Devotees fell in love with Page's Duke of Hastings and were stunned last month (Mar21) when it was confirmed he wouldn't be back for a second run of the show - and Rhimes had no idea superfans would be so upset.
"I was really shocked, because usually that happens when I've killed off somebody that's been around for a while," she tells Vanity Fair. "We didn't even kill him! He's still alive!"
But Rhimes is glad the Brit left such an impact on the Bridgerton faithful, adding, "He is a powerful, amazing actor and that meant we did our job."
"Every season, our job is finding the right people and putting together this incredible, world-shifting romance."
"I mean, really, what would Rege-Jean do, you know what I mean? We gave them (Duke and Duchess of Hastings) their happily ever after! And now we have this next couple coming."
The Duchess, played by Phoebe Dynevor, will be back for the second season while it was also announced on Tuesday that Netflix bosses have signed on for a third and fourth season of the period drama hit, which launched on Christmas Day (25Dec20).