‘Stranger Things’ Suspended From Netflix Hierarchy, Replacement Show Takes New Slot

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A young person with short hair, wearing a plaid shirt, stands in front of a height measurement wall holding a sign that reads "Lenora Hills P.D., Hopper, Jane." The person appears to be involved in a police booking process.

Credit: Netflix

Stranger Things is on track to fall from its Netflix throne, as another royal takes its place.

Chris Van Dusen’s Shondaland-produced period drama, Bridgerton, based on Julia Quinn’s novels, has become a global phenomenon captivating audiences with its unique blend of romance, social commentary, and juicy gossip. Set against the backdrop of London’s opulent Regency Era high society, the series follows the Bridgerton siblings as they navigate the complexities of love and societal pressures.

Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington in Bridgerton Season 3 first look Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Bridgerton’s addictive formula has propelled it to immense popularity.

Season one, centered on Daphne Bridgerton’s captivating journey to love through a fake courtship that blossoms into a passionate romance with the dashing Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), reportedly became Netflix’s most-watched series at the time. Season two maintained this momentum as Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), the eldest son, grappled with finding a wife, leading to a battle of wills and undeniable chemistry with the strong-willed Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley).

Beyond the swoon-worthy romances, Bridgerton cleverly tackles social issues. The series sheds light on the rigid expectations placed upon women and the power dynamics within the Ton. The ever-present voice of Lady Whistledown, the anonymous gossip columnist voiced by Dame Julie Andrews, adds a layer of mystery and intrigue, propelling the narrative forward and keeping viewers on the edge of their seats.

Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3 first look Netflix
Credit: Netflix

The success of Bridgerton isn’t solely reliant on its compelling story. A diverse cast and stunning visuals further elevate the viewing experience. Breakout performances by Nicola Coughlan (Penelope Featherington/Lady Whistledown), whose character harbors a surprising secret, and Phoebe Dynevor (Daphne Bridgerton), who shines as she navigates love and societal expectations, anchor the series.

The ensemble cast, including Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, and Luke Thompson, who portray the remaining Bridgerton siblings, brings the world of Regency London to life.

Season three promises a fresh chapter, delving into the blossoming romance between Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton). This season marks a departure from the usual format, opting for a two-part release, with the first half premiering in May and the second half in June.

The narrative explores the fallout from Penelope’s revelation of her feelings and Colin’s obliviousness. Nicola Coughlan hints at a bolder Penelope and a fundamental shift in her relationship with Colin, who previously friend-zoned her.

The tables have turned as Colin returns from his travels with a more mature look, while Penelope embraces her newfound independence and the power she wields as Lady Whistledown. Colin, unaware of her true feelings, attempts to help Penelope find suitors.

As we know from the fourth episode of season 3, Old Friends, the carriage scene left us pretty certain that both Penelope and Colin will be on the road to walking down the aisle, as the mid-season finale ended in a proposal.

The highly anticipated season three of Bridgerton has sparked a renewed battle for the title of Netflix’s most-watched series. The Regency romance, with its record-breaking 45 million views in one week, trails only behind Stranger Things season four, which garnered a staggering 140 million total views.

This isn’t the first time these two shows have crossed paths in the popularity race.

In 2021, Bridgerton season one held the most-watched series crown, only to be dethroned by Stranger Things season four in 2022.

nicola coughlan as penelope featherington and luke newton as colin bridgerton in bridgerton season 3 first look Netflix
Credit: Netflix

Currently, both series boasts two seasons on Netflix’s top 10 most popular English TV shows list. Stranger Things seasons three and four hold the eighth and third positions, respectively, while Bridgerton seasons one and two sit at fourth and ninth.

Season three of Bridgerton could potentially rewrite history. If it manages to crack the top 10 once the remaining episodes air, it would become the first show with three seasons on the list. This accomplishment, coupled with its strong initial viewership, could propel Bridgerton to the top spot.

However, the split release strategy employed by Netflix for both Bridgerton and Stranger Things season four adds a layer of complexity. While the split release might have extended Stranger Things’ viewership window and contributed to its record-breaking numbers, it also leaves the final verdict for Bridgerton hanging in the balance.

Bridgerton needs to gain an additional 100 million views in the next month to surpass Stranger Things season four. Currently, The Witcher season one holds the tenth spot with 83 million views, making Bridgerton’s goal seem attainable, according to Business Insider.

It’s important to note that shows like Wednesday and Squid Game still reign supreme, with the first season having more than 250 million views. However, with new seasons on the horizon, the landscape of Netflix’s most-watched series could continue to shift.

Ultimately, while Bridgerton is making strides towards the top spot, it remains to be seen if it can dethrone the juggernaut that is Stranger Things. Only time and viewership numbers will tell who will wear the crown of Netflix’s biggest TV series.

A woman in an elegant historical costume with an apprehensive expression, standing behind a balcony railing in a grand room illuminated by candlelight.
Credit: Netflix

The show boasts a talented cast, dame Julie Andrews lends her voice to the all-knowing Lady Whistledown, while Nicola Coughlan portrays Penelope Featherington, a seemingly innocent young woman with a surprising secret.

Regé-Jean Page captivated audiences in season one as the enigmatic Duke of Hastings, Daphne Bridgerton’s love interest, while Simone Ashley takes center stage in season two as Kate Sharma, the strong-willed woman who challenges Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey.

Phoebe Dynevor shines as Daphne Bridgerton, the eldest daughter, navigates love and societal expectations. The ensemble cast is rounded out by actors like Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, and Luke Thompson, who portray the remaining Bridgerton siblings and their pursuits of love.

With all of this being said, Stranger Things 5 is set to drop in either late 2025 or early 2026, based on the current filming schedule. Considering it is the last season of the franchise, even if Bridgerton season three does manage to top Stranger Things, the Upside Down will still have another season to take over again.

Stranger Things 5: What You Need to Know

A young woman dramatically expressing anger or frustration with an outstretched hand toward the camera, surrounded by a crowd of onlookers in a sunny, outdoor setting.
Credit: Netflix

The wait for the final season of Stranger Things has gotten a bit longer. Millie Bobby Brown, in a March 2024 appearance on The Jonathan Ross Show, confirmed that season five won’t arrive until at least 2025. The delay stems from the 2023 writers’ and actors’ strikes, pushing production back. Despite filming kicking off in January 2024, Brown revealed there are still nine months left to go.

Excitement remains high despite the wait. Both the Stranger Things Instagram and X accounts announced that the production would start with a celebratory post in January. Fans can expect to see the core cast return, including Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler), Noah Schnapp (Will Byers), and the rest of the Hawkins gang.

Below is a full list of our returning cast expectations:

In the kids’ group:

• Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)
• Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)
• Noah Schnapp (Will Byers)
• Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair)
• Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson)
• Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield)
• Priah Ferguson (Erica Sinclair)

The teens:

• Joe Keery (Steve Harrington)
• Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley)
• Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler)
• Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)

Finally, there are the main adults and parents of the group:

• David Harbour (Jim Hopper)
• Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)
• Brett Gelman (Murray Bauman)

(L to R) Lucas Sinclair (Caleb McLaughlin), Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo), and Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) dressed as Ghostbusters in 'Stranger Things' Season 2
Credit: Netflix

A bittersweet farewell is on the horizon. The Duffer Brothers, the show’s creators, have confirmed that season five will be the last.

While details are scarce, the season five premiere title, The Crawl, offers a hint of what’s to come. The Duffers have also teased a tearjerker season, potentially hinting at major character deaths – a sentiment echoed by some cast members. Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson) believes the show would benefit from higher stakes, suggesting the possibility of more character deaths.

Newcomers and returning favorites join the fray. Linda Hamilton, the iconic Terminator star, is confirmed for season five, though details about her role remain a mystery aside from the fact that she will be playing Eleven, also. Sadly, fan-favorite Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn) won’t be returning despite theories suggesting otherwise.

Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) in a trance in 'Stranger Things' Season 4
Credit: Netflix

On the villain front, Jamie Campbell Bower is confirmed to reprise his role as the terrifying Vecna.

Will Byers’ story takes center stage. Season four hinted at Will’s feelings for Mike, leaving his sexuality a topic of discussion. While the creators haven’t explicitly addressed it, fans can expect Will’s story to reach a satisfying conclusion, as teased by Noah Schnapp.

Stranger Things promises a thrilling and emotional final chapter. With a 2025 release date on the horizon, fans can expect a season filled with suspense, action, and heartfelt moments as the Hawkins gang confronts the Upside Down one last time.

Are you a bigger fan of Stranger Things or Bridgerton

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