With the recent conclusion of ABC's Scandal, powerhouse producer and writer Shonda Rhimes has unveiled her latest project. After striking a nine-figure deal last year, Rhimes is now adapting Julia Quinn's popular Bridgerton romance series for Netflix. Set in the Regency period, it's a major departure from the usual Shondaland fare—which also includes shows like Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder—but for Rhimes, that's precisely its appeal.
"I wanted the new Shondaland to be a place where we expand the types of stories we tell," she said in a statement, "where my fellow talented creatives could thrive and make their best work and where we as a team come to the office each day filled with excitement."
The bestselling Bridgerton series includes eight novels that follow the children of a prominent viscount in 19th-century England. Despite their noble status in London society, however, the Bridgerton brood encounters their fair share of obstacles—from arranged marriages to gossip columnists to unrequited passions—as they navigate the murky waters of love. The first book, The Duke and I, sees the eldest Bridgerton daughter, Daphne, enter a fake courtship with her brother's best friend. But as they continue to fool everyone around them, Daphne realizes that she wants to turn their charade into a real happy ever after.
Author Julia Quinn took to Facebook to share her excitement about Rhimes' upcoming "feminist take" on her novels:
Chris Van Dusen, who was the executive producer for Scandal, is set to produce and serve as the series' show runner. An official name, release date, and cast are still in the works.
Shonda Rhimes is also set to produce three other adaptations of books written by women, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Warmth of Other Suns, Ellen Pao's memoir about workplace discrimination in Silicon Valley, and Kate Andersen Brower's nonfiction book on the post-Kennedy White House.
Read the first three books in the Bridgerton series before the show airs.
Featured photo of Shonda Rhimes: Alchetron