Network gives show an early renewal
producer. Showtime will produce at least five episodes of Ullman’s new skein, with production set to begin this fall. As for “The Tudors,” the production is the most expensive series in Showtime’s history, though a big chunk of the skein’s production costs are offset by the sale of international rights. Net will produce 10 episodes for next season, with creator Michael Hirst once again penning all segs. Greenblatt said the skein “is right on brand for Showtime.” “Michael Hirst has done a masterful job turning history into relevant and entertaining drama,” he added, calling the next chapter of the saga “even more compelling” than the current season. Production on season two will begin next month in Dublin, with Peace Arch and Ben Silverman’s Reveille producing. Second season will document the marriage of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn, the birth of daughter Elizabeth, the Reformation and (spoiler alert!) the beheading of Boleyn. Jonathan Rhys Meyers will return as star of the skein. “Tudors” roared out of the gate in the ratings April 1, giving Showtime its highest-rated premiere night in three years (Daily Variety, April 4). Show took a dip in week two, but Showtime insiders said cume numbers for this week’s replays have the skein quickly making up ground in terms of overall viewership. Numbers haven’t been as spectacular for the TV version of radio skein “This American Life,” but Greenblatt said host Glass has created “an American institution” with which he’s proud to be associated. Showtime has ordered six segs of “American Life” for broadcast in 2008. Renewals, along with the greenlight for “State of the Union,” give Showtime its most extensive slate of originals in quite some time. Net has greenlit new seasons of buzzworthy skeins “Weeds” and “Dexter,” along with established success “The L Word.” This summer, it will launch its latest comedy, a David Duchovny starrer that has just been officially christened “Californication.”
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