The Tudors

Infobox Television
show_name = The Tudors

caption = Promotional picture for "The Tudors"
genre = Historical fiction
camera =
picture_format = 16x9 widescreen ratio
audio_format =
runtime = approx. 55 min.
creator = Michael Hirst
developer =
producer = James Flynn
Gary Howsam
executive_producer = Eric Fellner
Tim Bevan
Ben Silverman
Teri Weinberg
Sheila Hockin
starring = Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Sam Neill
Jeremy Northam
Natalie Dormer
Henry Cavill
Maria Doyle Kennedy
Jamie Thomas King
Hans Matheson
James Frain
Peter O'Toole
Joss Stone
Max von Sydow
theme_music_composer = Trevor Morris
opentheme =
endtheme =
country = flagicon|Ireland Ireland
flagicon|Canada Canada
flagicon|United Kingdom United Kingdom
flagicon|United States United States
location = flagicon|Ireland Ireland
language = English
network = Showtime
first_aired = April 1 2007 - present
last_aired =
num_seasons = 2
num_episodes = 20 (list of episodes)
list_episodes =
website =
tv_com_id = 69029
imdb_id = 0758790

"The Tudors" is a historical fiction television series created and entirely written by British screenwriter Michael Hirst. The series is loosely based upon the early reign of English monarch Henry VIII.

The series is produced by Peace Arch Entertainment for Showtime in association with Reveille Eire (Ireland), Working Title Films (United Kingdom) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and is filmed in Ireland. The first two episodes debuted on DirecTV, Time Warner Cable OnDemand, Netflix, Verizon FiOS On Demand, Internet Movie Database and on the series' website before the official series premiere on Showtime. "The Tudors"' April 1 2007 debut was the highest rated Showtime series debut in three years. [ "Showtime's "Tudors" continues reign." "Variety".] 12 April 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2008.] In April 2007, the show was renewed for a second season, and in that month the BBC announced it had acquired exclusive United Kingdom broadcast rights for the series, which began airing on 5 October 2007. Canada's CBC, began airing the show on 2 October 2007. [ [ "A slightly neutered "Tudors"." "The Toronto Star".] 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2008.] Season 1 is repeating on CBC's digital cable channel bold beginning in April 2008.

Season 2 of "The Tudors" aired on Showtime in the Spring of 2008, started airing on BBC 2 on 1 August 2008, and will be broadcast on other channels in the fall of 2008. The series has been renewed for a third season to air in 2009, with production having begun on 16 June 2008 in Bray, Ireland. [ [ "Peace Arch(R) Entertainment Announces Renewal of Hit Series "The Tudors"."] 24 April 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.] [ [ "Showtime Orders Season Three of "The Tudors"." "The New York Times".] 22 April 2008. Retrieved 12 May 2008.]

International distribution rights are owned by Sony Pictures Television International.


Season One of "The Tudors" chronicles the period of Henry VIII's reign in which his effectiveness as King is tested by international conflicts as well as political intrigue in his own court, while the pressure of fathering a male heir sparks the rise of Anne Boleyn.

Season Two finds Henry as the head of his own Church of England, paving the way for the banishment of Katherine of Aragon; Anne becomes Henry's new Queen, but her own failure to produce a son dooms her as Henry's attention sways heavily toward Jane Seymour.

Season Three will follow the short reign of Jane Seymour and introduce Henry's fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.



Departures from history

Events in the series differ from events as they actually happened in history. Liberties are taken with character names, relationships, physical appearance and the timing of events.Bellafante, Ginia. [ "Nasty, but Not So Brutish and Short." "The New York Times".] 28 March 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.] As creator Hirst noted, "Showtime commissioned me to write an entertainment, a soap opera, and not history ... And we wanted people to watch it."Gates, Anita. [ "The Royal Life (Some Facts Altered)." "The New York Times".] 23 March 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2008.] He added that some changes were made for production considerations and some to avoid viewer confusion, and that "any confusion created by the changes is outweighed by the interest the series may inspire in the period and its figures."

Time is conflated in the series, giving the impression that things happened closer together than they actually did. By the time of most of the events in this series, King Henry VIII was already in his mid-to-late 30s. In the show, he is shown as being almost the same age as his second wife, Anne Boleyn. Historians are currently divided over when exactly Boleyn was born, since there are no parish records from the period, but the two projected dates are either 1501 or the later 1507. This means that the minimum age difference between Henry and Anne was ten years and it may in fact have been closer to eighteen. Henry did not start pursuing Anne until he was in his mid-thirties and they were not married until he was in his early forties.

The character of Henry's sister, called "Princess Margaret" in the series, is actually a composite of his two sisters: the life events of his youngest sister, Princess Mary Tudor, coupled with the name of his eldest sister, Margaret Tudor (to avoid confusion with Henry's daughter, Mary I of England). [Stanley, Alessandra. [ "Renaissance Romping With Henry and His Rat Pack." "The New York Times".] 30 March 2007. Retrieved 12 May 2008.] Historically, Henry's sister Princess Mary first married the French King Louis XII. The union lasted approximately three months, until his death; Louis was succeeded by his cousin Francis I, who was married to Louis' daughter Claude of France. Mary subsequently married Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. As "The Tudors" begins, Henry is already negotiating a peace treaty with Francis; the series' Princess Margaret thus marries the Portuguese king, who lives only a few days until she smothers him in his sleep. [It should be noted that there is no historical evidence or indication that Henry's sister Mary Tudor contributed to the death of Louis XII. In addition, at the time of Mary's marriage to Louis XII, the King of Portugal was 45-year-old Manuel I, who was himself then married to Eleanor of Habsburg. ] By the time of the events of this series, the historical Brandon (who was already in his early 40s) and Princess Mary were long married with three children. Henry's eldest sister, Margaret Tudor, was actually married to King James IV of Scotland and became the grandmother of Mary, Queen of Scots.

While Bessie Blount was famously one of Henry VIII's mistresses and did give Henry an illegitimate son (Henry FitzRoy), historically, her son did not die as a small child. FitzRoy died at the age of 17 in 1536, roughly 10 years before the death of his father, Henry VIII. Blount was also not married until after the birth of Henry FitzRoy.

The papal politics depicted in the first several episodes of the series also have no clear relation to actual events. A Pope Alexander is depicted as on his death bed at the time of the Field of the Cloth of Gold meeting between Henry and Francis (in 1520), whereas the actual pope at that time, Leo X, died suddenly at the very end of 1521, and there had not been a pope named Alexander since 1503, before the beginning of Henry's reign. A Cardinal Orsini is depicted as being elected following the death of the fictional Alexander, which, again, does not correspond to actual history, when the Emperor's tutor Adrian of Utrecht was elected to succeed Leo, and, following his death just a year later, Cardinal Medici, who as Clement VII would refuse to permit Henry's divorce, was elected to the papal throne.

Historically, Cardinal Wolsey died in Leicester en route to London to answer charges of treason, while in the series he is imprisoned and commits suicide (though the fictional Henry insists that this be covered up). Wolsey's death came in 1530, three years before the death of Henry's sister Mary; in the series, the two events are juxtaposed. Also, it was not until the year 1630, 27 years after the death of Henry's daughter Elizabeth I, that Cardinals of the Catholic Church took the style of "Eminence", as is accorded to Cardinal Wolsey in the series.

William Brereton did not confess to adultery with Queen Anne and was not a Papal agent. He was in fact a wealthy magnate who had large landholdings in the Welsh Marches, where he was ruthless and unpopular, and was probably accused due to Cromwell's desire to remove a festering political problem. ["See, e.g.," Ives 332-356.] In one episode, Anne Boleyn is seen being driven home to Hever Castle in a carriage. Carriages were not in use in the early 16th century. Neither did the real Anne Boleyn possess blue eyes, however Natalie Dormer, the actress portraying her, is shown with blue eyes.


The premiere of "The Tudors"' on April 1 2007 was the highest rated Showtime series debut in three years,and on 23 March 2008 "The New York Times" called "The Tudors" a "steamy period drama ... which critics could take or leave but many viewers are eating up." A 28 March 2008 review also by the "Times" said that the series "fails to live up to the great long-form dramas cable television has produced" largely because "it radically reduces the era's thematic conflicts to simplistic struggles over personal and erotic power." Another online review site described it as 'essentially, a 1500s Hollyoaks'. [ [ The Tart Paper - BBC's The Tudors Review] ]

Media releases

An original soundtrack with music composed by Trevor Morris was released by Varese Sarabande on 11 December 2007.


Season One's numbers were spectacular with 964,000 viewers. Season 2 averaged a total of 912,000 viewers for its first episode alone.fact|date=July 2007


"The Tudors" was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Drama Series in 2007. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was also nominated for the Best Actor in a Television Drama Golden Globe for his role.Cite web|url=|title=Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards For The Year Ended December 31, 2007|accessdate=2007-12-13|publisher=HFPA|year=2007] The series was nominated for eight Irish Film and Television Awards in 2008 and won seven, including Best Drama Series, acting awards for Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Lead Actor), Nick Dunning (Supporting Actor) and Maria Doyle Kennedy (Supporting Actress), and craft awards for Costume Design, Production Design and Hair/Makeup. [ [ The Irish Film & Television Awards: 2008 Winners -] Retrieved 12 March2008.] Brian Kirk was also nominated for Directing, but lost to Lenny Abrahamson of "Prosperity". The series won the 2008 Emmy Award for Best Costume Design.



*Davies, Norman. "The Isles: A History." Oxford Univ. Press, USA, 2001.
*Ives, Eric. "The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn". Wiley-Blackwell, 2005.

ee also

*List of "The Tudors" characters
*List of "The Tudors" episodes
*The Six Wives of Henry VIII

External links

* [ Official website]
* [ Tudors Wiki]
* [ What "The Tudors" gets right about history]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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