The US drama crowned the worst show on TV
A US television drama about a fictional British Royal Family starring Elizabeth Hurley and Joan Collins has been described as "possibly the worst show in the history of TV" and received a drubbing from critics across the world.
The Royals, due to be launched in March by the US-based pop-culture channel E!, features Hurley as young, seductive Queen Helena and Vincent Regan as her husband, King Simon.
Collins, who appears as Queen Helena's mother, holder of the fictional title "Grand Duchess of Oxford", has been mocked online as "a fake Maggie Smith" - a reference to Downton Abbey's the Dowager Countess of Grantham. The comedy drama, described by US critics as "a twisted, soapy take on England's first family", is the first scripted television series from the cable channel better known for reality TV hit Keeping Up with the Kardashians.
Plot highlights from the first episode include a declaration from the King to "abolish the monarchy", royal nudity on mock tabloid front pages and plenty of debauchery.
The Sydney Morning Herald described it as "a bunch of bed-hopping halfwits saddled with... very, very lousy dialogue", and went on to call it the worst show in TV history.
Its producers are unperturbed and have already announced a second season. The show reaches US screens on 15 March but a date for a UK airing is yet to be confirmed.