Netflix’s Bridgerton has become a global pop culture phenomenon that captured everyone’s heart! The Regency-era romance, already renewed for a second season, not just exceeded Netflix’s original viewership projections, it blew them out of the water. Season one of Bridgerton was watched by a record 82 million households around the world. That is a whopping 19M households higher than the four-week projection Netflix issued 10 days into the Shondaland series’ run (63 million), at the time the streamer’s fifth-biggest launch in history. Bridgerton was watched by 82M of the record 200M Netflix Q4 2020 subscribers, or 41%. The number is six million higher than the previous record holder “The Witcher,” which earned 76 million households over its first 28 days. That is no small achievement!
Bridgerton, created by Shondaland’s Chris Van Dusen based on Julia Quinn’s novels, ranked #1 overall in 83 countries including the US, UK, Brazil, France, India, and South Africa, and made the top 10 in every country except Japan. The series’ timing likely played a role in its breakout success. It arrived amid the latest deadly Covid surge with people in many countries exhausted after months in quarantine.
“I think the show really provides an incredible escape for audiences at a time where that’s exactly what’s needed,” Van Dusen said last week when the series Season 2 renewal was announced. ”Bridgerton is this lavish, vibrant, steamy Regency love story; it is about romance, love and joy; I think all of those things are really universal themes people are responding to.”
Season 1, based on the first book in Quinn’s series, The Duke and I, centered on the complicated romance between the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, and the Duke of Hastings Simon Bassett, portrayed by Regé-Jean Page.
In an interview earlier this month with IndieWire, Quinn expressed shock over Rhimes’ interest in adapting her literary series for Netflix. “I was sitting in Starbucks — so, I couldn’t actually scream but [my agent said] ‘I just got the most interesting call,’” Quinn recalled. “He’s like, ‘Have you heard of Shonda Rhimes?’ So I think my version of screaming was that I immediately texted my best friend in all caps: ‘Call me’ and she thought someone died because that’s not normal for us.”