The PBS period piece Sanditon has been given new life, as the network reversed its original cancellation and instead renewed the series for two additional seasons. Fans are to thank for the series revival, as they began a movement on social media to bring it back, but the celebration has been tainted with the news that star Theo James (Divergent) will not be returning, as reported by Indiewire.
Sanditon is based upon the final, unfinished novel written by author Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility). The series stars Rose Williams (Reign) as Charlotte Heywood who becomes entangled in a romance with Sidney Parker, portrayed by James. The series was cancelled after one season all the way back in 2019, but due to its passionate fan base and viewership numbers, PBS decided to reverse its cancellation. The cherry on top came as it was announced the series would not only be renewed for one but two new seasons.
Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson released a statement on the series renewal, picked up by Indiewire: “We are absolutely delighted to announce a second and third season of Sanditon, a show that has inspired such a passionate and devoted fan base…Audiences can expect romance, humor and plenty of twists and turns in these new seasons of Sanditon.”
*spoilers ahead for season one of Sanditon*
Perhaps the only thing more shocking than the series renewal was that one of its stars would not return. Releasing a statement to Indiewire, James remarked, “Although I relished playing Sidney, for me, I’ve always maintained that his journey concluded as I wanted it to. The broken fairy-tale like ending between Charlotte and Sidney is different, unique and so interesting to me and I wish the cast and crew of Sanditon every success with future series.”
Viewers of the show will well remember the cliff hanger in the final moments of season one, as Charlotte rides away from Sidney in a carriage, rejecting him. And then to their horror, the show got cancelled before any resolution could come. But any hopes of closure regarding the storyline of Charlotte and Sidney in the new seasons have now been dashed with James not returning.
Masterpiece announced that filming season two will begin sometime later this year in Bristol, England. Justin Young (Dickensian), who wrote several episodes for season one, will return as lead writer and executive producer. Andrew Davies (War & Peace) will serve as a writer and co-executive produce.