Netflix has announced that the Regency-era British drama ‘Bridgerton’ is its biggest show ever with more than 82 million households tuning in to at least one partial episode in its first 28 days.
It’s a whopping 19M households higher than the four-week projection Netflix issued 10 days into the Shondaland series’ run (63 million), at the time the streamer’s fifth biggest launch in history.
The period drama hit the number one spot in 83 countries, including the US, UK, India, France and Brazil.
The previous record for most-watched debut series on the platform was held by fantasy drama ‘The Witcher’, which Netflix said was watched by 76 million households in its first 28 days.
Jinny Howe, vice-president of original series at Netflix, said Bridgerton “defies tradition, and demonstrates that period dramas are not limited in scope or audience”.
“The empowerment of people of colour and women made Bridgerton feel accessible and contemporary, resonating with audiences all around the world,” she wrote in a blog post.
Stars of the period drama thanked fans after Netflix’s announcement, with actress Phoebe Dynevor describing the news as “utterly insane”.
“I’m SO proud of the incredible team behind this show! And thank you guys for loving it,” the 25-year-old actor, who played Daphne Bridgerton, wrote on Instagram.
Regé-Jean Page, whose performance as love interest the Duke of Hastings won him fans around the world, also celebrated the news.
Bridgerton’s colourful costumes, wisteria-fronted homes and entertaining storylines were celebrated globally as many fans turned to the show at the end of a year marked by coronavirus.
Adapted from a series of historical romance novels by author Julia Quinn, the drama follows members of the Bridgerton family as they navigate London’s high society in the 1800s.
Director Shonda Rhimes was widely praised for her “colour-blind casting” which put black actors in the type of historical roles that were traditionally filled by white actors.
The show, which has been renewed for a second series, was designed for today’s millennial and Gen Z audiences and has been described as a Regency-era ‘Gossip Girl.’