Shonda Rhimes’ first Netflix series “Bridgerton” is officially the streaming giant’s biggest episodic television debut in history. Netflix announces 82 million households watched the first season of the period romance over its first month of release, up from the streamer’s projection earlier this month that “Bridgerton” would come in at around 63 million households. The number is six million higher than the previous record holder “The Witcher,” which earned 76 million households over its first 28 days. All of these numbers are straight from Netflix and are not verified by outside parties.
“Bridgerton” was watched by 82 million households out of the total 200 million Netflix subscriber base the company announced at the end of the fourth quarter of 2020 subscribers. The “Bridgerton” number is 41 percent of the total Netflix subscriber number. Other big recent Netflix hits include “Lupin” (70M) and “The Queen’s Gambit” (62M).
As Deadline notes: “The Witcher” scored 76M households when Netflix’s subscriber base was 167M a year ago. That is 46 percent. Even ‘Stranger Things’ third season in July 2019 (64M) is comparable when taking into account that Netflix was in 158M homes then; the season was seen by 40.5 percent of them in the first 28 days.”
The massive “Bridgerton” streaming numbers make it a no brainer for the series to return in a second season. The streaming giant revealed earlier this month Season 2 of “Bridgerton” would be going into production later this year. Jonathan Bailey’s character Anthony Bridgerton will take over as the center of the show’s “social season,” just as the character does in author Julia Quinn’s second “Bridgerton” novel.
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.”
“I think the show really provides an incredible escape for audiences at a time where that’s exactly what’s needed,” showrunner Charles Van Dusen told Deadline of the Season 2 renewal. “‘Bridgerton’ is a 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.”
The first season of “Bridgerton” is now streaming on Netflix.