'Bridgerton' showrunner offers season 4 progress update — but it's not good news

Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) standing against a wall in "Bridgeton" season 3
(Image credit: Liam Daniel/Netflix)

The second batch of "Bridgerton" season 3 episodes landed last week (June 13), bringing our latest visit to the ton to a close. While the dust has barely settled on Colin and Penelope's love story, talk has already turned to the show's next chapter. 

We've got a big progress update on season 4... but it sounds like we'll have to wait a while before the hit Netflix period drama returns. Speaking to THR at the recent U.K. premiere for "Bridgerton" season 3 part 2, showrunner Jess Brownell teased that she thinks the scripts for next season feature some of their 'best work'. Sadly, she also confirmed the two-year wait between seasons isn't going away anytime soon.

"I'm really excited about what we're writing", Brownell said. "We're towards the end with the writers room season, with the scripts. And I feel like it's some of my best work and my writers room's best work. We've just really gelled our collaboration, and we're firing on all cylinders, so I can't wait for fans to see what we have.

"We are working to try and put the season out more quickly, but they do take eight months to film and then they have to be edited, and then they have to be dubbed into every language. And the writing takes a very long time as well, so we're kind of on a two-year pace, we're trying to speed up, but somewhere in that range", Brownell added.

What do we know about 'Bridgerton' season 4 so far?

Luke Newton and Nicola Coughlan in Bridgerton season 3 on Netflix

With Colin and Penelope happily married, which sibling could be next? (Image credit: Netflix)

Unfortunately, we're still fairly in the dark on season 4. Netflix's "Bridgerton" adaptation does not follow the exact order of Julia Quinn's books (season 3 was based on the fourth novel, "Romancing Mister Bridgerton"), so we can't necessarily assume which sibling will be in the spotlight next. 

Ahead of the third season's arrival, Jess Brownell teased "there are some clues at the end of season 3 of where we're headed". Now that the season 3 finale has aired, we can take a look at those clues and guess what's to come next. There are some major season 3 spoilers ahead, and mention of what happens in the yet-to-be-adapted books, so if you want to go into "Bridgerton" season 4 fully blind, don't read on. 

Eloise dropped a big hint in the season 3 finale that Benedict could be next in the limelight. She heads to Scotland with her sister, Francesca, but promises she won't be gone too long. That's because she knows their mother Violet wouldn't let Eloise miss "her Masquerade Ball". 

Now, anyone who has read the series will know that Benedict meets his match, Sophie Beckett for the first time at the Masquerade Ball in book four, "An Offer From a Gentleman". After their chance encounter, Sophie disappears into the night, and Benedict spends two years avoiding marriage as he tries to track her down. Given it's an important moment for the second-oldest Bridgerton brother, there's no way they'd drop a hint like that in the season 3 finale without intent, right?

There's also every chance that Francesca could be the protagonist next time, as her love story's not been wrapped up yet, either. In the season 3 finale, she was introduced to her new husband's cousin, Michaela Stirling (Masali Baduza), and was rendered speechless. 

In Francesca's original story, "When He Was Wicked", she eventually ended up with Michael Stirling, after the death of Lord Kilmartin. So it's also likely that the series may have gender-flipped Francesca's would-be partner and intends to continue telling her story soon. 

Without official confirmation, we can't say with absolute certainty which of the siblings' stories will be next, but these seem the most likely candidates. And with such exciting things teed up in the finale, that two-year wait for more episodes is going to be all the more painful. 

All three seasons of "Bridgerton" and "Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story" are now available to stream on Netflix. Need more shows to watch while you wait for "Bridgerton" to return? Check out our picks of the best shows like "Bridgerton" that you can watch right now. 

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Staff Writer, Streaming

Martin is a Streaming Writer at Tom’s Guide, covering all things movies and TV. If it’s in the theaters or available to stream somewhere, he’s probably watched it… especially if it has a dragon in it. Before joining the team, he was a Staff Writer at What To Watch where he wrote about a broad range of shows that stretched from "Doctor Who" and "The Witcher" to "Bridgerton" and "Love Island". When he’s not watching the next must-see movie or show, he’s probably still in front of a screen playing massive RPGs, reading, spending a fortune on TCGs, or watching the NFL.