'The White Princess' Reign Might Be Over On Starz

The time has, unfortunately, come: the Season 1 finale of The White Princess. The series — based on the books by Philippa Gregory (oh yeah, and English history) — tells the story of Elizabeth of York, Queen of England and wife of King Henry VII. The White Princess picked up in 1486, and as of now it's the year 1499. While that's a long timespan, there's still a possibility her life can stretch into another season. (Elizabeth of York died a couple of years later, in 1503.) So will The White Princess return for Season 2? There's still more to explore in Tudor England.

From the onset, the odds aren't likely. If producers take a page from Starz's last English historical drama, The White Queen, it will only last one season. The White Queen was a miniseries Starz co-made with the BBC in 2013, and it was also based on Philippa Gregory's work. As Queen was based on Elizabeth of York's mother, Elizabeth Woodville, Princess was billed as its sequel. Sources such as Harper's Bazaar called it a miniseries as well, with just an eight-episode run. While limited series have come back for another season in the past — HBO's The Leftovers being one example — Starz doesn't have that precedent, especially with Tudor England-themed shows.


There could also be another reason why The White Princess may end for good at the end of Season 1. It is mainly a ratings game; the series averages around 0.2 in the key 18-29 demographic. They have also been declining in recent weeks — perhaps because viewers know it's coming to an end. With less than a million people watching per week, Starz may not feel like they should renew the show. In the case of HBO's Big Little Lies earlier this year, the reason why HBO is considering another season was because it was such a ratings boom. Starz may not have the same enthusiasm towards The White Princess.

Either way, the network has not made an announcement as of yet whether it is renewed or canceled. Because it was initially marketed as a miniseries, the finale will likely tie everything together. The audience may not yearn for a second season. Given how interesting the history of the Tudor family, and how excellent the cast is, though, maybe they will. Hopefully the network gives a clue soon so viewers know whether Sunday's finale will be their last look into Elizabeth of York's life.