By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — Answers to the question what’s going to be the newest Shonda Rhimes production are about to be partially answered. This week the first trailer for Rhimes’ forthcoming Netflix venture is being released. The main question being explored is who is Lady Whistledown? That one of the issues at the core of the eight-episode drama “Bridgerton.” She’s the mysterious author of a gossip newsletter that has provided much entertainment during the recent years’ social seasons. But now she is naming names.
The acclaimed actress Julie Andrews provides narration for “Bridgerton,” the first scripted series to launch under Rhimes’ nine-figure, multi-year overall Netflix deal. It follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) as she makes her debut onto the “competitive marriage market.” Although she hopes to find a true love, Lady Whistledown’s writing casts aspersions on her, leaving her to enter into an arrangement with the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), who is a committed bachelor, but seen as the “catch” of the season.
The television version is based on the book series by Julia Quinn. “Bridgerton” is a romantic drama, so an attraction begins to form between Daphne and the Duke. They find themselves further entangled with each other emotionally while also having to navigate society’s expectations for their future as a couple. However, their complicated relationship is far from the only juicy story about which Lady Whistledown may write.
“Bridgerton” also stars Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan, Claudia Jessie, Ruby Barker, Adjoa Andoh, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Thompson, Luke Newton, Ruby Stokes, Will Tilston, Florence Hunt, Ruth Gemmell, Bessie Carter, Harriet Cains, Polly Walker, Ben Miller, Sabrina Bartlett, Martins Imhangbe and Lorraine Ashbourne. Chris Van Dusen is both the series’ creator and showrunner. Other executive producers are Rhimes and Betsy Beers. Directors for the season, which launches on Dec. 25, include Julie Ann Robinson, Sheree Folkson, Tom Verica, and Alrick Riley.