Theo James Will Not Return for Sanditon's Second or Third Seasons

·4 min read
Photo credit: Simon Ridgway
Photo credit: Simon Ridgway

Sanditon is a very different kind of Austen adaptation. Because it's based on her final, unfinished novel, writer Andrew Davies had the freedom to expand the original story beyond Austen's original plot. In theory, that means a season two would have been possible, but until now, it's been unclear if the costume drama would get a second chapter.

On May 6, Masterpiece PBS confirmed that the show would be coming back for a season two and a season three.

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

Here's what we know so far:

In December of 2019, ITV canceled the show.

Before the series even aired in the U.S., a spokesperson confirmed the news of the cancellation. "We loved Sanditon and we were very proud to have it on ITV," reads the statement.

"We would have loved it to return, but unfortunately we just didn't get the audience that would make that possible for us, which is heartbreaking for everybody involved in this wonderful adaptation."

But a post on the official Sanditon Instagram account, seemed to suggest that the show could be brought back, if it found a robust audience in the U.S.

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"Sidlotte [a portmanteau referring to viewers who "ship" the characters of Charlotte and Sidney] fans, you may have seen that #Sanditon will not be returning to ITV for S2.
We are so proud of the show & excited for it to air on Masterpiece in January. As Jane Austen once wrote: 'if adventures will not befall a young lady in her own village, she must seek them abroad!'"

Rose Williams, who plays Charlotte in the series, also left a comment on the post.

"Thank you everyone for all these comments and posts and tweets we see them and it means the world! 🏖🏖🏖💖💖💖 x. Xxx" she wrote.

And the spokesperson for ITV even hinted that the show could have a second life in the U.S.

"Sanditon is yet to air in the US and we hope they may find a way of continuing with this series," the spokesperson said.

Back in December 2019, Masterpiece PBS executive producer Susanne Simpson noted that only one season was planned.

"All I can say is that right now, a second season isn't planned," she told T&C over the phone. But she did note that the story could theoretically continue.

"Could it be an ongoing story? Yes, it could be an ongoing story."

And in late February 2020, PBS confirmed that there are currently "no plans" for a second season.

"Dear #SanditonPBS fans: We want to thank you sincerely for your support during our broadcast," reads a statement released on Twitter. "We love the series and wish it could go on; however, at this time there are no plans for another season. You’ll be the first to know if that changes!"

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But in May 2021, the show was renewed.

Per Masterpiece PBS:

After fans were left hanging in suspense by the first season’s finale and clamoring for more, the drama will continue to follow the high-spirited and independent heroine, Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams, Curfew) as she returns to the picturesque coastal resort of Sanditon. Charlotte’s journey is one thread of an intricate tapestry of compelling stories full of intrigue, excitement, and romance. Against the backdrop of beautiful vistas, familiar faces return and new inhabitants are introduced -- all of whom will be having adventures as joyous and surprising as the seaside town itself.

While Williams is set to reprise her role of Charlotte, Theo James, who played her love interest Sidney Parker will not return. “Although I relished playing Sidney, for me, I’ve always maintained that his journey concluded as I wanted it to,” he said in a statement. “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.”

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Justin Young, who wrote several episodes of the first season of Sanditon, will serve as season two's lead writer and executive producer. The show's creator Andrew Davies will write several episodes and executive produce.

We'll continue to update should additional information become available.

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