Netflix's New Period Drama "Bridgerton" Is "Downton Abbey" Meets "Desperate Housewives"

McKenzie Jean-Philippe
·3 mins read

From Oprah Magazine

  • In October it was revealed that Shonda Rhimes's new Netflix show, Bridgerton, would premiere on December 25.

  • The series is based on Julia Quinn's beloved Bridgerton historic romance novel series.

  • From the cast to the sneak peek photos, here's everything we know so far.

Netflix's new period drama Bridgerton doesn't stream until Christmas, but we're already counting down the days.

Based on Julia Quinn's beloved historic romance novel series of the same name, the show is the first of eight that will be created for Netflix by Shonda Rhimes's production company Shondaland (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal anyone?)

"I’ve been a fan of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series since I can remember," Rhimes tweeted. "The originality. The sexiness. The storytelling. Everything about it. I quickly knew that @shondaland had to turn them into a series."

Set in Regency Era London in the summer of 1813, it is quite literally the season of love. The men and women of the city's elite families seek out prospective wives and husbands as if it's an Olympic event. At the center of the show is Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) who finds herself falling for the brooding Duke of Hastings, Simon Bassett (Regé-Jean Page).

Think of Bridgerton as Downton Abbey meets Desperate Housewives, with rich UK history and eye-catching costumes, in addition to a mysterious narrator (voiced by Julie Andrews) who knows all of the tea and serves it to the audience.

When does Bridgerton premiere?

With a tweet from Lady Whistledown herself (who you'll get to know very well in a few short months), it was revealed that Bridgerton's release date is on December 25. And with the show's official Twitter account already having 14,000 followers, it seems that will be a welcome holiday present for many.

Sadly, there's no trailer yet.

But to hold us over, there are a handful of photos from the series highlighting the stunning costumes and elaborate sets.

In the meantime, which Bridgerton books should I read first?

Spanning the years 1813-1827, each of the eight books in Julia Quinn's Bridgerton series tell the respective love stories of a Bridgerton sibling. The first is The Duke and I (2000) which follows Daphne and Simon, aka the characters at the center of the Netflix series. You can see each of the books in order above.

Who's in the cast?


Julia Andrews voices the show's esteemed narrator Lady Whistledown, so need we say more? However fresh faces make up much of the rest of the cast, though you may have seen the ever-so-attractive (and British) leading man Regé-Jean Page in ABC's For the People and the History Channel's 2016 miniseries Roots. We have the full main cast—and the characters they play—below.

  • Phoebe Dynevor - Daphne Bridgerton

  • Regé-Jean Page - Simon Bassett

  • Adjoa Andoh - Lady Danbury

  • Julie Andrews - Lady Whistledown

  • Jonathan Bailey - Anthony Bridgerton

  • Nicola Coughlan - Penelope Featherington

  • Ruth Gemmell - Lady Violet Bridgerton

  • Claudia Jessie - Eloise Bridgerton

  • Luke Newton - Collin Bridgerton

  • Will Tilson as Gregory Bridgerton

  • Florence Hunt as Hyacinth Bridgerton

  • Golda Rosheuvel - Queen Charlotte

  • Luke Thompson - Benedict Bridgerton

  • Ruby Barker - Marina Thompson

  • Polly Walker - Lady Portia Featherington

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