Historical drama to return for fourth season

HOLLYWOOD — Showtime has reupped “The Tudors” for a fourth season, allowing the historical drama to complete the saga of King Henry VIII.

The fourth season will include 10 one-hour episodes and bow in spring 2010.

Series creator and exec producer Michael Hirst will once again pen each script, with production slated to start in June in Dublin.

Decision to renew “The Tudors” comes after Showtime officials passed on series orders for four projects they’d been looking at closely during the past few weeks.

It was widely assumed that out of four projects, each touting high-profile creators, at least one would go forward. However, insiders say none of the skeins matched the creative expectations of a network that didn’t launch a new series in 2008.

Showtime considered two finished pilots, family drama “Possible Side Effects” from Tim Robbins and dark comedy “End of Steve” from Peter Tolan and Matthew Perry; also mulled over were presentations of “L Word” spinoff “The Farm” and Lionsgate comedy “Ronna and Beverly” from “Weeds” showrunner Jenji Kohan.

As for “The Tudors,” series starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers premiered its third season on April 5 to 726,000 total viewers and a cumulative aud of 1.3 million once encores and on-demand viewing were factored in.

Series, from Showtime and Peace Arch Entertainment, is exec produced by Morgan O’Sullivan for Octagon Films; Ben Silverman and Teri Weinberg for Reveille Prods.; Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan for Working Title Films; and Sheila Hockin.

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