Showtime Renews 'Tudors,' 'Life'
New Tracey Ullman show also on tap
"The Tudors" premiered on April 1 and generated solid ratings both on the premium cable network and in a variety of on-demand venues. Created by Michael Hirst ("Elizabeth") and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, "The Tudors" saw a ratings drop in its second week, but Showtime is still eager to move the story along.
"We are thrilled with the success of our dramatic series, 'The Tudors,' and we're happy to tell the next -- even more compelling -- chapter," says Showtime President Robert Greenblatt. "Writer/creator Michael Hirst has done a masterful job turning history into relevant and entertaining drama; this cast is incredibly talented; and the production value is feature-film quality. The cast, headed (or should I say be-headed) by the mesmerizing Jonathan Rhys Meyers, has been enthusiastically received by critics, audiences are becoming addicted and it's right on brand for Showtime. Long live the king, albeit a trimmer, sexier incarnation than we've seen before."
While the first season of "The Tudors" was a 10-episode order, Showtime didn't announce any specifics for the second run.
Meanwhile, "This American Life" will be back with six addition episodes set for a 2008 premiere.
"Ira Glass is a visionary and 'This American Life' is an American institution," says Greenblatt of the show which originated as a Chicago Public Radio staple. "I'm very proud that Showtime will remain the television home of this show and this unique storyteller."
Showtime has also ordered at least five episodes of "State of the Union," a sketch comedy series that brings Ullman over from her HBO home. In the new series, Ullman will play a number of roles as she takes a satirical look at a day in the life of America.
"She is a one-of-a-kind comedienne and sketch comedy performer, a true artist," Greenblatt says. "We are so proud to bring her to Showtime in a completely new show that will again showcase what she does best, and in this case, she will be looking at the wide cross-section of Americans and both celebrating us and sending us up."