'The Borgias' Canceled by Showtime After Three Seasons

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

June 5th, 2013


via press release:



LOS ANGELES, CA (June 5th, 2013) – The epic saga of THE BORGIAS, a complex, unvarnished portrait of one of history’s most infamous dynastic families, is created by Academy Award®-winner and Emmy® nominee Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire).  The series will conclude with its final episode on Sunday, June 16th at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.  This expansive drama series stars Oscar® winner Jeremy Irons in his Golden Globe®-nominated role as Pope Alexander VI, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of the infamous Borgia dynasty, who builds an empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy.  THE BORGIAS cast also includes François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley, Lotte Verbeek, Sean Harris, Thure Lindhart, Gina McKee, Peter Sullivan, Julian Bleach and Colm Feore.


"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, Showtime Networks Inc.  "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 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.“

Filmed entirely on location in Budapest, the series' final episode finds 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 averages 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.

Jordan serves as executive producer, writer and director of select episodes.  The third season is also executive produced by Jack Rapke, Darryl Frank, John Weber, Sheila Hockin and James Flynn.  THE BORGIAS is a Canadian-Irish-Hungarian Treaty co-production.


# # #

  • Mon


  • roly


  • roly


  • Rodrigo

    That’s too bad. I thought it would get a short final season.

  • Neil

    Murdered before its time.

  • Colin


  • samurai99

    I don’t watch this show, but I expected it to get at least a finale movie. But you have to admit, 2.4 million is terrible for a show this expensive. My regards to the fans.

  • torontomatt


  • SJ

    Did anybody even watch this? The ratings must have been more than miserable. I don’t recall hearing much about this show over the past three years…

  • The End


    The show was so popular it never managed to pull close to 1 million live viewers during its 2nd and 3rd seasons. Infact it frequently was around the half million mark for quite a few episodes.

    This part

    @The Borgias averages 2.4 million weekly viewers across platforms

    Spin at its finest.

  • Ekras

    Yay! That means more money for good shows!

  • TV Addict

    I still don’t know how to pronounce it…

  • Greg

    Showtime will have to premiere at least two new dramas on 2014 now, with The Borgias getting cancelled and Dexter ending.

    Anyway, the show wasn’t always terrific, but it had its moments and Jeremy Irons was outstanding. I was expecting to at least get a small final season, like Showtime did with The Big C, but I have to assume they didn’t order one because it had a proper ending.

  • Montacore

    Why are they canceling this show? The actors are great as well as the writing. This is the second great show showtime has failed to advertise, then dumped because of ‘low ratings’ the first one was Brotherhood. I am seriously thinking about dropping this channel.

  • Alice

    man, I’m upset! it does seem incredibly expensive though but they’re doing so much advertising for it where I live and the 3rd seasons just started so I was a little shocked.

  • TheExaminer

    That was a big disappointment.. I will miss Dexter much more though.

  • The End


    Not only have you answered your own question as to why this show was canceled, you also neglected to realize the show simply wasn’t popular. These things happen.

    When you have stuff like Homeland getting over 2 million viewers on Showtime, you can see why a show like The Borgias which was frequently getting around half a million viewers would be canceled.

  • SJ

    @TV Addict

    Me neither… I usually say “the Bore-ghee-us” but I’m not sure if that’s right. ;)

  • thesnowleopard

    Oh, damn! I loved that show. Though, admittedly, I’m way behind on it, so I have a ways to go before I’m finished with it.

    On the other hand, I’m not entirely surprised. The buzz on the IMDB boards was that Jordan was inclined to end it with the season finale, a short season or even a two-hour movie. And it sounds like he opted for the first option. It wasn’t the kind of story that could last forever without it turning into something that made the more loyal viewers miserable, so I’m okay with it going out before the real tragedy starts.

    And anyway, it still lasted a season longer than Rome.

  • verus

    Theey dont axe too many shows this way but not surprised as the numbers for Borgias was bad.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures