Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

Executive producer James Flynn sees the Showtime period drama series The Borgias as running “ideally four seasons,” he told reporters at a TCA session this morning. “That would be the plan. That would be the ambition,” he said. (A four-season run would mirror that of The Borgias‘ predecessor, The Tudors). “Of course, we can always go beyond that with Pope Julius and his reign.” The series stars Jeremy Irons as the late-15th century Pope Alexander VI and tells the story of he and his family members as something akin to mob figures. The series embarks on its second season later this year. “It seems to me that we are not yet even halfway through Alexander’s reign,” Irons said of his Pope character. “He was there for 12 years, and there is an enormous wealth of material available to us. So I could see us going (much longer).” Earlier in the day, Showtime’s programming chief David Nevins touted Season 2 as “bigger,” featuring “more action, going in more directions.”

A highlight of the panel was when Irons was asked when he had realized that his deep, authoritative voice was a particular asset in his acting tool chest. “I remember when I suppose I was about 29 or 30, I was having as cup of coffee with John Hurt. And we began speaking about all of the good young actors beginning to appear, 19-, 20- and 21-year-old. We became aware we were no longer the young bright newcomers. I said, ‘I have noticed that.’ And John says, ‘You know what I do to them? If I meet one, I say, ‘You know, you have a wonderful voice. Have you ever listened to it?’ And as soon as you do that, they are fucked.’ So the answer is, I’m not aware of my voice.”