In excellent news for romance fans, Netflix has ordered a spinoff of the hit series Bridgerton. The limited prequel series will focus on Queen Charlotte (played by Golda Rosheuvel in the original show) rise through society and her relationship with the King. Additionally, younger versions of Violet Bridgerton (Ruth Gemmell) and fan-favorite Lady Danbury (Adjoa Andoh) will have storylines as well. While the original Bridgerton books did have a spinoff series, Queen Charlotte was a new character created for the television series, so this will be a completely original storyline.
Shondaland veteran Jess Brownell, who involved in the first two seasons of Bridgerton, the upcoming Netflix series Inventing Anna, and Scandal, has been named showrunner for the recently announced seasons 3 and 4 of the Regency drama, as well as this spinoff. Shonda Rhimes will also be writing the series. "Many viewers had never known the story of Queen Charlotte before Bridgerton brought her to the world, and I’m thrilled this new series will further expand her story and the world of Bridgerton,” said Netflix head of global TV Bela Bajaria said in a statement. "Shonda and her team are thoughtfully building out the Bridgerton universe so they can keep delivering for the fans with the same quality and style they love. And by planning and prepping all the upcoming seasons now, we also hope to keep up a pace that will keep even the most insatiable viewers totally fulfilled."
Bridgerton turned out to be a massive hit for Netflix, earning 84 million views in its first four weeks, becoming the streaming service's biggest hit ever. The second season is currently in production and will focus on the love story of Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey), the eldest of the siblings. Each book focus on a different member of the Bridgerton family, so Season 3 will be Benedict's (Luke Thompson) and Season 4 will be Colin's (Luke Newton).
Fans of the series (although it wasn't a surprise for book readers) were disappointed with breakout star Regé-Jean Page would not be returning to Bridgerton after season one. Page told Variety that it was always his plan to play the Duke for a single season. "It’s a one-season arc. It’s going to have a beginning, middle, end – give us a year," Page explained that he was told by Shondaland producers. "[I thought] 'That’s interesting,' because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit, and then the Bridgerton family rolls on."
"One of the things that is different about this [romance] genre is that the audience knows the arc completes," he explained. "They come in knowing that, so you can tie people in emotional knots because they have that reassurance that we’re going to come out and we’re going to have the marriage and the baby." Page continued, revealing that he had only been contracted for one season. "I have nothing but excitement for Bridgerton continuing to steam train off and conquer the globe," he concluded. "But there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing."