Here's why it takes so long for Netflix to release Bridgerton (and why they need to speed it up)

Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023
Bridgerton. (L to R) Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton, Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in episode 302 of Bridgerton. Cr. Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2023 /

After a painfully long wait, Bridgerton season 3 is finally set to premiere on Netflix with its first part on May 16. You can expect the first four episodes to drop on this date, followed by the remaining four episodes in a part 2 on June 13. Based on the exciting official trailer, we can already tell this new installment will be another great season, and we can't wait to see how Colin and Penelope's love story unfolds.

It's been over two years since the second season's release, so fans everywhere are more than ready for the hit period drama's return. Many fans have even questioned why it took so long in the first place. I mean, it couldn't have been because of production delays due to the writers and actors strikes because the writers strike started in May 2023 and the actors strike in July 2023. Filming for Bridgerton season 3 took place from July 2022 to March 2023, so production had already wrapped up before any of the strikes had even started. So, what was the holdup?

In a new interview with Variety, executive producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers were very forthcoming about why it takes so long for a new season of Bridgerton to be released, and it seems that it has a lot to do with the way Netflix runs things.

Beers mentions in the interview that there's so much that goes along with making a season of the period drama, such as all the costumes, the many characters, the dancing, etc. She also mentions that the writing process takes a significant amount of time.

"There are a lot of characters, there are a lot of complications and it’s a very complex story to weave. The writing and the meticulousness of the process obviously takes time. And every single aspect of a show in this period takes more time. It’s a lot of costumes, it’s a lot of learning to dance, it’s a lot of weaving in old and new. It’s a gigantic kind of military puzzle."

Betsy Beers

While Rhimes agrees that the filmmaking process takes a long time, she basically tells Variety that the main reason it takes so long is because of how Netflix likes to run its shows.

"They [Netflix] want to write everything, and then they want to shoot everything, which is — it’s very counterintuitive to the way I learned to make television. Now I think that’s just how it is. We’re really working on the idea of if this is the field we live in, then how do we make the field faster? And so we really are thinking about stuff such as permanent sets and lots, and things like that that will really help us speed the process up."

Shonda Rhimes

Rhimes is best known for creating the popular ABC medical drama series Grey's Anatomy. When it comes to the filmmaking process for that show, all scripts don't have to be written before filming can start. The writers could still be writing the scripts for a season of the medical drama as the season is being shot. That way, fans don't have to wait for a long time to see a new season. They can watch it while it's still being filmed. For Bridgerton, all scripts have to be finished before the cameras can start rolling.

Since Netflix wants the writing process to be done first for a new season of Bridgerton before the filming process starts, this is why Rhimes says it takes so long for a new season to come out. She tells Variety, "To me, we should be able to write and produce shows at the same time, and that’s not necessarily possible at this moment. It should be, but it’s not.”

Hopefully, Netflix eventually changes the way it does things because the streamer might see a significant loss in viewership with these large gaps between seasons. Fans might lose interest and that wouldn't be good for the future of this series.

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