North & South was surprisingly well received by audiences. The BBC, who had low expectations for the series, didn't publicize the series to a wider audience. They were surprised when only hours after the airing of the first episode the message board on BBC crashed down and had to be shut down due to the large number of visitors. Subsequently, the DVD was released on 11 April 2005 due to the huge success.
Richard Armitage was one of the first actors to audition for the role of John Thorton and one of the last to be cast.
Before being cast as Margaret Hale, Daniela Denby-Ashe first auditioned for the part of Fanny Thorton. The producers, however, who were still looking for an actress to play Margaret Hale, were convinced that she would be the perfect Margaret.
Richard Armitage plays a character named John, who falls in love with a Margaret. Coincidently his parents are also called John and Margaret.
Some of the exterior scenes were shot in various locations around Edinburgh. Scenes with shops, houses and street furniture required some ingenious work to conceal modern features from view.
The striped dress Daniela Denby-Ashe wears in the final scene was previously worn in Bleak House (2005) by Gillian Anderson and in The Shadow in the North (2007) by Billie Piper.