Netflix is betting big on the future of Bridgerton, with a second season already in production, and a further two seasons already ordered.
News of the mass renewal dropped just weeks after it was announced that Rege-Jean Page would not be returning.
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, producers Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers have opened about the fan reaction to the exit.
“I was really shocked because, usually, that happens when I’ve killed off somebody that’s been around for a while. Like, we didn’t kill him, he’s still alive,” Rhimes joked.
“[Regé-Jean] is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job — every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance. I don’t know that I expected this much of an explosion, given that every book [in the Bridgerton series] is a different romance,” she added.
“What would be the ever-after of this combo? I mean, really: What would Regé-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming. And so yeah, I was like, whoa!”
“It’s delightful that fans were so invested in his character, and he’s a wonderful actor and a terrific guy. I just want to say that. OK? He is,” added Beers.
“He’s amazing, but that’s our job and something that Betsy and I have been doing since — well, God, has it been 20 years now? — is finding guys,” Rhimes also said.
“I mean, hopefully, ladies too, but finding men that our audiences find devastatingly attractive and they become incredibly overly attached to, and they get enraged about when we move them about in any way.”
It’s certainly going to be a different season without Page, but it was reported recently that the actor turned down a potential comeback due to various projects he has in the works.
It was initially a one-year deal he signed, and if you keep up with the books, you know why.
Still, there was a glimmer of hope, but Page ultimately declined to return for a cameo in the second season.
Netflix announced earlier this year that Bridgerton had eclipsed all of its other originals to become the most-watched series to date.
What are your thoughts on the comments from Rhimes and Beers?
Catch Bridgerton Season 1 on Netflix.