1:39pm PT by Michael O'Connell
E! Gives Early Renewal to 'The Royals'
E! is very high on The Royals. The scripted series, the cable network’s first, has been renewed for a second season — two months before it even premieres.
The Royals has been an internal favorite at NBCUniversal Cable since it received a series order in 2014 following the pilot production. Set to premiere March 15, it stars Elizabeth Hurley as the Queen and matriarch of a twisted, soapy take on England’s first family.
From One Tree Hill creator Mark Schwahn and Lionsgate Television, the series shoots entirely on location in the United Kingdom. “The energy, excitement and promotion ... People are very excited about the show,” said Schwahn at the Television Critics Association press tour. “This pickup caught us all off guard. I feel like if we’re not doing seasons five, six, seven, we’re making a mistake. And I’d be thrilled to do it with this cast and the ensemble.”
“To renew this freshman series before its highly anticipated first-season premiere underscores E!’s commitment to the scripted genre and our confidence and support of this groundbreaking and rule-breaking original series,” said E! executive vp original programming and development Jeff Olde. “We’re thrilled to have Universal Cable Productions joining Lionsgate as a co-producing partner as we announce a second-season pickup for this scandalously fun series.”
Joining Lionsgate and E! on the second season will be Universal Cable Productions. The in-house studio for the cable networks, it will serve as co-producer moving forward.
The Royals’ arrival comes just a few months after sister network Bravo launched its own scripted debut with Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce. Both networks are now under the purview of Frances Berwick, president of NBCU Cable’s lifestyle networks.
“We’re very proud that E! chose The Royals as its first original scripted series and delighted about this early season-two pickup,” added Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs. “The cast and creative team are exceptional, and E! has been a tremendous partner in supporting the creative direction of the series from day one.”
The Royals also stars William Moseley, Alexandra Park and Vincent Regan. Watch the new trailer below.