Netflix cast new Bridgerton star after actress Ruby Stokes quits for rival show
Netflix has announced a new casting for period hit Bridgerton after star Ruby Stokes quit the series for a rival show.
The third season will feature Hannah Dodd in the role of little sister Francesca Bridgerton, taking over from Ruby, who was largely absent from the second season of Bridgerton.
The 26-year-old will join the cast of the Netflix show when it returns to the platform after Ruby has quit to take on the lead of Lockwood & Co, a detective thriller series that is also coming to Netflix.
Hannah recently featured in the Netflix limited series Anatomy of a Scandal as young Sophie and will now take on the role of the sixth Bridgerton sibling in the romantic Regency drama.
Although she is part of the central Bridgerton’s family, Francesca has been absent from the screen for much of the series so far.
After appearing twice in season one, she starred in the first three episodes of the second season, before disappearing completely.
Bridgerton creator Chris Van Dusen commented earlier this year on the character’s lack of screen time.
He told TVLine: “I love Francesca, but we lost her midway through Season two. After exhausting all other options, she unfortunately had to come out due to reasons beyond our control.”
This year, Bridgerton newcomer Hannah will also feature in the Enola Holmes sequel alongside Millie Bobby Brown in the title role and Henry Cavill as Sherlock Holmes.
Bridgerton’s slow-burn second season has proved a smash hit for Netflix, setting records for the streamer less than a week after it premiered.
The Regency era romance logged 193 million hours of viewing time worldwide, the most any English-language Netflix series has amassed in its first three days.
The impressive viewership numbers made the bodice-ripping drama, starring Jonathan Bailey and Simone Ashley, the most-watched English-language TV series in its premiere weekend on Netflix.
The hit series is also in the top 10 in 92 of the 93 countries where rankings are tracked by Netflix, with Japan being the only outlier.
Based on Julia Quinn's period novel The Viscount Who Loved Me, the second season of the Shondaland romance focused on the love life of Lord Anthony Bridgerton.
The viscount becomes tangled in a love triangle with sisters Kate Sharma and Edwina Sharma, shifting the show’s focus away from Anthony’s younger sister Daphne Bridgerton and her courtship with the Duke of Hastings, played by Regé-Jean Page, who has since left the series.
Netflix has already renewed Bridgerton, which is based on Quinn's eight-novel series, for a third and fourth season.
Bridgerton is available to stream on Netflix.