Although named after the Tudor dynasty as a whole, it is based specifically upon the reign of King Henry VIII of England.
The series was produced by Peace Arch Entertainment for Showtime in association with Reveille Productions, Working Title Television, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and was filmed in Ireland.
In Episode 6, Thomas Cromwell, who has assumed More's office as Chancellor of England, announces his plans to cleanse England of dissenters to the New Monarchy.
Also, England's relationship with France is complicated by King Francis's refusal to unite their kingdoms in marriage, thus causing Henry to question his decision to have married Anne.
The third season focuses on Henry's marriages to Jane Seymour and Anne of Cleves, the birth of his son Prince Edward, his ruthless suppression of the Pilgrimage of Grace, the downfall of Thomas Cromwell, and the beginnings of Henry's relationship with the free-spirited Catherine Howard.
The CBC began broadcasting the show on 2 October 2007. The final season was shown in Canada on CBC starting 22 September 2010, and ending on 23 November 2010.
He also has a string of affairs and, in Episode 2, fathers an illegitimate son with his mistress, Elizabeth "Bessie" Blount, who is also one of Queen Katherine's ladies-in waiting (the son, Henry Fitz Roy, later dies).
Anne Boleyn catches Henry's eye — she has been attending the French court — and she is encouraged by her father and uncle to seduce the King, though she also falls in love with Henry as the season unfolds.
Episode 7 sees an increasingly ill and disillusioned Katherine who has been forbidden to see her daughter, Lady Mary, and Cromwell has legislation approved by Parliament agreeing to the dissolution of first the smaller and then the larger abbeys and monasteries.
In Episode 8, Henry has Cromwell initiate overtures to the Emperor to make peace with Rome as a bulwark against a hostile France, and the King starts to pay court to Lady Jane Seymour after Anne's two miscarriages following the birth of Princess Elizabeth.