'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.


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  • Philip

    I don’t get why Showtime keeps doing shows like this when they fail. The Tudors, The borgias, and now The Vatican will replace this I think.

  • AO


    Not shocked, but definitely disappointed. Imo, while this wasn’t among the best cable shows, it was still pretty good and in the next best tier.

    On the plus side, this will help my Sundays, which sometimes have 11-12 shows to watch/record.

  • dave

    I am glad,it is not that great of a show.If they would have focused on the politics of the time,they would have had a great show,but,too much sex and gay sex even on top of it.I never thought,I would say it,but,there is a thing as too much of it. Alot happened during that time and literally little or nothing has been mentioned about it..

  • thesnowleopard


    Oh, yes. I’m sure the gay sex was totally why the show was canceled. Had nothing to do with low ratings or cost or showrunner burnout or anything like that. Just gay sex, the great showkiller.

  • Maggie

    I wonder what this is truly about? It obviously isn’t ratings.

  • The End

    @I wonder what this is truly about? It obviously isn’t ratings.

    That’s some serious denial you have there.

    Because obviously, when a show is getting 420,000 viewers for its 7th episode of Season 3. It totally isn’t going to be canceled because of the ratings, am I right? ;)

  • CJWoods

    And yet shows like Glee get renewed for 2 seasons.

    Loving your criteria for tv shows, America.

  • KHoward

    I am distraught at the thought that this is the last of this series. Every time a program begins to explore the bounds of historical events our unfortunate lack of curiosity and creativity succumbs to an shortness of attention span. Kudos to all involved in making this a fantastic series which may have rekindled some interest in the long ignored history which ultimately led to the rebirth of art and politics in the modern world.

  • thesnowleopard

    @The End
    Except that it’s on a premium cable channel and criteria are somewhat different for those channels than even basic cable. HBO had shows doing far worse (as in half the audience) two years ago and still renewed some of them. And some shows that were actually doing pretty well in the ratings just a few years before still got canceled after two seasons because they were expensive–like Rome. Yes, that’s HBO, but Showtime is similarly peculiar in its expectations, since it’s supported by a different model than regular networks.

    The Borgias was never going to be a show with a really long run. It was expensive. It was about a relatively short-lived dynasty. It ran through plot like a kid on a sugar high through a zoo. Its showrunner was writing most of the episodes. Jordan even ended each season in a way where it could have been the last. That probably should have been a hint he didn’t have a grand five-year plan like so many self-absorbed showrunners and didn’t intend to keep it going forever. While I’m sure Showtime didn’t squeal too loudly, considering the ratings, I don’t think those ratings were the only reason.

  • Fake Me Out

    @TV Addict

    I still don’t know how to pronounce it…

    I know it’s an odd way to spell it but it’s pronouced Jo-nz’… :-)

  • Chris

    This sux, I love this show, I can’t believe the numbers were down, there is quite abit more to this story, was hoping to see one more season.

  • Jason

    MTV – do us a favor and change AWKWARD’s timeslot, Thank you. You welcome.

  • Jason

    Opps, worng post. sorry.

  • Mumbo

    It’s a bit frustrating just because they only needed one more season to reach Pope Alexander’s death. But if the finale works as an ending to the series then so be it. Kind of wish they were doing that finale movie they were talking about though.

    The Borgias was an excellent show for anyone with any kind of attention span, it was superior to its peers (Tudors, Vikings) and probably deserved better than it got, but it’s hard to argue anything positive with regards to ratings.

  • Sab G

    Ugh, this is such disappointing news. They definitely had at least another season’s worth of story to tell.

  • timmay!!

    Kind of expected when its run up against Game of Thrones.

  • Meows1


    I love this show. I don’t know why the numbers were so bad. I eagerly await each and every episode and have purchased the seasons when they are available, so I can watch them over again. Period pieces are my favorites and this one had just enough history, intrigue, sex and yes, violence to make it believable. It also didn’t hurt that there were a lot of HOT guys in the cast. Sunday nights won’t be the same without Rodrigo.

  • mike

    its a shocker i surprised it didnt last longer than weeds

  • Princess

    And so shows like the Kardashians, the Bachelor and the Bachelorette keep on getting renewed….Go figure!

  • Dolly

    I really like this show good acting and a really interesting story line about a family from history. If HBO can drag on with the a show that has got tired and boring like TRUE Blood then let keep a show that is still fresh and interesting, thrilling to watch

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