Tudors renewed in the UK

Tudor reign continues on BBC Two
BBC News, 17 October 2007

The second series of popular historical TV drama The Tudors will be shown next year, the BBC has confirmed.

Created by Michael Hirst, writer of the film Elizabeth, the series was shot in Ireland over the summer with Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the young Henry VIII.

Hirst promises “old and new conflicts, both at court and outside it”.

Launched earlier this month, The Tudors has been a ratings success for BBC Two with an average audience of 3.2 million viewers tuning in each week.

The series also features Sam Neill as Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, Jeremy Northam as Sir Thomas More and Maria Doyle Kennedy as Catherine of Aragon, Henry’s first wife.

‘Compulsory viewing’

The second season sees veteran actor Peter O’Toole join the cast as Pope Paul III.

“We are extremely pleased with our viewers’ positive reactions to The Tudors,” said George McGhee, controller of programme acquisitions.

“Henry VIII and his six wives are still compulsory viewing in the 21st century as portrayed by this young and excellent cast.”

Executive producers Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner also produced Elizabeth and its forthcoming sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

More on the good ratings for series one of “The Tudors” in the UK and Canada:

It delivered BBC2’s best Friday peak share for 13 weeks when it launched earlier this month, pulling in 3.2 million viewers and a 15% share – over a million more than the slot average.

The CBC notched impressive numbers for Showtime’s “The Tudors,” a Canadian-Irish co-production it pre-licensed. The miniseries about the early days of Henry VIII drew 957,000 viewers out of the gate, according to BBM/Nielsen Media Research, just short of the 1 million-viewer benchmark considered success in Canadian primetime.

Sources: BBC News, Guardian Unlimited, Hollywood Reporter

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