The Great season 3: release date, plot, cast and everything we know about the historical comedy

Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning in The Great season 3
Nicholas Hoult and Elle Fanning in The Great season 3 (Image credit: Christian Black/Hulu)

Huzzah! The Great season 3 is just around the corner, as Hulu's hit comedy that takes a look at the reign of Russia's Catherine the Great debuts as a part of the anticipated spring TV slate.

Created by Tony McNamara and based on his play of the same name, The Great is only loosely based on Catherine the Great's actual life, but we can forgive its twist on history because Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and the writing of the show are a royal delight. What lies in store for Catherine after she made moves to cement her rule over Russia, despite keeping Peter alive?

We've got everything you need to know about The Great season 3 right here.

The Great season 3 release date

The Great season 3 arrives on Hulu on Friday, May 12, meaning fans' wait between seasons will be over just about a year and a half apart from The Great season 2.

As has been a tradition with the show, all 10 episodes of The Great season 3 are going to be available immediately.

It is not clear right now if The Great season 3 will arrive at the same time for UK viewers.

The Great season 3 plot

A quick recap of The Great season 2 before we share what you can expect in season 3:

Catherine's coup succeeds, but she does not kill Peter, instead keeping him under house arrest as she attempts to make her reign legitimate and bring new ideals to Russia. She also gives birth to her and Peter's son, Paul. However, as the season progresses, the relationship between Catherine and Peter becomes more complicated as they share parental duties and form some honest-to-goodness feelings for one another. But many of Catherine's closest advisers still want Peter dead, and Peter's allies continuously plot to overthrow Catherine. Catherine makes the final play though, throwing Peter's friends — and even Marial — into prison.

Here is the official synopsis for The Great season 3:

"Season 3 of The Great sees Catherine and Peter attempt to make their marriage work after some seemingly insurmountable problems. Peter witnessed his own attempted murder at Catherine's hands and she also imprisoned all of his friends. On top of this, Peter is at a loose end playing First Husband to Catherine's reign, so he busies himself with fathering, hunting and salty culinary ventures. But they're not enough to keep him contented as visions of his late father get in his head about his failures as Peter the Great's son. 

"Catherine the Great starts making a name for herself beyond her borders and, inspired by a visit from the US ambassador, sets up a conference where peasants, nobles and merchants can all give their input on developing a new Russia. She learns that even the best political leaders sometimes need to make compromises in order to progress."

The Great season 3 cast

Back headlining The Great are Elle Fanning as Catherine and Nicholas Hoult as Peter.

Fanning has been acting literally all her life, with some of her most notable credits being Somewhere, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Super 8, Maleficent, 20th Century Women and The Girl from Plainville. She previously was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the Emmys for her role in The Great.

Hoult has also been around since he was a kid, first grabbing people's attention in About a Boy and since having starred in Skins, Warm Bodies, X-Men: First Class, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Favourite and most recently The Menu. He also earned an Emmy nom for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for The Great.

Other members of The Great cast that are expected back for season 3 include Phoebe Fox as Marial, Sacha Dhawan as Orlo, Gwilym Lee as Grigor, Adam Godley as Archbishop, Douglas Hodge as Velementov and more.

The Great season 3 trailer

There is no trailer for The Great season 3 at this time. We'll add it here once it becomes available. 

How to watch The Great

The Great is a Hulu original series, so US consumers can only watch it if they have a Hulu subscription. There are multiple ways to sign up for Hulu, including as a standalone service, as part of the Disney Bundle or pairing it with live TV by getting Hulu with Live TV.

Once signed up, you can watch the first two seasons of The Great on Hulu before season 3 premieres in May.

For UK viewers wanting to watch The Great, past seasons are streaming on Lionsgate Plus and available through the Starz Prime Video channel.  

The Great fact vs fiction

Learn what from The Great season 2 was fact and what was fiction in these episode by episode breakdowns:

Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun. Follow on Letterboxd (opens in new tab).