The long-gestating The White Queen sequel is finally a go. Starz has greenlighted The White Princess, the follow-up to its critically-acclaimed miniseries The White Queen, from Company Pictures. Adapted from Philippa Gregory’s best-selling novel of the same name and part of The Cousins’ War book series, The White Princess tells the story of England’s War of the Roses from the perspective of the women. The 8-episode limited series drama is currently in pre-production.
The White Queen writer Emma Frost is returning to serve as showrunner. She executive produces with Gregory, Playground’s Colin Callender (The White Queen) and Company Pictures’ Michele Buck. Lachlan MacKinnon (Burton and Taylor) will serve as producer.
The White Princess concludes the story of England’s War of the Roses and charts the rise of the House of Tudor through the tortuous marriage between Princess Elizabeth of York and King Henry Tudor. The year is 1485 and Princess Elizabeth, daughter of “The White Queen,” has been pledged in marriage to the newly anointed King Henry Tudor in hopes that it will bring peace to a war-torn country. England is united, but their marriage is soon divided, as rumors circulate that Elizabeth’s long-lost brother Prince Richard is alive and planning to take the throne. Now she must choose between Tudor wife and York princess, between her new husband and the boy who claims to be her own blood and the true heir to the crown.
“The White Queen was a phenomenal performer at Starz, averaging 4.8 million multiplatform viewers per episode in the United States,” said Carmi Zlotnik, Managing Director for Starz, citing internal estimates. “There is a dearth of programming that tells women’s stories and The White Queen was embraced with great success by audiences worldwide.”
The White Queen was the first Starz Original series to attract more women than men viewers with women making up 55 percent of the viewership. It received an Emmy nomination for best miniseries and Golden Globe nominations for Best TV Movie or Miniseries, best lead actress, Rebecca Ferguson, and best supporting actress, Janet McTeer.
The 2013 mini The White Queen was a co-production between Starz and the BBC. It did very well for Starz and not so well for the BBC, which opted not to continue with the property. Soon after the original aired in the U.S., Starz began conversations with Frost on doing a sequel, The White Princess, without BBC’s participation.