Pasadena, Calif. — E!’s first scripted series The Royals is a family show. Just not based on a real family.
“It’s a family drama,” said creator and executive producer Mark Schwahn Thursday during the TCA winter press tour. “It’s about a family. It just happens to be a royal family.”
Schwan was joined on stage by members of The Royals’ House of Henstridge, including actors Alexandra Park, Elizabeth Hurley, William Moseley, Merritt Patterson and later Joan Collins.
“I just wanted to create a world that is entirely fictional,” said Schwahn. “What’s compelling to me, as I said, is the stakes of the family.”
E! ordered up a second season of The Royals ahead of its March 15 season one debut.
“This pickup today caught us all off guard and we’re so thrilled,” said Schwahn.
Other highlights from the panel included:
—Schwahn opened up about the heroes and villains in the series, saying: “What compels me the most are there are heroes and there are villains. And rarely are we really celebrating the villains. We’re interested in them. We are compelled when they are so good at being villains. But I think ultimately when you watch the show you realize you are meant to root for the good characters and the heroic characters. It’s pretty great on this show sometimes the villains are the heroes visa versa.”
—Hurley, who plays Queen Helena, said outwardly she drew inspiration from Princess Diana. But behind closed doors, she said she made it all up.
—Both Hurley and Collins fielded questions about whether they wanted to be royal when they were kids. They had very different answers.
Hurley said: “Yes. I think all little girls dream of being princesses.”
Collins said: “I really just wanted to be an actress or a detective or a writer.”