham.[43]

Ranger's House is used as the exterior of the Bridgerton family's house in London

Filming locations included Ranger's House in Greenwich (standing in for the Bridgerton House in London exterior); Halton House at RAF Halton (Bridgerton House interior, Featheringtons' interior); Wilton House (Simon's Hastings House, Clyvedon estate interior, St James's Palace throne room); Syon House and Badminton House (Hastings House); Castle Howard (Clyvedon estate); Coneysthorpe (Clyvedon village); Hampton Court Palace and Lancaster House (St. James's Palace); Holburne Museum (Lady Danbury's estate); Hatfield House (Featheringtons' interior); No. 1 Royal Crescent (Grosvenor Square); Queen's House and Somerley (Somerset House); and Dorney Court (coaching inn).[44][45]

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens no longer exists in its entirety. The production team recreated it for Lady Danbury's ball by combining the remaining parts with Castle Howard and Stowe Park. The banqueting room at the Guildhall, Bath was used for another ball as well as the Great Hall at Leigh Court in Somerset.[46]

Anthony Bridgerton and Simon Basset meet in the real-life Reform Club on Pall Mall in central London.[47] The scene in which Lady Featherington takes Marina to the slums was filmed at Chatham Dockyard in Kent. Boxing scenes were also filmed here in addition to Normansfield Theatre in Teddington. Theatre scenes were filmed at the Hackney Empire. A café in Bath, Pickled Greens, was used as the site of the Modiste shop and the Bathrooms at No.5 store on Trim Street became the site of Gunter's Tea Shop.[48]

The costuming was led by Ellen Mirojnick and involved over two hundred people and five months of preparation to create 5,000 costumes.[49]

Season 2[edit]

Production on the second season began in March 2021.[50] In May 2021, it was reported that the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead refused permission to build a film set for the second season in Sunninghill Park near Windsor, despite royal approval.[51] On July 15, 2021, production on the second season was paused for 24 hours when a crew member tested positive for COVID-19, but resumed the following day. However, on July 17, production was halted indefinitely following a second positive test.[52] Production resumed in August 2021.[53] Production for the second season wrapped on November 20, 2021.[54]

New filming locations for season 2 included Wrotham Park (standing in for the Bridgertons' country home Aubrey Hall); West Wycombe Park (Aubrey Hall interior and the Crane estate); Wrest Park and Ivinghoe Beacon (the Orangery and Aubrey Hall grounds); the Royal County of Berkshire Polo Club (Royal Ascot); Old Royal Naval College; Windsor Great Park (woods scenes); Goldsmiths' Hall (Buckingham palace throne room); and Wilton's Music Hall (feminist meeting place). The real St James's Church is in the series. The art display at Petworth House was used for the museum scene, with Royal Artillery Barracks used as the exterior. The finale ball was filmed at Basildon Park.[55]

Season 3[edit]

The third season began principal photography in July 2022.[56]

Music[edit]

American composer and pianist Kris Bowers composed and arranged the score for the series. Bowers wrote and composed the first season's soundtrack, featuring nineteen songs. Musicians recorded the score remotely from their home studios during the COVID-19 pandemic.[57]

Season 1[edit]

The first season featured orchestral covers of contemporary popular music, which director and executive producer Julie Anne Robinson said was inspired by the use of classic rock songs in the 2001 film A Knight's Tale.[58] Songs featured included Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next", Maroon 5's "Girls Like You", Shawn Mendes's "In My Blood" and Billie Eilish's "Bad Guy", all four of which performed by Vitamin String Quartet. Also included are Celeste's "Strange" performed by Bowers, and Taylor Swift's "Wildest Dreams" performed by Duomo.[57] Bowers also included modern interpretations of classical music, such as Bach's Cello Suite No. 6 in D major from Peter Gregson's Recomposed by Peter Gregson: Bach – The Cello Suites and Vivaldi's The Four Seasons from Max Richter's Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi – The Four Seasons.[59] The first season also included JPOLND's "The End" which has a "swingy melody but intense lyrics".[60]

Season 2[edit]

In the second season, covers include Nirvana's "Stay Away" and Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" by Vitamin String Quartet, Madonna's "Material Girl", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham" from the soundtrack of the film of the same name and Calvin Harris' "How Deep Is Your Love" by Bowers. Also included are Alanis Morissette's "You Oughta Know" and Pink's "What About Us" by Duomo, Harry Styles' "Sign of the Times" by Steve Horner, Rihanna's "Diamonds" by Hannah V and Joe Rodwell and Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" by Midnight String Quartet.[61] To promote the show, Morisette appeared in a video performing "You Oughta Know" with Duomo. When discussing the music of season two, music supervisor Justin Kramps explained that "even for these songs that are just huge songs that everyone knows, [an instrumental version] still breathes new life and brings them to a new audience, and in a different way. Pop is where we start, because it fits the style of the show, and it's often using these super-recognizable songs that just add a lot of joy, which is what pop does in general."[62]

Release[edit]

Season 1[edit]

The eight episodes of the first season of Bridgerton began streaming on Netflix on December 25, 2020.[14][63][64]

Season 2[edit]

A preview of a scene from season 2 aired during Netflix's September 2021 TUDUM: Extended Talent Panel,[65] which was followed by first look stills.[66] On February 14, 2022, the first teaser trailer for the second season was released.[67] A world premiere was held at Tate Modern on March 22, 2022, in London, England prior to the season's eight episodes being released on March 25, 2022.[68]

Due to a three-month commitment as the lead in the acclaimed West End play Cock, Jonathan Bailey had missed "press, talk shows, FYC events, and even the Met Gala" as part of the show's promotion.[69]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Critical response of Bridgerton
SeasonRotten TomatoesMetacritic
187% (97 reviews)[70]75 (34 reviews)[71]
278% (86 reviews)[72]70 (32 reviews)[73]

Season 1[edit]

For the first season, the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 87% based on 97 reviews, with an average rating of 7.9/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Sumptuous design, soapy drama, and a sterling cast make Bridgerton a delightful treat."[70] Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 75 out of 100 based on 34 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[71]

Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series a B+ and wrote, "Bridgerton, it seems, is a wonderful diversion for those who love Pride & Prejudice but wish it had more stairway sex."[74] Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the series four out of four stars and called it "A show that will give you that unmistakable binge twinge and have you activating that "Next Episode" time and again, until there are no more "Next Episodes"."[75] British GQ described Bridgerton as a cross between Downton Abbey and Gossip Girl, but noted that it "may just end up being another disappointment" and "it could have been brilliant."[76] Salamishah Tillet of The New York Times said "Bridgerton provides a blueprint for British period shows in which Black characters can thrive within the melodramatic story lines, extravagant costumes and bucolic beauty [...] without having to be servants or enslaved."[77] Erum Salam of Cosmopolitan wrote "I kept wanting more. I wanted more explanations of how race factored into this society..."[78] Carolyn Hinds from The Observer stated "Bridgerton has been praised as a racially diverse show set in the Regency Era".[79] Vanity Fair's Caroline Framke describes the sex in the series "isn't altogether shocking material for Shondaland to mine for its first drama series absent broadcast restraints."[80]

The first season's 6th episode drew criticism with regard to the non consensual nature of Simon and Daphne's lovemaking, which amounted to marital rape.[81][82] The episode depicts Daphne, while having sex with Simon, changing her position to be on top, not letting Simon pull out of her when he climaxes despite his objections.[81] Described as one of the toxic plot points of their relationship, it further drew scrutiny due to the fact that the deceit was never addressed as sexual assault in the series.[83][84] Critics pointed out that it failed to acknowledge the difficulties of male victims of rape, and the further fetishisation of black men in media.[85][86]

Season 2[edit]

Pall-mall features as a pastime for the Bridgerton siblings in Season 2

For the second season, Rotten Tomatoes reported an approval rating of 78% based on 85 reviews, with an average rating of 7.2/10. The website's critics consensus states, "The risqué thrill may have faded, but Bridgerton remains a compulsive episode-turner in this delightful sophomore season."[72] Metacritic gave the series a weighted average score of 70 out of 100 based on 32 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[73]

Kristen Baldwin of Entertainment Weekly gave the series an A- writing, "With a second season that's more clever, moving, and emotionally complex than the first, this period drama... proves that it's not just a titillating trifle."[87] The Hollywood Reporter's Angie Hahn echoed the sentiment describing the season as "older and wiser" than its predecessor's "rampant horniness" with an effective central romance that prioritized "a meeting of minds, played out over quick-witted arguments outside ballrooms and vicious competition during a friendly family game of pall-mall."[88] Peter Travers of ABC praised the season writing, "Kudos to season two for digging deeper into the emotional lives of its characters and continuing the colorblind casting that creates a utopia in which diversity is so ingrained it's hardly worth a mention."[89]

Alison Herman of The Ringer commented that Season 1 is "sexy without quite being erotic" while "Season 2 is the reverse. There's not a lot of sex, but in the crackling chemistry and relentless self-denial that defines Anthony and Kate's dynamic, there's plenty of eroticism."[90] Emma Clarke of The Independent argued that, "it is precisely the lack of physicality that makes this season (of the show and of courtship) so... well, sexy."[91] Scott Bryan of the BBC wrote that the season serves as antidote to the "always static, laboured and slow" period dramas, adding that it comes with "real energy, it feels so modern (even though it is set in the past) and even though it feels extravagant, it doesn't feel too highbrow. It is refreshingly accessible."[92]

Kevin Fallon of The Daily Beast elaborating on Bailey's "exquisite lead performance," wrote that "he has an exceptional ability to carry his angst, pain, and guilt with him without bogging down things into a somber drag."[93] The Telegraph' s Anita Singh wrote that Bailey "brings more soul to the role of Lord Bridgerton than Page ever did with the Duke,"[94] with Randy Myers of Mercury News adding that Bailey "has a gift at comedic timing."[95] Proma Khosla of Mashable concluded that with "Bailey and Ashley, Bridgerton Season 2 strikes gold" as they deliver "heaping, smoldering helpings of sexual tension" for "their chemistry is nothing short of explosive."[96]

Audience viewership[edit]

Season Hours viewed

in first 28 days

Rank in Most Watched

on Netflix TV (English)[97]

1 625,490,000 3rd
2 656,160,000 2nd

Season 1[edit]

On January 27, 2021, Netflix announced that 82 million households have watched at least two minutes of the season amounting to 625,490,000 million hours viewed. It was the most-watched original series launch on the service at the time of its premiere,[98][99][100] prior to being surpassed by Squid Game in October 2021.[101] Caroline Framke of Variety attributed this huge viewership to "the perfect storm of a perfectly timed premiere (Christmas Day of 2020), providing silly and sexy entertainment after the first terrible year of COVID."[102][7]

Season 2[edit]

Season 2 amassed 193 million viewing hours in its opening weekend, the highest opening for any English-language Netflix series at the time.[103] It also broke the record for most viewed English-language series in a single week at that time, with 251.74 million viewing hours from March 28 to April 3. The first season also re-entered Netflix's top ten in second place.[104] By April 19, Bridgerton's second season had overtaken its predecessor as the most watched English-language television series on Netflix at the time with 627.11 million hours viewed since its March 25, 2022 launch.[2] This viewing numbers went up to 656.16 million by the 28-day mark.[3]

Nielsen Media Research, analyzing the 2.55 billion minutes viewed on United States television screens in the first three days of season 2's availability (double all others across streamers for the week of March 21), characterized Bridgerton's audience as "diverse and broad". The firm found one third of viewers to be Hispanic or African American and an even split in popularity across the 18–34, 35–49, and 50–64 age groups at 25% each. The only exception was gender parity with 76% of the audience reported to be female.[105][106] It added 3.2 billion minutes viewed in its second week on top of the chart.[5] It topped the chart for a third week with 1.6 billion minutes viewed.[6]

Historical inaccuracies[edit]

A portrait of Queen Charlotte, painted by Thomas Gainsborough

Chris Van Dusen has said that the show "is a reimagined world, we're not a history lesson, it's not a documentary. What we're really doing with the show is marrying history and fantasy in what I think is a very exciting way. One approach that we took to that is our approach to race."[107] The Bridgerton family, Lady Whistledown and most of the other characters in the show are fictional.[108][109][107]

The theory that Queen Charlotte may have had African ancestry has been called an unhistorical assertion by most scholars.[110][111][112] In an interview with Insider magazine, American historian Marlene Koenig said the show's representation of Regency-era London was more diverse than it was in reality, adding that "diversity as we know what the word means did not exist" in Britain during that period.[112] Some classical music pieces used in the first season were composed later than 1813, the year of the first season. Examples include Dmitri Shostakovich's Suite for Jazz Orchestra No. 2, which was written in 1938 and "Belle nuit, ô nuit d'amour" from Jacques Offenbach's 1881 opera The Tales of Hoffmann.[59]

Cultural impact[edit]

Fashion and interior design trends influenced or made popular by the series have been dubbed "Regencycore" or "the Bridgerton effect".[113] Lyst reported an increase in searches for items such as corsets, headpieces, and elbow-length gloves after the series' premiere. The series' female leads Daphne and Kate were also linked to a popularity in the colours sky blue and lilac respectively.[114][115] In 2021, Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear wrote a concept album based on characters and situations in season 1 of the series titled The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical; it won the 2022 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.[116][117] After the two presented the songs from the album live in concert at the Kennedy Center in July 2022,[118] Netflix sued them for copyright infringement.[119]

To ring in the second season, an official "Queen's Ball" was held in Washington DC, Chicago, Montréal, and Los Angeles,[120] with similar events and experiences taking place in London and Johannesburg.[121][122] Bloomingdale's put together a Bridgerton-themed pop-up collection and tea bar, displaying real costumes from the series in the U.S. for the first time in its 59th Street windows.[123]

After season 2 featured the main characters playing pall-mall, a lawn game considered to be the precursor to croquet, retailer John Lewis reported a 90% rise in sales for croquet sets.[124] There was also a notable increase in internet searches and purchases of tiaras and corsets after season two's premiere.[125][126]

Walking tours of the filming locations of the series have also been created, including an official one by Netflix.[127][128] Castle Howard also has an exhibition titled Castle Howard on Screen: From Brideshead to Bridgerton on location which opened in May 2022.[129]

The 33rd season finale episode of The Simpsons on May 22, 2022, featured Marge and her friends watching a period drama called "Tunnelton" with a Lady Whistledown-sounding narrator,[130] and a character emerging drenched from a lake, like Anthony in the fifth episode of the second season.[131][132]

Limited prequel series[edit]

In May 2021, Netflix ordered a limited prequel series from Shondaland which will focus on young Queen Charlotte, a character who does not appear in the Bridgerton novels. Rhimes will write the spin-off and serve as executive producer alongside Betsy Beers and Tom Verica.[21]

Rosheuvel, Andoh, Gemmell, and Fleet will reprise their roles, while India Amarteifio, Michelle Fairley, Corey Mylchreest, and Arsema Thoma were cast,[133] together with Connie Jenkins-Greig who will play young Violet.[134] A novelization of the series written by Rhimes and Quinn will be released by Avon Books in 2023.[135]

In April 2022, it was reported that production designer Dave Arrowsmith was fired from the series following allegations of abusive behavior and bullying on set.[136][137] In September 2022, Netflix announced that Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story would be the title for the series and also released the first look.[138]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominees Result Ref.
2021 AFI Awards Top Television Program Bridgerton Won [139]
British Academy Television Awards Virgin TV's Must-See Moment "Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown" Nominated [140]
Costume Designers Guild Awards Excellence in Period Television Ellen Mirojnick and John W. Glaser III (for "Diamond of the First Water") Nominated [141]
Directors Guild of America Awards Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series Julie Anne Robinson (for "Diamond of the First Water") Nominated [142]
Gold Derby Awards Drama Supporting Actor Jonathan Bailey Nominated [143]
Golden Reel Awards Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Music Score and Musical for Episodic Long Form Broadcast Media Brittany DuBay (for "Shock and Delight") Nominated [144]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Streaming Series, Drama Bridgerton Nominated [145]
Best Actor in a Streaming Series, Drama Regé-Jean Page Nominated
Hollywood Music in Media Awards Best Original Score in a TV Show/Limited Series Kris Bowers Nominated [146]
Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild Awards Best Television Series, Limited or Miniseries or New Media Series – Best Period and/or Character Make-Up Marc Pilcher, Lynda J. Pearce, Claire Matthews, and Louise Bannell Nominated [147]
Best Television Series, Limited or Miniseries or New Media Series – Best Period and/or Character Hair Styling Marc Pilcher, Lynda J. Pearce, Adam James Phillips, and Tania Couper Won
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Show Bridgerton Nominated [148]
Best Breakthrough Performance Regé-Jean Page Won
Best Kiss Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor Nominated
NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Drama Series Bridgerton Nominated [149]
Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series Regé-Jean Page Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Adjoa Andoh Nominated
Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Drama Series Chris Van Dusen, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Scott Collins, Alison Eakle, Sara Fischer, Julia Quinn, Leila Cohan-Miccio, Jonathan Igla, Janet Lin, Holden Chang, Sarah Dollard, and Sarada McDermott Nominated [150]
Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series Regé-Jean Page (for "Art of the Swoon") Nominated
Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Julie Anne Robinson (for "Diamond of the First Water") Nominated
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Julie Andrews (for "Diamond Of The First Water") Nominated
Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series Kelly Valentine Hendry Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (One Hour) Jeffrey Jur (for "Art of the Swoon") Nominated
Outstanding Period Costumes Ellen Mirojnick, John W. Glaser III, Sanaz Missaghian, and Kenny Crouch (for "Diamond of the First Water") Nominated
Outstanding Period and/or Character Hairstyling Marc Pilcher, Lynda J. Pearce, Claire Matthews, Adam James Phillips, Tania Couper, and Lou Bannell (for "Art of the Swoon") Won
Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) Kris Bowers (for "Diamond Of The First Water") Nominated
Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music Kris Bowers and Michael Dean Parsons Nominated
Outstanding Music Supervision Alexandra Patsavas (for "Diamond Of The First Water") Nominated
Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Period or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More) Will Hughes-Jones, Dominic Devine, and Gina Cromwell (for "After the Rain") Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama Chris Van Dusen, Shonda Rhimes, Betsy Beers, Scott Collins, Alison Eakle, Sara Fischer, Sarada McDermott, Holden Chang, and Tom Verica Nominated [151]
Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Drama Series Regé-Jean Page Nominated [152]
Best Actress in a Drama Series Phoebe Dynevor Nominated
Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series Cast of Bridgerton Nominated [153]
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Regé-Jean Page Nominated
Television Critics Association Awards Program of the Year Bridgerton Nominated [154]
Outstanding Achievement in Drama Nominated
Outstanding New Program Nominated
Rose d'Or Drama Nominated [155]
2022 Grammy Awards Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Kris Bowers Nominated [156]
Hollywood Critics Association TV Awards Best Actress in a Streaming Series, Drama Simone Ashley Nominated [157]
MTV Movie & TV Awards Best Musical Moment Anthony and Kate dancing to Midnight String Quartet's cover of "Wrecking Ball" Nominated [158]
National Television Awards Best Returning Drama Bridgerton Pending [159]
Best Performance in a Drama Simone Ashley Pending
Jonathan Bailey Pending
Rising Star Charithra Chandran Pending
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance Julie Andrews (for "Capital R Rake") Nominated [160]
Outstanding Period Costumes Sophie Canale, Dougie Hawkes, Sarah June Mills, Charlotte Armstrong, Sanaz Missaghian, and Kevin Pratten-Stone (for "Harmony") Nominated
Outstanding Period and/or Character Hairstyling Erika Okvist, Jenny Rhodes-McLean, and Sim Camps (for "The Viscount Who Loved Me") Won
Set Decorators Society of America Awards Best Achievement in Décor/Design of a One Hour Period Series Gina Cromwell and Will Hughes-Jones Nominated [161]
TV Choice Awards Best Actor Drama Jonathan Bailey Pending [162]

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