'Royals' Success Doesn't Mean More Scripted On E!

Previously, I only tuned into E! for The Soup, the occasional Chelsea Lately episode (RIP), and Sex and the City series marathons, but I decided to give the channel's first scripted show — The Royals — a chance. The Season 1 finale of E!'s show airs on Sunday, May 17, but there is good news since The Royals has already been renewed for a Season 2. The juicy and fun, dark and twisted series is coming to the end of its first chapter and with so many secrets swirling around the palace, there was no way the show ending with Season 1 would have been satisfying.

Typically, TV viewers await the fate of the announcement of whether the next season of a brand new show will be renewed from the Powers That Be (a.k.a. television executives). Shockingly, E! spared The Royals fans that drama (while the show gave us a whole boatload of other drama) by renewing the series before it even premiered. E! announced the show was renewed in January, two months before the Season 1 premiere took place on March 15.

While it's refreshing that a TV network would be willing to renew a show before ratings even come in, the ratings for the Sunday night scripted show have been going up. According to Zap2It's TV By The Numbers, the May 3 episode saw its highest viewership from its key demographic (ahem, women 18-49) and they reported that, "The series remains the highest rated new original scripted series this year across all key demos in ad supported cable, excluding spinoffs."

I thought the show, created by Mark Schwahn of One Tree Hill and based on the novel Falling for Hamlet , could have been just been one big heap of ridiculous drama. While that drama is present in scandalous sex stories, there are also compelling characters with a lot of heart like Liam, Eleanor, and Simon. With E! having so much faith in its first scripted show, could it mean that the entertainment news and reality TV juggernaut will start shifting its programming to include more written TV series?

Well, not really. On April 1, E! announced via press release that the network would have three new unscripted showsStewarts & Hamiltons, WAGS, and Dash Dolls — with no mention of any new scripted series. With Dash Dolls being a spinoff of Keeping Up with the Kardashians , it would appear that E! is up to its same old tricks. While I'm the type of TV viewer who would take scripted over reality any day, I'm a bit disappointed that E! hasn't announced more scripted shows, but if The Royals keeps being successful and buzzy, that could change.

While I don't know if King Simon will die or if Prince Robert's murder will be explained in the Season 1 finale of The Royals, it's comforting to know that there will at least be a Season 2. And if it's anything like Schwahn's One Tree Hill, there could be many, many more seasons to come. In the meantime, I'll find solace in the quirky The Grace Helbig Show on E! and hope this trend of scripted programming keeps slowly growing.

Images: E!; princess-elearnorr, theroyaalss/Tumblr