If you ever have the pleasure of speaking with executive producers Betsy Beers and Shonda Rhimes together, you’ll understand why, from Grey’s Anatomy to Scandal to Inventing Anna to, of course, Bridgerton, they’ve been making such successful television for nearly 20 years now. Conversation between the two doesn’t just move with ease; they’re also genuinely excited to hear what the other one has to say on pretty much any subject. Further, if either makes even the slightest indication that they have a point to make, the other will remember that and pass the baton back to them to make sure they’re given ample space to do so.

In other words, Beers and Rhimes have built a relationship on supporting and uplifting each other, and it’s that same spirit that went into the creation of their latest joint venture, Inside Bridgerton. A spectacular behind-the-scenes and making-of book about the Netflix hit, Inside Bridgerton brims with conversational comfort that translates to candid insights and insider details about the television show that, even if for a moment, brought everyone out of a horrific pandemic and into a world of lavish opulence and true love.

Inside Bridgerton

Inside Bridgerton

Inside Bridgerton

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Credit: Scribner / Marysue Rucci Books

But of course, Inside Bridgerton isn’t just about Rhimes and Beers, the executive producers of the show. In fact, the impetus for creating this book came out of their distinct desire to spotlight everyone else on the show. Says Rhimes, “Betsy and I get applause all the time. We wanted the people who make this show to be recognized for how spectacular their work was.” And indeed, Rhimes’ and Beers’ voices lend the framework for a wealth of images, anecdotes, and BTS details, all of which spotlight the key crew who helped to make Bridgerton possible.

Inside Bridgerton is 288 glossy pages full of just about every aspect of how Bridgerton came to be, from pre-production through production and into post-production. It includes a rundown of Regency slang; entire breakdowns of how a scene is conceived, shot, and edited (including script pages with detailed notes from Rhimes); the secrets of casting; insights and on-set fun from practically every cast member; the search for the shooting locations around England; costumes, sets, choreography, editing, music composition, design, and so, so, so much more.

jonathan bailey and simone ashley on the set of 'bridgerton' season 2
“Betsy and I get applause all the time,” says Rhimes. “We wanted the people who make this show to be recognized for how spectacular their work was.”

“It’s a love letter to the people who make this show,” says Beers, “who have spent so much time and so much effort creating this incredible new world and new point of view for a Regency-type of show. I don’t think it came from anything except a desire to share the magic that we were experiencing on a daily basis.”

Over the past three years, Rhimes and Beers have spent a great deal of time talking to each other about that very magic that was unfolding in front of their eyes, as well as their amazement at the efforts of the crew and the cast. Their positions as executive producers who oversee every aspect of the show gave Rhimes and Beers that 30,000-foot view, which, over the course of the making of the series, allowed them to revel in each department’s novel creations that helped fulfill what Beers calls a “gigantic vision” of the Bridgerton world.

“It just felt incredibly special to see the amount of detail and the amount of craftsmanship going into every single aspect of the show,” adds Rhimes. “We really felt like we wanted to have a chance to highlight those people for an audience, for our readers, to show how a show like this is made, and to get a real view of all the work that goes into it and all the brilliant people who make the show possible.”

bridgerton l to r golda rosheuvel as queen charlotte and director tom verica in episode 102 of bridgerton cr liam danielnetflix � 2020
“We really felt like we wanted to have a chance to highlight those people for an audience, for our readers,” says Rhimes, “to show how a show like this is made.”

For Rhimes, the scope of what they were making was clear when, for the first time, she walked through the costume house full of 2,000 unique pieces of clothing for the lead actors, the ensemble cast, and the background actors. Witnessing that each piece had been made from scratch by costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and her dozens upon dozens of craftspeople was the first time Rhimes realized just how big they were going to go.

In the very first pages of Inside Bridgerton, there is a list of the “cast of characters” who contributed to the book, and in addition to 19 members of the cast, there are 31 production creatives. These are the people who so often go unmentioned when press surrounding a new TV show is ramping up — like horse masters Charlotte and Sam Dent, dialect coach Jane Karen, and stunt coordinator Franki Hackett, to name just a few. And when asked why Shondaland likes to put this kind of dedicated value on their production teams, Beers answers with another question: “Why doesn’t everyone else?!”

Beers continues, “When you look at the amount of work and hours and devotion and dedication and caring and craft and eloquence that these people present and provide every day, the fact that this isn’t talked about constantly is insane. We’ve always felt incredibly grateful to the people who work so hard on the shows, but this was an incredible opportunity to be able to highlight it, especially on a show that so many people have watched, that is so large, and has so many moving pieces.”

the bridgeton family on set
The Bridgerton family on set for season one.

Ultimately, Beers and Rhimes hope that giving this peek behind the curtain of how a massive production is conceived and executed opens up the Bridgerton world to the viewer in a way that will change forever how they look at any show they watch on television. In fact, Beers hopes that after reading Inside Bridgerton, people will want to go back and watch the shows again with this revised point of view.

“Once you have learned about these behind-the-scenes stories,” says Beers, “once you’ve actually understood the ins and outs of where we’re shooting or how we did something or why this person was cast the way they were, you may see [the show] in an entirely different light. I think it makes reviewing the show an even more delightful experience.”

There’s also something to be said for creating a tangible piece of work for Bridgerton fans. Holding the book in your hands and flipping through the pages where so many voices — voices who are usually never heard from yet carry so much weight in the creation of a television show like this — come together to reveal information that they’ve spent a lifetime perfecting feels like you’re being let in on a very big, fun, opulent secret. Lady Whistledown would surely approve.

Inside Bridgerton is available now, and be sure to catch up on all things Bridgerton seasons one, two, and three here.

Valentina Valentini is a London-based entertainment, travel, and food writer and is also a senior contributor to Shondaland. Elsewhere, she has written for Vanity Fair, Vulture, Variety, Thrillist, Heated, and The Washington Post. Her personal essays can be read in the Los Angeles Times and Longreads, and her tangents and general complaints can be seen on Twitter at @ByValentinaV.

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