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The real reason Francesca Bridgerton was recast ahead of Netflix's third season

The greatest enemy of any show is always scheduling conflicts.

Francesca Bridgerton in season 3
Image credit: Netflix

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Bridgerton fans should be ready for things to change a bit when season three of the Netflix hit lands. Not only are Penelope and Colin taking center stage this season, but one of the Bridgerton family has been recast following season two. Francesca’s new actress makes her debut during season three but why has Netflix made the change?

Francesca Bridgerton only made two quick appearances in season one of the show, but she was meant to play a bigger role in season two. Played by Ruby Stokes, she was in the first three episodes of that season before she disappeared yet again. The reason: Ruby Stokes got another job.

Stokes was cast as the lead in Lockwood & Co. which debuted in January 2023 before being canceled by Netflix after one season. Because she was billed as a guest star on Bridgerton, it makes sense that she looked for a bigger opportunity. It is just a shame that Lockwood & Co. didn’t find a big enough audience to avoid getting the axe from the streamer.

Hannah Dodd, best known for her time on Anatomy of a Scandal, has been cast as Francesca on Bridgerton starting with season three. Compared to Stokes, Dodd is billed as a series regular, which will allow the character to have a bigger role in upcoming seasons. This will give us time to get to know her a bit more before the show adapts When He Was Wicked, the sixth book in the Julia Quinn series that gives Francesca her long-awaited time in the spotlight.

Whether its the bane of your existence or the object of all your desires (or both), Bridgerton is back. Read all our spoiler-y thoughts on Bridgerton season 3 here, and then delight at a guide to how to watch all of Bridgerton (and the spinoff), an our exclusive interview with the show's costume designer John Glaser, as well as some recommended reads for all Bridgerton fans.