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Sanditon Season 2 - What We Know So Far

The captivating British period drama "Sanditon" has won a lot of American fans via its regular airings on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater" and the streaming service BritBox. The ITV series, based on an unfinished manuscript by Jane Austen of the same name, follows young Charlotte Heywood (Rose Williams) to the titular British seaside resort during the Regency period. There, she soon becomes intrigued by the insular, secretive citizens who inhabit the town. 

Charlotte's curiosity about the lives of these citizens puts her own in danger. She finds herself at loggerheads with the man whose family brought her to the town after a carriage accident, handsome but wild Sidney Parker (Theo James), after she tactlessly insults the Parker family at large and particularly his entrepreneur brother, Tom (Kris Marshall), who developed Sanditon itself. Charlotte nonetheless falls for Sidney, while Sanditon's architect James Stringer (Leo Suter) waits in the wings, harboring a thus-far unrequited crush on Charlotte.

Lucky news for fans of the show; PBS announced on May 6 that it will continue to produce "Sanditon" for two more seasons after ITV canceled the show in 2019 (via Radio Times). Who will be in it, what will it be about, and when can you expect to see it?

When will the second season of Sanditon be released?

According to PBS' press release, the second season will begin filming later this year in and around Bristol (UK), which means it has no slated premiere date yet. Judging by how long such productions usually take – between the time required for crafting the show's lush period outfits, casting, scripting, and filming episodes – it's unlikely that viewers will see new episodes of "Sanditon" until sometime in the second quarter of 2022, should everything go well and no Covid-19-related delays are impressed upon the production company. So expect to see more of the show by late spring or early summer 2022.

PBS will continue to air and stream the series in the United States and in Canada. BBC International will distribute the show worldwide in over 176 territories. BritBox will stream the series in the United Kingdom. And despite canceling the show, ITV "acquired" the second and third seasons of "Sanditon" and is slated to air the episodes once the premiere window for BritBox has closed.

Who will star in the second season of Sanditon?

Fans of the show already know that there will be one major cast change – via PBS, Theo James will not return as Sidney Parker for the show's second season. The press release indicated that this will mean the end of Sidney as a character and the role will not be recast, saying that "an abundance of romance and adventure" awaits Charlotte in future seasons.

"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," said James in the PBS press release. The press release goes on to say that further casting will be announced in the future. 

This puts series producers in a unique position, especially after show personnel – such as producer Belinda Campbell in a 2019 Vulture interview – intimated that Sidney and Charlotte would end up together by the show's end. Rose Williams tweeted that she will return as the central figure of the drama, Charlotte Heywood, but everything else seems to be up in the air when it comes to returning cast.

What will the second season of Sanditon be about?

Romance, humor, and "plenty of twists and turns" have been promised by PBS Masterpiece executive producer Susanne Simpson in the PBS press release, but all fans really seem to want is a satisfying happy ending for Charlotte – and for many of them, that meant her getting together romantically with Sidney. It will be up to producers to change their minds about that, unless some 11th-hour miracle or recast brings Sidney back to Sanditon.

The first season ended with a cliffhanger. Charlotte and Sidney were close to marriage, but ultimately tearfully parted company when Sidney married a wealthy and stuck-up old flame to buoy the general fortune of the Parker family, preventing Tom from falling into bankruptcy. With James skipping the next two seasons, where does this leave Charlotte but to play the field? Will she accept the affection of Stringer? Will she discover the liberating adventure of being a debutante? We'll have to tune in to find out.