'Sanditon' Renewed for Seasons 2 and 3 on PBS' Masterpiece

Tony Maglio

Simon Ridgway/© Red Planet Pictures / ITV

Jane Austen never got to finish “Sanditon,” but perhaps PBS’ Masterpiece will.

Masterpiece on PBS has renewed the drama series, which is based on Austen’s final, unfinished novel, for Seasons 2 and 3.

Rose Williams will return as heroine Charlotte Heywood. Addition casting will be announced at a later date.

“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,” Susanne Simpson, Masterpiece executive producer, said in a statement on Thursday. “Audiences can expect romance, humor and plenty of twists and turns in these new seasons of ‘Sanditon.’”

Austen only completed 11 chapters of the source material before her death in 1817. That basically lasted for all of one episode.

“Sanditon” first aired overseas on ITV in Aug. 2019. It came here via PBS in January.

Austen’s unfinished novel is set in a seaside town during a time of social change.

In the series, chance accident brings Charlotte Heywood to Sanditon, a seaside resort on the cusp of dramatic change. Spirited and unconventional, Charlotte is initially keen to experience everything the town has to offer but is then shocked by its scheming and ambitious inhabitants and intrigued by the secrets they share. When Charlotte is tactlessly forthright about the family of enthusiastic entrepreneur Tom Parker, she immediately clashes with his handsome but wild younger brother Sidney. Amidst the rival suitors and unexpected danger, can Charlotte and Sidney see past each other’s flaws and find love?

Austen published “Sense and Sensibility” in 1811, “Pride and Prejudicein 1813 and “Emma” in 1816. She was just 41 years old at the time of her death. “Emma” was adapted (again) as a movie just last year. The film starred Anya Taylor-Joy in the lead role. She was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. While Taylor-Joy didn’t win that one, she did for “The Queen’s Gambit.”

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