'Bridgerton': How a Bold Bet Turned Into Our Biggest Series Ever
During my Netflix interviews I remember being asked: “If you could make any show, what kind would it be and why?” I dared say the truth - that in a pop culture world dominated by sci-fi and fantasy, I’ve always loved beautiful, lush romances. Being direct paid off though little did I imagine that the first project I would help bring to life at Netflix would be Bridgerton.
Witnessing the fervor that the show’s producers, including the inimitable Shonda Rhimes, showrunner Chris Van Dusen and executive producer Betsy Beers, have created has been surreal (hello, TikTok musical!). And to be able to announce that Bridgerton is now the biggest series ever on Netflix is a dream come true.
A record 82 million households around the world chose to watch Bridgerton in its first 28 days. And the show has made the top 10 in every country except Japan - hitting number one in 83 countries including the US, UK, Brazil, France, India and South Africa. Indeed, the success of Bridgerton propelled the books into The New York Times best seller lists for the first time, and 18 years after they were first published.
There are many lessons that I learned along the way, but these are the three most important:
All kinds of audiences love romance
Romance books have always sold incredibly well. But these stories have rarely made it onto the screen. Daphne and Simon's “will they/won’t they” love affair, combined with the opulent costumes and settings, created a world into which members of all backgrounds and ages could escape. Bridgerton has shown that romance can be smart, dynamic, bold and yes - universally appealing.