‘Becoming Elizabeth’ Canceled at Starz After One Season

Alicia von Rittberg as Elizabeth I in Becoming Elizabeth

It was a short reign for the Starz royal drama Becoming Elizabeth, as the network has canceled the series after just one season, as reported by Deadline.

Created by British playwright Anya Reiss, the historical drama revolved around the teenage years of Queen Elizabeth I (Alicia von Rittberg), who, after the death of Henry VIII, is caught up in a frantic power struggle with her siblings. As her nine-year-old brother Edward ascends to the throne, Elizabeth fights to control her own destiny and take power as the men around her attempt to claim her sovereignty.

The cancelation comes after disappointingly low viewing figures for the first season. According to Live+Same Day Nielsen data, the season averaged 136,000 viewers, with the June 12 premiere being the most-watched episode at just 158,000 total viewers.

In addition to Rittberg, the show also starred Romola Garai as Mary Tudor, Jessica Raine as Catherine Parr, Tom Cullen as Thomas Seymour, Bella Ramsey as Lady Jane Grey, Alex Macqueen as Stephen Gardiner, Oliver Zetterström as King Edward VI, Ekow Quartey as Pedro, Jamie Parker as John Dudley, 1st Duke of Northumberland, and John Heffernan as Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset.

Reiss served as executive producer on the show alongside The Forge’s George Ormond and George Faber, with Lisa Osborne producing. Reiss also led an all-female writing team, including Emily Ballou, Anna Jordan, and Suhayla El- Bushra.

The first season (and now series) finale aired on August 7 and left viewers on a cliffhanger, as King Edward recovered from his illness and Edward Seymour was imprisoned in the Tower of London and subsequently beheaded. Speaking to TV Insider earlier this year, Reiss hinted at ideas for a second season.

“We have a plan. Edward’s not even dead, so we have a lot of story, a lot of room,” she said. “I’m genuinely devastated that I’ve lost some of my [characters]. I went to write a scene without Somerset, and I was like, “How?” But I’m really excited about the room that opens up for us and opening up peoples’ families and seeing a little bit more of their home lives.”

Becoming Elizabeth, Season 1, Streaming Now, Starz