The Royals Cancelled At E!, But Season 5 Could Still Happen

the royals e! elizabeth hurley
(Image credit: Image courtesy of E!)

E! has been spinning a melodramatic and intense story of a fictionalized version of the British Royal Family with The Royals, starring Elizabeth Hurley. Unfortunately for fans who have been hooked on the drama since it premiered back in 2015, The Royals has officially been cancelled by E! after four seasons. The good news is that fans don't necessarily have to be royally frustrated that the show ended so soon. There's still hope for Season 5.

The cancellation of The Royals comes a little more than three months after the Season 4 finale aired and ended on some killer cliffhangers that will undoubtedly haunt viewers who were counting on another season for answers about what will happen next. The cancellation isn't altogether shocking, although it does mean the end of E's final original scripted series. The ratings for the fourth season were down 22% in the key 18-49 age demographic from its third season. The first look at Season 4 indicated that a lot of intriguing twists were in the works, but it clearly wasn't enough to hook a sizable audience. Throw in the controversy over the sexual harassment allegations against creator/showrunner Mark Schwahn, and there were reasons to doubt The Royals' future on E! That said, there are reasons to hope for a Royals future.

The Royals leading producing studio Lionsgate TV isn't ready to give up on the show. Deadline reports that Lionsgate TV is in talks with sister network Pop to potentially pick The Royals up for a fifth season. Although Pop is lesser-known than E! and provides significantly lower budgets for its originals, surely it would be better for the show than outright cancellation! Besides, Pop has been looking to add a signature series to its lineup in addition to current series Schitt's Creek. Anna Paquin has a series on the way to Pop, so the network isn't necessarily desperate for another show, but Pop could still be a good home for The Royals.

Lionsgate TV is reportedly interesting in keeping The Royals going at least partly due to the pop culture buzz around the real-life British Royal Family, which reached frenzied levels in 2018 due to the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and the American Meghan Markle. The search for a new showrunner had been ongoing prior to the cancellation. The push to bring The Royals back for Season 5 was confirmed by Lionsgate TV on Twitter:

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If The Royals is rescued by Pop or any other outlet, it will be only the latest in 2018 after shows like Lucifer, The Expanse, and Brooklyn Nine-Nine were all saved from permanent cancellation after getting the axe from their original networks. Only time will tell. If you need some shows to watching during the wait for news, take a look at our fall TV schedule for inspiration.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).