Fans of Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers's Netflix adaptation of Julia Quinn's "Bridgerton" novels woke up to excellent news on Tuesday, with Vanity Fair reporting exclusively that the worldwide sensation had been picked up for an additional two seasons (Seasons 3 & 4). "Bridgerton swept us off our feet," said Bela Bajaria, Netflix's head of global TV, as the series begins production this week- adding that it's the streaming service's intention "to be in the Bridgerton business for a long time to come." For Rhimes and Beers, the multi-season renewal is a blessing on a number of levels.
"Well, this is a complicated show to make," Beers explained. "Although it's period, it's an invented world in a lot of ways, with very subtle, relatable, modern aspects. To build that world up season after season takes a lot of preparation. Developmentally, it's amazing because you can start to plant flags as you go." For Rhimes, the two-season renewal opens more storyline possibilities. "Having come from a different model of making television—doing 24 episodes a season with Grey's Anatomy, for instance—the idea that you make eight episodes of something… It's great, but it also just felt like: That's it? We're just going to pull down all the sets?! We spent all that money and that's all we're going to do? The Midwest girl in me was like, But we've cut coupons! [Both women burst out laughing] When you have multiple season orders, it allows you to plan in a creative way, storytelling-wise. You can plan a long arc character, for instance," Rhimes revealed. "It's also great for the fans, because I think you invest in a show differently if you know there's more coming," Beers continued.
As for the matter of Regé-Jean Page not returning for the second season, Rhimes clarified that Page was invited to return for the second season for cameos as had other characters from the first season. That said, the overall plan from the very beginning was the one that's playing out as we speak. "We made a one-season deal with him [Page] at the beginning of season one. That was the plan: come and do one season as the Duke. Anything else was extra and wasn't really the plan when we started, wasn't the plan when we finished,' Rhimes explained. "So there's a lot of fantastically interesting talk that's been going on, mainly cause I think people are having a hard time letting go."