Bridgerton Showrunner Explains Decision to Skip Ahead to Penelope and Colin's Romance

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Bridgerton fans were thrown for a loop this week when it was announced that the Netflix juggernaut would be diverging from Julia Quinn's third novel.

Earlier this week, Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, revealed that Penelope and Colin's (Luke Newton) love story would be charted on Bridgerton Season 3.

“Like Lady Whistledown, I have been keeping a secret for quite some time, and I can confirm to you all that season 3 is Colin and Penelope’s love story,” Coughlan said at an FYSEE panel.

Colin and Penelope's Plan - Bridgerton

“I have kept that secret since two weeks into season 2. This is the first time I am saying it here.”

The official Bridgerton social media channels later confirmed the news, revealing that Benedict Bridgerton's love story would not take center stage next season.

"Dearest Readers," reads the beginning of Lady Whistledown's latest pamphlet.

Lady Whistledown's Comments

"It is only fair that in this author's third year chronicling the marriage mart, Mayfair's social season should find its focus on a third son... as well as a third daughter."

"This author can confirm the upcoming season shall follow none other than the budding relationship between Mr. Colin Bridgerton and one Miss Penelope Featherington."

"With Penelope's days as a wallflower wearing thin, will she finally take bloom?"

"Time will tell, and as always, so will this author."

Penelope Featherington

"Yours truly, Lady Whistledown."

New showrunner Jess Brownwell revealed the reason for the decision in an interview with Variety.

“I really feel like it’s Colin and Penelope’s time. Because we’ve been watching both of these actors on our screens since Season 1, we’ve already invested in them a little bit. We know who they are as people,” she says.

“I feel like, especially in the last season, there are these moments of tension between them where it’s like, Colin walks up to the line of almost realizing that Penelope has feelings for him but doesn’t quite get there."

Nicola Coughlan on Bridgerton Season 1

"Instead of treading water on that dynamic, we wanted to push it into their season. It really felt like the perfect moment to tee it up.”

The showrunner went on to say the series has already differed from the books in a big way by having an ensemble cast.

The books really focus on one on one romantic pair at a time, and maybe the siblings have a little cameo here and there, but they don’t have full stories."

"In that way, even though we’re reversing the order of the books, I think all the people you would expect to see — Benedict, who is book three, he will be a vital part of Season 3."

Scheming Penelope

Brownell said that the aim is to adapt all of the books, and that she hopes Benedict will get his time to shine in a season focused on him.

What are your thoughts on the decision?

Hit the comments below.

Bridgerton's first two seasons are streaming now on Netflix.

Paul Dailly was an Associate Editor for TV Fanatic.Follow him on X.

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Bridgerton Quotes

My stories from abroad are not suitable for such tender young ladies.
Were I to tell you even the tiniest adventure, well,
I'd be forced to marry you.


To live at the whim of either the most cruel or the most simple person I know...
I must take a husband before that happens.
It is time.