10:24am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Shondaland's First Netflix Series Will Arrive in 2020
It's official: Shondaland's first original scripted series for Netflix will arrive in 2020, more than two years after prolific producer Shonda Rhimes moved her overall deal to the streamer.
On Wednesday, Netflix unveiled the cast for Bridgerton — the scripted soap written by Scandal grad Chris Van Dusen — and announced that the eight-episode series will premiere sometime in 2020.
Poised to shoot in London, Bridgerton is based on Julia Quinn’s best-selling novels. The drama is set in the sexy, lavish and competitive world of Regency London high society. Here's the official description: "From the glittering ballrooms of Mayfair to the aristocratic palaces of Park Lane and beyond, the series unveils a seductive, sumptuous world replete with intricate rules and dramatic power struggles, where no one is truly ever on steady ground. At the heart of the show is the powerful Bridgerton family. Comprised of eight close-knit siblings, this funny, witty, daring and clever group must navigate the upper ten thousand’s marriage mart in search of romance, adventure and love."
Julie Andrews (who reteams with Rhimes following The Princess Diaries 2) will voice the role of Lady Whistledown, the unseen gossip writer. Rege-Jean Page — who reunites with Rhimes following his role on ABC's Shondaland legal drama For the People‚ is the male lead and plays Simon Bassett, the Duke who finds himself the target of the town's single ladies. Phoebe Dynevor (Younger) is the female lead and plays Daphne Bridgerton, the young debutante waiting to make her debut.
The cast also includes Golda Rosheuvel (Lady MacBeth) as Queen Charlotte; Jonathan Bailey (Broadchurch) as Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest sibling; Luke Newton (The Cut) as Colin Bridgerton; Claudia Jessie (Doctor Who) as Eloise Bridgerton; Nicola Coughlan (Harlots) as Penelope Featherington, a girl with a sharp wit; Ruby Barker (Doctors) as Marina Thompson, who is sent to live with her cousins, the Featheringtons; Sabrina Bartlett (Victoria) as Siena Rosso, an opera singer; Ruth Gemmell (Penny Dreadful) as Lady Violet Bridgerton, the matriarch of the family; Adjoa Andoh (Thunderbirds) as Lady Danbury, the dowager who runs the town; and Polly Walker (Pennyworth) as Lady Portia Featherington, the most matriarch of her family.
"We could not have found a more gifted group of actors to bring Bridgerton to life," Van Dusen said in a statement. "When creating this series, the goal was to turn a very traditional genre on its head and make something fresh, smart, sexy and fun. That’s exactly what this cast embodies and I'm ridiculously excited to see them inhabit these characters and captivate viewers in their own incredibly brilliant ways.”
The casting arrives a year after the series was first announced as part of Rhimes and Shondaland partner Betsy Beers' first slate of programming for Netflix. The duo moved to Netflix following a long and lucrative run at ABC Studios, where they created and produced hits including Grey's Anatomy and Scandal.
A specific premiere date for Bridgerton has yet to be announced.