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'Bridgerton' author says her books were turned into a Netflix show simply because Shonda Rhimes 'didn't bring enough reading material on vacation'

INSIDER logo INSIDER 1/25/2021 kacuna@insider.com (Kirsten Acuna)
a group of people standing next to a person: Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton are among the main characters in "Bridgerton." Liam Daniel/Netflix © Liam Daniel/Netflix Simon, the Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton are among the main characters in "Bridgerton." Liam Daniel/Netflix
  • The show "Bridgerton" may not exist had the producer Shonda Rhimes brought more books on vacation.
  • Julia Quinn told "Tamron Hall" that Rhimes found her series after running out of reading material.
  • The show's premiere is one of the most watched on Netflix, with a second season on the way.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Julia Quinn, the author of "Bridgerton," said the offer to turn her best-selling romance series into a Netflix show came unexpectedly.

"The way I understand it, Shonda ran out of books to read on vacation and somehow stumbled on one of mine," Quinn said during a recent appearance on "Tamron Hall."

"It's crazy to think that my life is forever changed because Shonda didn't bring enough reading material on vacation, but that's honestly what happened," Quinn added.

Quinn was referring to Shonda Rhimes, the producer behind long-running ABC hits including "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal."

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The steamy romance series, produced by Rhimes, debuted on the streaming service in December and follows the often-scandalous lives of the Bridgertons and their wealthy English neighbors in the 1800s.


Video: Netflix's Bridgerton Is Based on a Book Series by Julia Quinn (Southern Living)

Netflix's Bridgerton Is Based on a Book Series by Julia Quinn
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Read more: 23 details you might have missed on season one of 'Bridgerton'

On "Tamron Hall," Quinn said she was sitting in a Starbucks pretending to write when she received a call from her agent asking whether she had heard of Rhimes.

"I practically fell off the stool cause nobody was adapting romance novels," Quinn said when she learned Rhimes had taken an interest in her series.

Quinn previously told Oprahmag.com in December she wasn't trying to sell her books. The idea didn't even occur to her.

Netflix earlier this month projected that "Bridgerton" would be its fifth-most-watched original series. A second season is already in the works, with plans for the show to return to production this spring.

The show's second season will heavily focus on Lord Anthony Bridgerton, according to a press release, which was shared on the show's official Twitter account.

That shouldn't come as a shock to fans of the book series.

The first "Bridgerton" novel, "The Duke and I," was published in 2000. There are eight main books in the series, with each following one of the Bridgerton children.

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