Starz canceled “Becoming Elizabeth” after one season

Anya Reiss created the historical drama about the Tudors.

Starz has canceled Becoming Elizabeth, a period costume drama series about the Tudors, after one season, a person with knowledge of the decision told IndieWire.

Created by Anya Reiss and starring Alicia von Rittberg, the show premiered on August 12 but failed to garner large audiences and recorded low ratings that declined throughout its 8-episode run.

Becoming Elizabeth continued Starz’s fascination with the 16th-century Tudor family after finding hits with 2013’s The White Queen and two other spin-off series based on the English story. Becoming Elizabeth specifically focused on a young Elizabeth I when she was an orphaned teenager and the death of King Henry VIII set in motion a struggle for power and the throne.

The series also starred Romola Garai, Jessica Raine, Tom Cullen and Bella Ramsey and was produced by The Forge for Starz. The show was also notable for having an all-female writing team headed by Reiss.

Reiss had even alluded to the show’s imminent cancellation in September when discussing the season one finale — now series — and responded to some fans with a couple of gifs suggested there no chance for a second season and that Starz let her know”you’re done.”

“So to anyone who misinterpreted the ending of ‘Becoming Elizabeth’ – it wasn’t a cliffhanger – it was an ironic wink for our audience – because of course you know the rest of the story… so why should we go ahead,” Reiss said wrote. “Or at least…that’s my story.”

Parent company Lionsgate has been eyeing a spin-off from Starz for several months, and has expressed interest in selling the premium cable network and its streaming service after Lionsgate first acquired it for $4.4 billion in 2016. But despite steady subscriber growth to 37.3 million subscribers worldwide, as well as finding a few other hit series, the studio has around $2 billion in debt and is well worth less than what it originally paid.

Deadline was the first to report the news.

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Lindsay Lowe

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