With production currently underway on Season 2, Netflix dropped a big surprise for the Shondaland show’s legions of fans, revealing that it will return to the world of Julia Quinn’s novels for a third and fourth season.
In accordance with Bridgerton tradition, Lady Whistledown had her own say on the renewal. “This author shall have to purchase more ink,” quipped the character, who is narrated by Julie Andrews and is the pen-name of Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan). See below for a special edition of her Society Paper:
In a statement, Shonda Rhimes said: “From the first time I read Julia Quinn’s delicious Bridgerton series, I knew these were stories that would captivate a viewing audience. But the evolution of this adaptation would not be a success without the many significant contributions of the entire Shondaland team.
“This two-season pickup is a strong vote of confidence in our work and I feel incredibly grateful to have partners as collaborative and creative as Netflix. Betsy and I are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue bringing the world of Bridgerton to a worldwide audience.”
Bela Bajaria, Netflix VP of global TV, added: “Bridgerton swept us off our feet. The creative team, led by Shonda, knew the material and delivered a beautiful, emotional, romantic drama for our members. They have some exciting plans for the future, and we think audiences will continue to swoon for this show. We’re planning to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come.”
Season 2 will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) as chronicled in the second book of Quinn’s Bridgerton series, The Viscount Who Loved Me. It stands to reason that Seasons 3 and 4 should follow a similar book-by-book rhythm of storytelling, with the next two titles in Quinn’s eight-part series of novels being An Offer from a Gentleman and Romancing Mister Bridgerton.
Though the two-season renewal was not expected, it’s not an outlandish shock given the runaway success of the first season. The period drama became Netflix’s biggest ever series after it was watched by a record 82 million households around the world and made stars out of its cast almost overnight. The only sad news for fans of Season 1 is that not all cast will return for future seasons, notably Regé-Jean Page, who played the dapper Duke of Hastings Simon Bassett.
Bridgerton was created by Shondaland veteran Chris Van Dusen, who executive produces alongside Rhimes and Betsy Beers.
The focal point of Season 2 was teased in the final minutes of the Season 1 finale when Anthony revealed to Daphne and Simon his plans of “finding and promptly declaring my intentions to my new viscountess” after the end of his relationship with opera singer Siena.
As revealed by Deadline, Sex Education star Simone Ashley will feature as Anthony’s romantic interest, Kate Sharma. Newly arrived in London, Kate is a smart, headstrong young woman who suffers no fools. Other new cast includes newcomer Charithra Chandran, who has landed the role of Sharma’s younger sister Edwina, and Rupert Young, who plays Jack, the newest member of the Ton with a connection to one of its most notable families and a Bridgerton mystery. The character was created for the series; he is not in the books.