According to Netflix, Bridgerton Season 1 was the most-watched season of originally programming in the streaming platform's history.
There were multiple reasons behind this feat:
The appeal of producer Shonda Rhimes as producer... the pretty costumes... the unique setting... all those twists... all those turns.
But there was also this face:
Indeed, Bridgerton introduced television viewers to Rege-Jean Page.
In the role of Simon, not only did Page sizzle with sexiness -- but his character, quite simply, often had sex. He was an especially pleasing individual, if you know what we mean.
But (SPOILER ALERT!) Simon ended up with Daphne to conclude the first season of this fun drama.
And, with each season focusing on a book from the Bridgerton book series; and each of those books centering on a different family member's love life... Page now says he never planned to return.
It was always going to be "a one-season arc," Page told Variety, recounting early conversations with Shondaland producers.
“[I thought] ‘That’s interesting,’ because then it felt like a limited series. I get to come in, I get to contribute my bit and then the Bridgerton family rolls on.”
Page, however, was the breakout star of Season 1.
He turned his beloved run into a Saturday Night Live hosting gig just a few weeks ago.
Alas, Lady Whistledown herself confirmed his departure on April 2 via the following note on Twitter:
While all eyes turn to Lord Anthony Bridgerton's quest to find a Viscountess, we bid adieu to Regé-Jean Page, who so triumphantly played the Duke of Hastings.
We'll miss Simon's presence onscreen, but he will always be a part of the Bridgerton family.
What about Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne?
Lady Whistledown's message suggested that the new duchess will be back for the new season:
"Daphne will remain a devoted wife and sister, helping her brother navigate the upcoming social season and what it has to offer -- more intrigue and romance than my readers may be able to bear."
Added Page while re-Tweeting this note:
Pleasure and a privilege! An honour to be a member of the family - on and off screen, cast, crew and incredible fans - the love is real and will just keep growing.
Bridgerton dropped on Christmas Day and, as cited above, has since become Netflix’s most-watched original series.
It is based on Julia Quinn’s novels.
Page, who is also nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series at the upcoming SAG Awards, added that he has “nothing but excitement” for the show to continue telling new stories.
But, he added, "there is also value in completing these arcs and sticking the landing.”
Look for Season 2 to follow the oldest Bridgerton son, Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) as he searches for love.
This casting news, meanwhiile, comes shortly after Luke Newton, who plays Colin Bridgerton, confirmed that season two's production had not yet begun.
"But," he confessed during a nominees press junket for the 2021 SAG Awards, "everyone individually is getting ready and psyched up for season two."
So are we, and yet...
... how will we go on without Rege-Jean Page?