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First collaboration between A+E Networks® UK and Sky is best ever rated Sky HISTORY commission

Royal Bastards: Rise of the Tudors

Royal Bastards: Rise of the Tudors rates as channel’s best UK production

Royal Bastards: Rise of The Tudors, the debut A+E Networks® UK and Sky commission for Sky HISTORY, has been a huge hit with viewers and critics alike.

The premiere episode (22nd November) was simulcast on Sky HISTORY and Sky Showcase and was watched by over 550,000 viewers making it the channel’s highest rated UK commission ever.

The 3x1 hour docu-drama which charts the true story of one of England’s most powerful and little-known women, Lady Margaret Beaufort, through the most turbulent and bloody period in medieval history (the Wars of the Roses) has so far been viewed by over 1.13m viewers.

The UK commission attracted a more upmarket and female audience compared with the Sky HISTORY audience profile average with a third of all viewers being Women ABC1.

Illustrated with drama dialogue sequences, the series starring storytellers Sophie Rundle, Sheila Atim and Philip Glenister was the first co-production between Sky and A+E Networks UK since the spring 2020 launch of the co-branded Sky HISTORY channel.

Royal Bastards: Rise of the Tudors was commissioned by Zai Bennett, Sky’s Managing Director of Content, Poppy Dixon, Director of Documentaries and Factual and Daniel Korn, Vice-President of Programming at A+E Networks UK.

The series was produced by the award-winning company, 72 Films, directed by Julian Jones and produced by Bernadette Ross, with David Glover as Executive Producer.

Critics across the board responded positively to the UK commission, some examples here:

  • The Sunday Times: “The charismatic narrators and blockbuster stylings galvanise the standard television history format. The real Succession.”
  • Radio Times: “This dramatised history brings the turbulent Wars of the Roses to life, with grisly battle scenes and vibrant storytelling.”
  • Metro: “There’s a title that nails its colours to the mast. Philip Glenister and Sophie Rundle are among the familiar faces putting flesh on the bones of this drama/doc mash-up about the scandals of a royal dynasty.”

Heather Jones, General Manager at A+E Networks UK said: “Royal Bastards: Rise of The Tudors proves that well-made, premium factual content can clearly deliver big audiences. It’s great to see there is a thirst for real British history programming and that our collaboration with Sky has started so successfully.”