Between a two-season renewal and a slew of casting announcements, production on the second season of Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers's Netflix adaptation of Julia Quinn's "Bridgerton" novels had been running pretty smoothly- at least until this week. Deadline Hollywood first reported that the popular streaming series has halted production for a second time after another positive COVID test. Reports are that the shutdown will be for an "indefinite period" while the streaming service and Shondaland producers set up a timetable and new protocols in light of the Delta variant causing coronavirus cases to surge across the UK. Whether it was a cast or crew member who tested positive hasn't been confirmed, though reporting speculates that the initial length of the production shutdown would signal the likeliness it was an actor.
"Bridgerton swept us off our feet," said Bela Bajaria, Netflix's head of global TV, in May when the series began- 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.
Bleeding Cool TV on Instagram: For all of the stuff too random and bizarre to make the site, make sure to follow us on Instagram (with an official launch on June 19): Bleeding Cool TV (@bleedingcooltv).
BCTV Daily Dispatch: For a look at what's going on across the television and streaming landscape, sign up for Bleeding Cool's daily email round-up of the news you need to know here.