'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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  • Gina

    Its really terrible that showtime chose to cancel the Borgias. Its a good show. & leaving in season 3, doesn’t officially end the whole story. Leaving viewers up in the air & without an ending. Finish the series off & end it as history has been written.
    Its always the viewer & show’s followers that are also victims of ratings. Why can’t showtime finish the series “just because it can”.

  • tad

    so disappointed….totally enjoyed this show…just watched the entire 3 seasons in the past few months…I did not know about this show previously

  • numan

    How sad! We have done our best to dumb people down in this country….Biggest Looser, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, Survival, etc., and then when there is an actual “historical” series people don’t watch, or in some cases, education, intelligence, etc., We found this series the first year, and wait for the spring for it to be on! Thought Rome was great also! We really are under – educated, and dumb. We have loved the series.

  • Lynette

    The comments left, for the most part, suck and are incredibly WRONG. This show could have been on the history channel for its impecable historical value. You people are boring foons. I wouldn’t like you at a party due to your limited, unimaginative, brainless charature. You probably watch 2.5 men on creepy free TV. I pay for good TV with epic quality. The Borgias is an excellent example of not good but great TV with quality acting, sets, costuming, character development, writing, drama, and history told with beleivable plots as they occurred. I am extremely and completely disappointed and disgusted with Show Time. You keep ripping off customers over and over again with hyped advertising for months before airing a series only to pull the series out from under us with a despicable, unacceptable, corporate cowardly ending. I refuse to pay for your tea and jam television programs with high ratings. The Americans is a good, but not great, series. It’s a sad version of Maxwell Smart with commie spy’s from the cold war. A bad novel stretched into TV fiction. Oh how about drugie gone saint plotless Nurse Jackie…there’s a series we can’t live without! A reminder that every family has someone in rehab or 12 step program. Bring it on Show Time, we need that reality as entertainment!
    I am cancelling my subscription to Show Time. I am fed up with your titillating commercials to subscribe and failure to stick it out and deliver because of numbers. You have become a “Gillian’s Island” channel. You lack diversity! REMEMBER Seinfeld? Low ratings for many seasons but they stuck it out. It took courage and commitment. Humor before its time-a Pink Floyd. Now it’s one of the most beloved series ever.
    I think S.T. has become a cowardly money mongering corperation. You are no longer interested in producing quality. Therefore i am no longer interested in your BS. You are gone on my T.V. Soon I will wait for distribution of your 3 season series at Walmart, be less frustrated and penny wise.

  • Babs

    Bring back the best writing & acting on cable- the Borgias! Intelligent acting, great production. C’mon Showtime- reconsider. We watch, we think, we love it!

  • Will B

    This is the best show ever, it has not been marketed properly, awareness is weak, but once people get to watch it, it is pure addiction, shame they decided to cancel it

  • scrappy

    My husband and I are faithful viewers of The Borgias and are very disappointed to read that it has been cancelled. :(

  • Ron G

    This ducks. Must be the work of the Catholic church leadership

  • Val

    I rarely watch TV, cause there’s so much more to life then just TV, however, I have never missed an episode of the Borgias!! It was the best show on TV. Cancellation of this show breaks my heart. I love the characters/actors and wish them all great success. I truly will miss this show. PLZ SHOWTIME RENEW!! If the Borgias was canceled because of the new show “THE VATICAN” I will not watch it and I’ll tell all my friends and they’ll tell theirs not to watch it as well.

  • LT Miller

    The most captivating writing since “The Tudors”. I hung on every word.

    Damnit :(

  • Judith

    All the great shows get cancelled. This was a brilliantly written . It’s not always about mainstream shows. So sad it’s gone!!!

  • Val

    I agree 100% with Lynette!! Her comment was brilliantly written and she is so right!! I’m canceling my subscription of Show Time too! I don’t need it anymore, since “The Borgias” was the only reason I added it, to my list.

  • Betty

    This was my favorite show. It had it all, beautiful costumes, great acting, beautiful sets, great writing, “drama” and history all-in-one. It was a very realistic show and kept me on the edge of my seat. Why would Show Time cancel such a GEM!! It’s a “diamond” in the rough!!Don’t be CHEAP Show Time!!! Spend the money, renew the show and put it on at a different time. Even if you have to remove the brief nudity to put it in a prime time spot, at least you’re giving it one last try. Don’t give up so easily. Give it another go. You might be surprised.

  • Ralph

    Betty has a good point. Move the show to a different day and time. Give it one more season. Even Seinfeld rating where awful in the first 3-4 season but the ratings picked up, the show became a big hit. NBC did not give up on Seinfeld, they moved it around. In the 4th season, it was in the top ten ratings and they put it behind their #1 show and made it even more popular. Took 4 season for Seinfeld to make it in the top 10 BUT it stayed in the top 3 rating for 5 seasons. Don’t give up on Borgias. It has so much potential to be more.

  • Tina

    If you don’t want to renew the show, sell it to either FOX or HBO. I’m sure they’d love to have it! Both go all out for their TV shows. The Borgais would be a big hit for both of them. TO FOX and HBO – Borgias is up for bid! Any takers?

  • cas127

    “Move the show to a different day and time.”


    This thing gets repeated *six or seven times* at different primetime time slots throughout *each week*.

    It basically is realistically *not possible* to give a show more sampling/airtime.

  • waremtae

    So sad!! Yet another great show gets the axe. Well, at least now my cable bill will be lower, because I am dropping showtime.

  • FroggyGuy

    Sooo sad, those historic series like romeor the tudors are too expensive and too elitist for brainwashed audience, just have to read some comments here ! Showtime is to blame but not only…. And crp like falling skies keep going… Aliens are way better than actual history aren’t they ? A fourth season would have been so cool. The falling of the borgia family is something that should deserve an entire movie. Only lucrecia made it for some times after the death of pope alexander

  • Anna

    I’m really upset; I love this show!!!
    I totally agree with Montacore!!!
    I’m gonna miss them badly!:(

  • Dave

    I liked the show… Unfortunately, I was turned off by Jeremy Irons recent diarrhea of the mouth and felt guilty watching it. I don’t think people like Mr Irons need my support in keeping them filthy rich!

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