Netflix renews Regency hit ‘Bridgerton’ for second season

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Golda Rosheuvel in ‘Bridgerton’
Image Credit: Liam Daniel / Netflix

Netflix’s boisterous Regency romance “Bridgerton” has been renewed for a second season, the streaming giant said Thursday.

From “Grey’s Anatomy” creator Shonda Rhimes, the series puts a modern twist on books about an upper-class family in early 19th-century England, featuring a colorblind cast and strong feminist themes.

One of Netflix’s most popular original series launches, it was on track to be seen by more than 63 million households in the four weeks since its premiere on Christmas Day, the platform said.

“Dear Readers, People are in an uproar with the latest gossip, so it is my honor to tell you: Bridgerton will officially return for a second season,” read a message on the show’s social media accounts, in the style of its narrator. Lady Whistledown.

The first season followed Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) as she made her Regency London debut, searching for a husband. Julia Quinn’s “Bridgerton” romance novel series featured a different brother in each book.

Production will resume in the spring and the second season will focus on the “romantic activities” of Daphne’s brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey).

The show has a 90 percent “fresh” rating from critics on the aggregator Rotten Tomatoes website.

It’s the first to be released under Rhimes’s massive content deal with Netflix, reportedly worth $ 150 million and announced about 40 months ago.

The story begins in 1813 in England, under the regency of the Prince of Wales, during a period of cultural ferment marked by writers such as Jane Austen and Mary Shelley.

Unlike popular period drama series like “Downton Abbey,” “Bridgerton” takes liberties with historical precision to appeal to modern audiences.

While the costumes and setting are largely true to their time, the behavior, language, and interests of the characters are more familiar to 21st-century viewers.

For example, a chamber orchestra plays “thank U, next,” the 2018 hit by pop superstar Ariana Grande, at the opening of a dance.

The mysterious and omniscient narration of Lady Whistledown, voiced by Julie Andrews, is reminiscent of the hit television series “Gossip Girl,” set in New York.

The show also featured various black actors in high-society roles, despite slavery only being abolished in 1833 in England, and racism rife in the early 1800s.

Rhimes, known for casting artists and professionals from diverse backgrounds in her projects, is putting the finishing touches on her upcoming Netflix series “Inventing Anna.”

Based on a magazine article, it will dramatize the incredible true story of a Russian-born con artist who pretended to be a wealthy German heiress to infiltrate New York City society.

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