E! has renewed its insane monarchy-themed soap opera The Royals for a third season of ten-hour long episodes, the network has revealed. The series, which is produced for the network by Lionsgate Television, has drawn good ratings despite almost overwhelmingly negative reviews when the series first premiered in March of 2015. Developed by Marc Schwan (One Tree Hill, Coach Carter) and based on the 2011 novel Falling for Hamlet by author Michelle Ray, the series stars Elizabeth Hurley (Gossip Girl, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me), William Moseley (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Silent Mountain), Alexandra Park (Home and Away, Wonderland), Oliver Milburn (The Descent, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag), Jake Maskall (Centurion, EastEnders) and Tom Austen (The Borgias, Jo). It is currently the only scripted show being broadcast on E!.
“We are incredibly proud of the success of The Royals,” said Jeff Olde, the Executive Vice President of Original Programming and Development at E! “The series has captured fans and brought them into a regal world of sexy, fun drama. We can’t wait to see what season three will bring and what surprises are still in store as we enter the second half of season two.”
“We are delighted by today’s pick-up announcement for season three of ‘The Royals,'” added Kevin Beggs, the Chairman of Lionsgate Television. “The Royals’ reflects the kind of original, noisy and provocative series that is a Lionsgate signature. We look forward to an all-new season of palace intrigue and badly behaved royals with our partners at E! and Universal Cable Productions.”
The series is currently airing its second season, which (according to a spoilery blurb from the network) “picked up eight weeks after the tragic murder of King Simon (Vincent Regan) by an unknown assailant. Cyrus, Simon’s arrogant brother, has taken the throne after deeming the Prince and Princess illegitimate, with the help of the Queen to fabricate the paternity results. While Cyrus, who is also secretly battling cancer, is convinced the Queen is on his side, her majesty has her own agenda in mind: change the succession of the Royal Family and make the power shift to the Queen if anything should happen to yet another King. Meanwhile, Liam vows to bring his father’s murderer to justice and teams up with an unlikely ally to do so, the duplicitous bodyguard Jasper who had been relieved from his duties after sleeping with both the Princess and the Queen, and had once been considered a prime suspect in the King’s attack that led to his death. However, the two young men, who are both working to mend their respective broken hearts, have bonded over their mutual concern for the Princess’ wellbeing as she falls further down the rabbit hole.”
The season finale will broadcast on Sunday, January 17.