Fans of Netflix’s smash-hit series Bridgerton who are eager for Season 2 were almost dealt a blow this week as production had to shut down due to a positive coronavirus test.
Deadline reports that the set of Season 2 was completely taken offline for 24 hours after a member of the crew for Netflix’s highly anticipated sequel season tested positive for the virus that has shut down and waylaid countless film and TV productions since it began spreading throughout the world in 2020.
Fortunately, it doesn’t look like Netflix will have to adjust its Bridgerton Season 2 plans as filming only stopped for 24 hours while every member of the cast and crew were tested and the person who initially tested positive was put in isolation. The outlet reports that no cast members were affected by the situation. This means that the cast of characters that people fell in love with after the release of Season 1 in December of 2020 are safe — well, as safe as anyone can be given the virus’ continued prevalence throughout the world despite vaccines being readily available in some parts of the world.
Netflix’s Bridgerton shoots in the U.K. by Shondaland through the production vehicle Household Pictures
Unfortunately, the production doesn’t include Season 1 standout Rege-Jean Page, who Netflix previously announced would not be returning for Season 2 despite being one of the key characters that made Season 1 such a breakout hit. Variety noted at the time that this news didn’t come as a shock to fans of Julia Quinn novels, for which the show is based, as Page’s Duke character does not play a role in future books that will serve as the basis of Season 2 and beyond.
Still, it’s hard not to feel like Netflix is pulling off a bit of a bait and switch after the first season became one of the streaming platform’s biggest hits. The show was watched by a record 82 million households around the world. Its most recent accolade includes an impressive 12 Emmy nominations, including a nod for Page as outstanding lead actor in a drama series. The show itself is also up for the coveted category of outstanding drama series with stiff competition from the likes of The Handmaid’s Tale, The Crown, Pose and surprising entries like The Boys as well as The Mandalorian.
Fortunately for Bridgerton fans, Netflix promises that there’s more of what they love as well as new characters to fill the void left behind by Page. Simone Ashely has been as a character named Kate straight off of another Netflix series Sex Eductation. Meanwhile, Digital Spy notes that Season 2 will focus on the romantic exploits of Season 1 character Anthony Bridgerton, played by Jonathan Bailey. The outlet reports that showrunner Chris Van Dusen highlighted the chemistry between his character and Ashely’s Kate as being the crux of the new season.
As for whether or not that chemistry will be enough for Netflix viewers to get over the loss of Page’s Duke remains to be seen.