Sex, murder, intrigue—and the tiniest bit of religion—have made a successful cocktail for Showtime. The network has picked up "The Borgias" for a second season.
"The Borgias" tells the real-life tale—totally fictionalized, however—of Rodrigo Borgia, a cunning cardinal who became Pope Alexander in the 15th century. Jeremy Irons appears to be having an awfully fun time playing the Pope, chewing the beautiful scenery to bits.
The series has been attracting at least 1 million viewers for the debut airing of each new episode. The 10 episodes of its second season will debut in spring 2012.
Below is the Showtime press release:
SHOWTIME has picked up a second season of its hit drama series THE BORGIAS, it was announced today by David Nevins, President of Entertainment, Showtime Networks Inc. The series, which debuted earlier this month to critical and audience acclaim, delivered the best ratings for a new SHOWTIME drama series in seven years and attracted 3.71 million viewers across multiple platforms (On Demand, replays and DVR) during its premiere week. Season-to-date, THE BORGIAS is pacing ahead of THE TUDORS season four, the series' highest rated season ever. Ten new episodes will go into production this summer to air in 2012.
"THE BORGIAS has become Sunday night appointment viewing for a broad swath of our subscribers," said Nevins. "Neil Jordan's cleverly crafted tale of a 15th century papal family has proven quickly addictive. It's a tribute to his incredible skills as an auteur and to the extraordinary cast led by Jeremy Irons that this show fits so seamlessly into our line-up of quality shows."
The series stars Oscar®-winner Jeremy Irons as Rodrigo Borgia, the cunning, manipulative patriarch of The Borgia family who builds an empire by bribing, buying and muscling his way into the papacy. Along the way, the family commits virtually every sin in the book and invents more than a few of their own.
Academy Award®-winning director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) will continue to serve as creator, executive producer, writer and will again direct the first two episodes. Accompanying Jordan this season is writer and director David Leland (Wish You Were Here, Band of Brothers) who will write several episodes and also direct two episodes. The series will again be produced as a Canadian-Irish-Hungarian Treaty co-production.
The first season of THE BORGIAS airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT through its May 22nd season finale.