Showtime has cancelled their papal drama series The Borgias after airing three seasons of the series. The network made the announcement today following reports that, while the series was unlikely to return for a fourth season, it could have wrapped up its storylines with a two-hour TV movie. That will now not happen with the June 16th season finale also serving as the series finale.
The Borgias was created by Neil Jordan and follows Pope Alexander VI, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the infamous Italian Renaissance family who builds an empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy. The Emmy award winning drama series stars Jeremy Irons, Colm Feore, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, Sean Harris and Aidan Alexander. The final episode of the series finds Pope Alexander (Irons) and Cesare (Arnaud) reconciled at last, and now ready to take their first step towards their ultimate goal: to create a hereditary kingdom across the heart of Italy. Cesare marches his fearsome army to lay siege to enemy Catherina Sforza’s (Gina McKee) castle at Forli. Later, back in Rome, Cesare is embroiled in a brutal scuffle with Lucrezia’s (Grainger) husband Alfonso, who as a result, is now dying a slow and painful death over the subsequent days. Devastated, Lucrezia turns to her potions to end his life painlessly, with Cesare vowing that now she will be his for good.
Season-to-date, The Borgias has been averaging 2.4 million weekly viewers across platforms, on par with its sophomore season through the same time frame, with its most recent eighth episode delivering the series highest-rated episode and night this season. In addition to Irons’ Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by a Television Actor in a Drama, the series has earned a total of 10 Emmy nominations to-date, earning two awards in its second season for Outstanding Costumes and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music.
“It has been an honor to work with the great Neil Jordan and the incomparable Jeremy Irons on The Borgias,” said David Nevins, President of Entertainment for Showtime Networks. “Neil has written nearly every episode of this series himself. His extraordinary storytelling combined with Jeremy’s fascinating portrayal of the infamous Pope Alexander VI, has made for truly outstanding television that will live on. I look forward to future collaborations.”
“I never thought I would make a cable series and have enjoyed every minute of it,” said series creator and executive producer Neil Jordan. “For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’ [the final episode], when I wrote it and shot it, did seem like the end of a journey for the family. Whatever bonded them as a family dies in this episode, and the center of the drama for me was always the family. I want to thank Showtime and David Nevins for their unstinting support over the last three years, and look forward to working with them in the future.“