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Showtime Hails King Henry

April 22, 2008 2:31 PM

Peter O'TooleHeads will roll. Bosoms will heave. Liberties will be taken with chambermaids and, um, history.

Showtime has renewed its codpiece-ripper “The Tudors” for a third season/second marriage. Next year’s episodes, according to the pay network, follow the exploits of the sexy, hard-bodied King Henry VIII (Showtime’s words, not ours) and two more of his six wives.

“The Tudors,” created and written by “Elizabeth” scribe Michael Hirst, gave the channel its highest-rated series debut in the past three years. It also scored a Golden Globe nomination for Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, its pouty-lipped king.

Keeping up its casual flirtation with historical fact, this season will see Henry’s dispatch of Catherine of Aragon for Anne Boleyn by way of separating England’s religious ties to Rome, incurring the wrath of Pope Paul III and the Catholic Church.

Showtime is, thankfully, forgoing a sexy, hard-bodied pontiff in favor of Peter O’Toole, who will rejoin the series when it begins shooting in June.

Julieanne Smolinski

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