If you enjoy watching historical drama shows, you’ve no doubt binged your way through the hit TV show Bridgerton.
Bridgerton lured us all into the “high-society” drama with all of its sexual romance and good-looking characters. With that aside, it has an easy-to-watch storyline that manages to keep you hooked, wanting to know what happens next.
But, there are only so many episodes of the show and only so many times that you can watch them on repeat.
So why not use one of these 15 shows to fill the gap while you wait for another season of the show?
Below you’ll find 15 shows like Bridgerton to watch at your leisure; even Lady Whistledown would love them. They’re in no particular order, so find one that tickles your fancy and start working your way through each one.
1. The Great
This comedic period drama gives you a lighter take on 1700s Russia as it chronicles the life of Catherine the Great, Russia’s longest reigning female leader. Her plot to gain power, kill her husband (Peter III) and overthrow the Russian government is well known among historians, and it’s about time a TV show was created.
The Great reminds me of Bridgerton as it’s roughly the same time period (give or take 50 years) and should help you fill the gap Bridgeton has left in your heart.
Elle Fanning takes on the role of Catherine, and she’s 100% believable in the role. Whoever cast her should give themselves a pat on the back.
Alongside Elle Fanning is the fantastic Nicholas Hoult, best known for his role in About A Boy and X-Men: First Class.
The pair’s onscreen chemistry sets the show’s tone, and they get it just right.
While the show is “great”, don’t expect historical accuracy. It’s close but slightly embellished.
If you love the Bridgerton period drama and want something a little grittier with more sex and even bigger scandals, then Harlots is precisely what you need.
The three seasons show follows brothel owner Margaret Wells, who moves her business to an upper-class part of London. She hopes her new location will attract the wealthier members of English society.
However, Margaret doesn’t account for the rival brothel owner, Lydia, who takes it upon herself to try and shut the fresh competition down… who can blame her? Sex was a BIG business in 1800s London.
The show does a fantastic job of immersing you in the time period and is interesting as it helps normalise sex work.
The show stars Samantha Morton who’s best known for her roles in Minority Report, The Messenger, Cosmopolis, The Walking Dead, and Rillington Place.
She is supported by Lesley Manville, Eloise Smyth, Holli Dempsey, and Kate Fleetwood.
The show is excellently cast and is like Bridgerton, but with more raunchiness.
This period piece is based on Jane Austen’s final novel.
When Bridgerton first aired on our screens, people worldwide lost their minds. They all claimed the show was a raunchier version of Sanditon (which shows a softer side of the 1800s).
Sanditon is a small seaside village near Bristol, UK which fancies itself as a seaside resort.
The Regency-era drama follows lead character, Charlotte, who moves to the village for a better life. When she arrives, her unconventional approach causes a raucous in her new town.
The people of Sanditon are ambitious and keep themselves to themselves, often harbouring well-kept secrets.
There are many things Bridgerton fans will love about the show; whether it’s the dramatic twists or the romance, there is something for you all.
The show has a fantastic cast starring Rose Williams, Theo James, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Ruth Kearney, Leo Suter, and Charlotte Spencer.
Give the show a watch; I’m sure you’ll love every moment; it’ll certainly keep you busy until Bridgerton returns. The show’s second season has been extremely popular.
4. Downton Abbey
If you’re like me and managed to miss out on the Downton Abbey train, you’ll be pleased to know there are over 52 episodes and a movie adaptation of the popular show. More than enough to keep you entertained for hours and hours.
The period drama definitely set the tone for many other TV shows and has built up a loyal fan base who love everything Downton.
The show centers around Robert Crawley, who risks losing his family estate (Downton Abbey) when all his heirs die on the Titanic.
In a bid to ensure his legacy is passed on to someone with his bloodline, he is introduced to Matthew, a young man who’s extremely resistant to the aristocratic way of life.
Matthew struggles to adapt, but I’m sure he can get used to the amount of women who’re looking for a wealthy suitor to marry.
The show’s story continues in several movies, so keep an eye out for them.
The show stars Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Hugh Bonneville, Joanne Froggatt, Jessica Brown Findlay, and Maggie Smith.
5. The Crown
The world seems to love the British monarchy, and to help fuel the love for the royal family is the ever-so-popular show “The Crown”.
Like Bridgerton, this popular Netflix drama is set in British high society but is set almost 100 years after the Duke and Penelope Featherington graced our screens.
The Crown chronicles Queen Elizabeth II’s reign from the 1940s through to modern times; it covers Britain at war through to the invention of the mobile phone… it’s quite a timeline.
During the first season, the young Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the British throne at the young age of 25 after her father, King George VI died.
As the years pass, the show slow burns romances, political rivalries, and some huge events that shaped our world. It’s one of the best historical dramas on television.
It stars Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton, Matt Smith, and many other stellar cast members.
6. The Tudors
Before regency era Britain, there was the Tudors.
If you know your British history, then you’ll know the tale of the British monarchy’s King Henry VIII and his six wives. This fantastic TV show is packed full of scandalous storylines that’ll make Bridgerton look like it’s a kid’s show. You need to see it, to believe it.
The series provides you with all the romance and lustful drama you loved throughout Bridgerton. You get to see the dramatised version of King Henry’s early years when women would throw themselves at him, regardless of his infamous reputation… He was the king, after all.
As his Tudor dynasty develops, you see Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn’s relationship with Henry evolve and the part they played in the direction he led the country. Not forgetting the steamy romance.
The show has a total of four seasons which is more than enough to keep you entertained. I know many who’ve binge watched this “love story”. It’s like Bridgerton, but with true to life plot points.
The Tudors has gorgeous costumes and a diverse cast such as Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Henry Cavill, Anthony Brophy, James Frain, Sarah Bolger, Natalie Dormer, and many others.
Set around the gilded age, Dickinson tells the story of poet Emily Dickinson’s early years. However, it’s told from a comedic perspective which shines a fascinating new light on one of America’s most famous and most loved introverts.
Sure, the show is a little exaggerated and over the top compared to Bridgerton, but it only adds to the fun.
Set during the 19th century, a young Emily Dickinson uses modern sensibility to explore some of society’s constraints, such as gender and family. Quite risqué for 19th-century society if you ask me.
The show is brilliant and is like Bridgerton. It won’t take you too long to binge-watch your way through the three-season offering.
It stars Hailee Steinfeld, Anna Baryshnikov, Ella Hunt, and Jan Krakowski. With a cast like that, I’m sure you’ll enjoy every minute of this gilded age drama, and it’ll fill the void until the next Bridgerton season arrives.
As the series begins, a British World War II nurse named Claire finds herself in a bit of trouble when she is mysteriously transported to 1743 Scotland… which is a far cry from the time period she was used to in 1945.
While she’s trying to figure out what’s happened to her and why she’s now in the past, she meets a dashing Highland warrior who she begins to fall for. And if that wasn’t bad enough, she finds herself in the middle of a rebellion.
The problem is her husband is back in 1945 fighting in World War II, leaving her torn between the two men.
If you were placed in the same situation, what would you do? I mean, technically, her 1945 husband hasn’t been born yet, so is it cheating… who knows. But this is the problem Claire is having.
As I write, Outlander is on it’s sixth season, with more in the works, so there’s more stories to tell and new characters to explore. Will Claire settle in her new life?
Outlander stars Sam Heughan, Caitriona Balfe, Sophie Skelton, and Tobias Menzies.
9. Vanity Fair
In 1847 author William Makepeace Thackeray took shots at the British high society in his book series Vanity Fair; even the Victorians loved the same drama and scandal you enjoy. I guess things never change, huh.
The books were adapted by Amazon Prime in 2018’s TV show of the same name.
The series is less about sex and more about the elites trying to climb the ladder and gain more power and favour with other high-flying individuals.
Becky Sharp is a charming and cunning young woman who turns what a lady should be on its head. However, things become complicated for Becky when she falls in love. To make things even more complicated, she finds herself among the court of King George IV, during the Napoleonic wars.
While Vanity Fair has a slight change of pace compared to Bridgerton, it follows some of the same principles; you’ll love it.
The show stars Olivia Cooke, Martin Clunes, Claudia Jessie, Tom Bateman, David Flynn, and Johnny Flynn.
If you’re looking for a show like Bridgerton to watch, this is for you.
10. Gentleman Jack
Gentleman Jack tells the real-life story of Ann Lister and delves deep into the most intimate details of her life through the series.
Set in 1832 Yorkshire, during the heart of the industrial revolution, landowner Anne Lister has vowed to save her family’s home, Shibden hall. But, in order to save it, she’ll have to break some of Victorian society’s expectations.
During her life, she reopens coal mines, infiltrates high society, and has no intention to marry a man.
It’s a fantastic historical drama like Bridgerton starring Suranne Jones, Sophie Rundle, Gemma Whelan, Lydia Leonard, Joe Armstrong, and Albane Courtois.
This TV show is based on Queen Victoria’s early life and her diary entries during her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert. The show also covers some of her political engagements and other royal duties.
During the late 1830s, a young Victoria is thrown into the spotlight as she is crowned Queen of England (and most of the world, since Great Britain’s empire, was at its peak).
Actress Jenna Coleman plays the young queen effortlessly and perfectly portrays Victoria’s charming yet strong-willed persona. However, the Radio Times called Jenna’s portrayal of the queen as “a shaky delivery”, but I and many other fans disagree.
As Queen Victoria famously said, “One is not amused”… I’m sure she was talking about Radio Times, wasn’t she?
If want a show like Bridgerton, you’ll love what Victoria has to offer you. It’ll fill the gap until the next Bridgerton season arrives.
Featuring in the show alongside Jenna Coleman are Adrian Schiller, Tommy Knight, Jordan Waller, Nell Hudson, and Margaret Clunie.
12. Miss Scarlet & The Duke
No, not “The Duke” from Bridgerton… sorry ladies (or guys). The Duke in this show is rather different to what you see on Bridgerton.
When Eliza’s father dies, she finds herself in a difficult position. An unmarried woman in Victorian times faces poverty without a husband to provide for her. However, rather than rely on her ability to lure a man into her life, she decides to run her late father’s detective agency.
While she attempts the unthinkable, she meets Detective Inspector William Wellington from Scotland Yard, aka “The Duke”. The pair forms an unlikely bond and start tackling the crimes and mysteries of Victorian London.
Has Eliza unknowingly found herself the perfect suitor in The Duke? Who knows, you’ll have to watch the show to find out.
While Miss Scarlet And The Duke is set during a similar period to Bridgerton, it is slightly different.
If you’re a fan of Bridgerton and enjoy a good detective show, then you’ll love what this popular TV show offers you.
Starring in the show is Kate Phillips, Stuart Martin, Andrew Gower, Cathy Belton, Kevin Doyle, and Ellise Chappell.
13. The Spanish Princess
Don’t be fooled by the name, it’s not a Spanish period drama.
The Spanish Princess tells the story of a prominent young women whose name you’ll know for other reasons… it’s no other than Catherine of Aragon. However, long before she married King Henry VIII, her secret love letters were a HUGE royal scandal.
During her teenage years, the young Spanish princess was married to Prince Arthur (King Henry VIII’s elder brother). But, when he passed away, she was pushed towards his father, the current King of England…yet; she was in love with his son Prince Henry.
Confused yet? I don’t blame you; she was the 16th-century version of a gold digger if you ask me.
Anyway, I won’t go into more detail about the storyline as I don’t want to spoil the story for you.
What I can say is that if you’ve enjoyed watching Bridgerton, The Spanish Princess will certainly help fill the void.
The show stars Charlotte Hope, Ruairi O’Connor, Stephanie Levi-John, Aaron Cobham, Laura Carmichael, and Richard Pepper.
14. Gossip Girl
OK… OK…hear me out.
You’re probably thinking, “Gossip Girl?… really?” but I have a very good reason for including this super-successful TV show on this list. It’s actually more like Birdgerton than you know.
Bridgerton is full of scandal, sex, and ladder-climbing, plus it’s voiced over by Lady Whistledown, giving you all the inside information about the high society. Gossip Girl is pretty much the same but set in the modern world.
Gossip Girl tells the tale of a ruthless (and anonymous) blogger who reveals the secrets of the upper east side of New York. Sound familiar? I’m looking at you, Lady Whistledown. No secret is safe with this blogger tearing New York apart for the latest gossip, like a digital spy leaking secrets.
She’s the last person you want to be best friends with.
With plenty of scandals, twists and turns, you’ll love every minute of the show.
Some of the biggest stars are Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Chace Crawford, and Taylor Momsen.
15. The Pursuit Of Love
Based on the Novel by Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love is a romantic drama miniseries set in 1945.
The story follows Linda and her cousin as they live their lives while seeking different things. Linda is looking for love and is obsessed with sex; however, finding Mr Right is proving to be a tougher task than she imagined.
While the miniseries is extremely short (only three episodes), it makes for a quick yet enjoyable watch.
The show’s main star Lily James has received a lot of praise for her role, which no doubt helped her land the starring role in the Hulu show Pam & Tommy. If you haven’t seen that… add it to your list.
Sex, scandal, and an excellent storyline. What more could you want? The Guardian newspaper called the show “absolutely glorious” and “an instant classic” and gave it 5/5 stars.
Sounds good to me; count me in.
Alongside Lily James is Andrew Scott, Emily Beecham, Emily Mortimer, and Dominic West.