Unless you've been hiding in a very secure cave for the past several months, you will probably know that TV dramas with a main focus on romance are becoming more and more popular. While anyone who's ever enjoyed soap operas, shows such as Grey's Anatomy and The Good Doctor, or even procedurals like Law & Order: SVU and NCIS, will know that the romantic lives of characters have always been a fan-favorite aspect that's been explored, we're getting way more shows that fully lean into the romance as their raison d'être. And now, thanks in large part to hit shows like Outlander, Bridgerton, and Virgin River, romantic TV dramas are starting to come out of the HEA (that's Happily Ever After) woodwork.
We have for you now a list of romantic TV dramas, both new and returning, for you to sink your will-they-won't-they (They absolutely will!) teeth into. Keep your eyes on this piece, because we'll be adding to it as new seasons and television shows are announced. Now, let's get to the lovey dovey good stuff!
A Discovery Of Witches (Season 3) - January, 2022
While the second season of A Discovery of Witches only debuted for those in the U.S. back at the end of June 2021, its U.K. premiere took place in January. This means that the series about witch Diana Bishop (Teresa Palmer) and her very long-lived vampire mate, Matthew Clairmont (Matthew Goode), breaking all kinds of ancient magical-being rules and causing lots of trouble will be back in January of 2022.
As opposed to having to wait several months, compared with fans across the pond, for the Sky One original series to bring us the final chapter of the saga, fans in the United States can rejoice in knowing that AMC+ is all set to show the action right near the beginning of the year this time around. So, we won't have to wait too long to see how all of the magical shenanigans wrap up after that dramatic Season 2 finale!
Sweet Magnolias (Season 2) - February 4, 2022
What a pleasant surprise Sweet Magnolias was when it hit Netflix in May 2020. Set in fictional Serenity, South Carolina, this small town romance (which is also based on a long-running series of books, this time by author Sherryl Woods) focuses on the lives of best friends Helen (Heather Headley), Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott), and Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), as they begin a new business together and deal with an intriguing assortment of family and personal issues, including hot but dastardly ex-husbands, shady estranged husbands, town mysteries, and a lot of truly appealing potential mates.
Sweet Magnolias Season 2 finally started filming in late spring 2021, with production ending in mid-July, and while we still have a few weeks until we're able to binge it all, we now know that February 4, 2022 will bring the relief we've been looking for! This is another romantic drama that wrapped with a shocking cliffhanger and several unanswered questions, so all eyes will be eager to see how our beloved trio moves forward after the events of the Season 1 finale.
Outlander (Season 6) - March 6, 2022
One could easily claim that this Starz hit is the show which began the current day obsession with romantic television dramas, as Outlander will be heading into Season 6 when it finally returns. This time-traveling romance is based on Diana Gabaldon's long-running series, and sees 1940s nurse Claire (Caitriona Balfe) being accidentally transported to 1700s Scotland and soon falling for Jamie (Sam Heughan), and him doing everything in his power to protect her as they marry, have children, and endure a variety of beyond difficult times with a number of friends, family, and outright enemies.
Outlander ran with intense action and nudity-filled romantic sexytimes so that Bridgerton could... also run, but in a slightly different direction, OK? Filming on Season 6 (which will have fewer episodes than usual) began in early February 2021, and it's now expected to premiere on Sunday, March 6, 2022. And, the show has already been renewed for Season 7, which will make up for the lower episode count of the upcoming season by giving viewers 16 episodes! If next year is anything like 2021, March will feel like it's here in no time!
Sanditon (Season 2) - March 20, 2022
Looks like Outlander is going to have some Sunday night romance competition! Masterpiece has always brought a lot of joy to PBS, so how about the surprise renewal of Sanditon? Season 1 aired way back in the dawn of 2020, with it having already been cancelled by British broadcaster ITV by then. It seemed that the series was totally dead in the water, despite leaving fans without the happily ever after ending which they'd become accustomed to with other Jane Austen adaptations (as this is another, albeit of her final and unfinished manuscript), but that decision was blissfully reversed in early May 2021.
Sanditon, which follows independent and high-spirited Charlotte (Rose Williams) as she leaves her family behind and tries to navigate life and love in the eponymous seaside town, started production on Season 2 in October 2021. Luckily, it won't be too long into 2022 before we can watch her defy expectations once more, as it's now set to hit screens on Sunday, March 20, 2022, and with two, lovely, brand new suitors. Even better, Sanditon has already been given the green light for Season 3, as well!
Bridgerton (Season 2) - March 25
Bridgerton is far from the first show to feature a love story as its main focus, but it has certainly set pop culture ablaze unlike any other recent series. Season 1 found its hit-making status by following along with the first novel in Julia Quinn's series of romances and letting us watch along as Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, The Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), went from enemies to friends to lovers. Now, Season 2 is on track to cover the romance of Daphne's big bro, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), as he and Kate Sharma (Simone Ashley) get some pants feelings for one another in short order, while also deepening the seeds of love previously planted elsewhere with the Bridgerton clan.
Luckily, we are getting very close to Bridgerton Season 2 being on screen for us to enjoy. Filming officially wrapped as of late November 2021, and the official debut was set by Christmas Day, when a lovely announcement video featuring much of the cast let fans know that we can watch it all unfold on March 25! This means we won't have to wait too much longer for more romantic action and scandalous sexual discovery!
Miss Scarlet & The Duke (Season 2) - 2022
OK, this one is actually a tiny bit of a cheat, but I'm including the divine 1880s-set, Victorian London detective series Miss Scarlet & The Duke for all of you romance fans who also like a cozy mystery and some good, old-fashioned longing.
The show follows Eliza Scarlet (Kate Phillips), who takes over her dead father's detective business despite being a woman in the 1880s who's expected to marry and spend her life raising children. As she investigates cases, she crosses paths with William "The Duke" Wellington (Stuart Martin), a police inspector who was a childhood friend, considered her late father a mentor for quite a while, and does not take kindly to her inserting herself into all of his police investigations. As you might imagine, Miss Scarlet and The Duke have had a thing for each other for years, and every time they interact, there are loads of sparks. Season 1 did very well for PBS and Masterpiece, and Season 2 should come along at some point in 2022, though we're without a specific date yet.
When Calls The Heart (Season 9) - 2022
As Hallmark's longest running romantic drama, When Calls the Heart has retained a lot of fans while weathering cast changes, controversies, and very opinionated viewers who are not at all happy with how a certain love triangle turned out. The sweet romance, set in a small Canadian coal-mining town in 1910, and based on Janette Oke's book of the same name, sees high society lady Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow) learn to deal with life in the town after she's assigned to teach there.
And, as one might imagine, stories about the lives and loves of Elizabeth and the townsfolk have blossomed through eight seasons so far, with Season 9 set to debut at some point in 2022. Hopefully, viewers will see a February or March debut, which will have the new season follow how the series has premiered for several previous years.
Virgin River (Season 4) - 2022
Virgin River fans rejoiced in September 2021, when it was announced that the romantic drama would return for Season 4 and Season 5 on Netflix. Obviously, work hasn't begun on the fifth installment just yet, but the fourth season got underway in late July, not long after Season 3 premiered.
And, it's a good thing, too, because the most recent set of episodes left fans with a number of big cliffhangers after the Virgin River Season 3 ending. Jack (Martin Henderson) proposed to Mel (Alexandra Breckenridge), who responded by giving him her shocking pregnancy news. Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) and her new husband, Todd (Patrick Sabongui), continued to be a major problem (i.e., big ol' buttheads) when it came to Jack and the twins. Brady (Ben Hollingsworth) was arrested for shooting Jack, and Doc's (Tim Matheson) supposed surprise grandson showed up in town unexpectedly. Basically, the 2022 debut of Season 4 (which will hopefully be sometime between April and July) can't come soon enough!
Bridgerton Spinoff (Season 1) - TBD
While it's no great shock that Netflix wants to capitalize on the massive success of Bridgerton as much as possible, even fans of the books were probably taken aback when it was announced that a limited series is in the works, which will follow younger versions of Queen Charlotte, Lady Violet Bridgerton, and Lady Danbury.
The show will follow the women as they rise in their stations in life, and probably offer up views of the juicy romances they had as youngsters, with most of the focus set to be on Charlotte. There are still a lot of things we don't know about this series right now, as the cast, when production might start and when it will hit Netflix are still mysteries. But, we do know that the series will be written by Shonda Rhimes herself, and she'll also serve as one of the executive producers.
As you can see, fans of romantic dramas already have a lot to look forward to in the coming months and years when it comes to new content, and there will be plenty of new episodes to binge as we head into this winter and beyond!
Be sure to bookmark this list, as we'll keep it updated when new details and shows emerge!
Bachelor Nation, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.
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