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Showtime Looks To Extend Tudors’ Reign

3/20/2008 7:21 AM Eastern

NEW YORK--Season two has yet to officially bow, but it looks as if Henry VIII’s reign on Showtime will last a little longer.

Bob Greenblatt, Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Matt Blank at Tudors partyBob Greenblatt, president of Showtime Entertainment, at a party prior to a screening for the series’ second-season opener, told Multichannel News that writing had begun for episodes for a third campaign of The Tudors. The sophomore season on Showtime debuts March 30 at 10 p.m.

Greenblatt, in his remarks before the screener, made similar comments, while noting that Showtime had yet to make an official third-season pick-up.

Last year, Showtime ordered the show’s second season following the airing of its first two episodes.

Following the political and sexual conquests of a young Henry VIII, the show stNatalie Dormer, Matt Blank and Jonathan Rhys Meyers at Tudors partyars Jonathan Rhys Meyers as the king and Natalie Dormer as Anne Boleyn. They are joined this year by Peter O’Toole as Pope Paul III. At season’s conclusion, Boleyn finds herself at the wrong end of the chopping block, while Jane Seymour now holds the king’s affection. Greenblatt had joked during the party that Henry had many more wives to go -- the royal was married six times in total. 

During its rookie 10-episode campaign, The Tudors played to a cumulative audience of some 16.4 million, according to Nielsen Media Research data. The April 1, 2007  opener drew 870,000 at 10 p.m. and 404,000 in the subsequent hour. The nearly 1.3 million watchers marked Showtime’s best original series debut since Kirstie Alley’s Fat Actress debuted in March 2005.

Subsequently, the first installment of Californication and sophomore opener for serial killer series Dexter topped the ratings start by The Tudors.  

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