Washington [US], July 14 (free chips): Netflix's popular series 'Bridgerton' earned a total of 12 Emmy nominations on Tuesday, and for series creator and showrunner Chris Van Dusen, awards recognition is the cherry on top of an already significant debut.
While fans wait with bated breath for the show's return, the creator teased a "magnetic" forthcoming season, promising crackling chemistry between the lead actors.
"I was in the car with my husband and we had just dropped our 3-year-old off at nursery. We were driving home when I started getting texts and emails, and we pulled over," Van Dusen told E! News.
"I think we had a good cry for a couple minutes. I'm so excited and humbled and most of all, I'm proud of this cast and this crew and I'm just filled with tremendous gratitude, honestly," Dusen added.
Dusen said it was Nicola Coughlan, who plays Penelope Featherington, who first reached out to him, but he's spoken to most of the cast since then and that includes Rege-Jean Page, who chose to leave the show ahead of season two.
"It was such a privilege to work with him," Dusen said of the star.
"He's our Duke and he will always be our Duke and I know about to continue to charm the world in some really amazing ways. And I couldn't be happier for him," Dusen added.
Page may not be a part of season two, but there's still a whole lot to look forward to as Anthony Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) meets his match in Kate Sharma, played by newcomer Simone Ashley.
"I can tell you I just got into the editing bay on the first couple episodes in the second season, and I don't think people are going to be ready," Dusen teased.
Dusen added, "I think, honestly, it's everything I think audiences loved so much about the first season, but just more. I think we're going to be back with an even greater escape to 19th century Regency London."
Dusen described Bailey and Ashley's chemistry as "magnetic."
"You cannot take your eyes off of them when they're together on screen. I can't wait for audiences to see that, or really, to feel that. I'm really excited," he said.
Van Dusen said he's been told by many fans that Kate and Anthony are their favourite couple from the books, and he thinks they won't disappoint.
"There's something special about the two of them, Simone and Jonathan, and I think people will really respond to them," he said.
He added, "I've always wanted [the experience of watching the show] to be similar to the experience of reading one of those romance novels in terms of things feeling really sexy and a little dangerous and fun and it being a bit of a wild ride at times, so I think that will always be a part of the Bridgerton special sauce."
Looking back on the Emmy-nominated first season, Van Dusen said he's most proud of how he expanded the world of 'Bridgerton' to make it more diverse, starting with the addition of Queen Charlotte.
The real Charlotte was seen by historians as England's first queen of colour, and when Van Dusen learned that fact, he knew that was going to be incorporated into the show.
"I think that once I created that character and made the most powerful person in this world a person of color, this fabulous queen, I think everything else started to fall into place for me," he explained. "She really provided the basis for this multi-hued and multi-ethnic society that the show was going to be set in, so I'm really proud of that."
In season two, Kate's family will have come from India, and her last name is now Sharma instead of Sheffield, as it is in the books. Van Dusen said he sees the show as "a chance to marry history and fantasy in a really exciting way," and that's not changing any time soon.
The first season of 'Bridgerton' is available to watch on Netflix.
Based on Julia Quinn's best-selling series of novels, 'Bridgerton' is set in the lavish and competitive world of London high society during the Regency period of the early 1800s.
The Netflix series has already been renewed through season four, so there's plenty of your period soapy obsession to come. But because each season will be inspired by a different book in the series, that means the focus on each Bridgerton child will change.
The second season of the series will draw from the sequel in Quinn's romance series, 'The Viscount Who Loved Me', which follows the quest of Daphne's brother, Lord Anthony Bridgerton, to find his viscountess.
The first season of the romantic period drama focused on the steamy courtship between Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page). (free chips)