I hear that there is a strong possibility the current third season of Showtime‘s Borgias is the papal drama’s last as a regular series. No final decisions have been made, with Showtime brass expected to wait until Season 3 ends its run, but I hear the drama, created by Neil Jordan, is considering wrapping its story with a two-hour movie.
The Borgias producers originally envisioned the series starring Jeremy Irons as the cunning Pope Alexander VI as going for four seasons, matching the run of Showtime predecessor The Tudors. But during the recent launch campaign for Season 3, Jordan indicated that he had changed plans. “I would like to finish it with a two-hour movie,” he told the British press. “Another 10 episodes is kind of exhausting. I’ve mapped out a movie, which, if (Showtime brass) agree, will shoot in June with the same cast, and finally the Pope will die horribly.” I hear at the moment Showtime toppers are leaning toward not doing a fourth season of Borgias, though that may change as the series is gaining ratings momentum, The 10-episode third season launched on Showtime last month to 582,000 viewers, down slightly (4%) from the 2012 second season opener. But the most recent Episode 3 drew the biggest audience (674,000 viewers) and largest total night viewership (918,000) of the season. Some continuation of Borgias beyond Season 3 would be in line with Showtime entertainment president David Nevins’ philosophy of giving series proper ending. “It’s really important to me that our audience feels taken care of,” he said in January, indicating that bringing Big C back for a final installment as a limited series was part of that strategy. Jordan serves as writer and director of and executive produces the Canadian-Irish-Hungarian Treaty co-production.
Sunday saw the return of Showtime’sNurse Jackie and The Borgias. Nurse Jackie, with new showrunner Clyde Phillips, opened its fifth season at 9 PM to 770,000 viewers. That’s up 18% from the … Read More »
Backgammon has set its cast and stated production. The Borgias’ Noah Silver joins All My Children’s Brittany Allen, General Hospital’s Christian Alexander, Alex Beh and Rescue Me’s Olivia Crocicchia in the indie psychological relationship thriller. Production started today in Portland, Maine. Francisco Orvañanos is directing and he co-write the script with Todd Niemi and R.B. Russell based on Russell’s novella Bloody Baudelaire. Orvañanos and Chris B. Moore are producing for 3:1 Cinema and Fischer Productions. Read More »
Four episodes into its second season, Showtime‘s Renaissance drama The Borgias has been renewed for a 10-episode third season to premiere in 2013. Production is slated to begin this summer in Budapest. The second season of The Borgias launched with 604,000 viewers, down 43% from last year’s series debut. (The premiere’s total has since grown to 2.6 million.) Still, the Jeremy Irons-starring drama is the most watched of Showtime’s current lineup: In its most recent airing, it drew 579,000 viewers at 10 PM, vs. 474,000 for Nurse Jackie and 429,000 for The Big C. There is no word on the fate of those two comedies, with Nurse Jackie‘s chances looking better. The pickup brings The Borgias closer to the producers’ goal to wrap the story in four seasons, as revealed at TCA last summer. It also comes on the heels of the competing European-produced Borgia series being renewed for a second season. Read More »
Moving from Monday to Sunday, Showtime’s dark comedy Nurse Jackie opened its fourth season with 653,000 viewers at 9 PM last night, up 7% from last season’s premiere. Meanwhile, fellow dark comedy The Big C, which also switched … Read More »
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.” Read More »
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2011 Emmy coverage. Here’s his scorecard assessing the Outstanding Drama Series Director race.
Martin Scorsese, Boardwalk Empire (HBO) “Pilot” Why He Was Nominated: What, are you kidding? Had Martin Scorsese not been nominated for having directed the pilot of HBO’s Prohibition-themed mob epic Boardwalk Empire, the embarrassment would have been never-ending. The legendary director has eight Oscar nominations (and a lone win in 2007 for The Departed) to his credit along with three Emmy noms (including three this year). Most important, he’s Martin Scorsese. That’s really all you need to know. Why He Has To Win: For so many reasons. Start with the fact that, of Scorsese’s five previous Emmy noms, he won none. There’s an oversight that the TV Academy seemingly needs to correct. He’s coming off of a DGA Award triumph for Boardwalk. He’s a universally revered filmmaker and human being. And the competition, while it includes a fellow Oscar winner, isn’t overwhelming. Of course, even if it were, it wouldn’t matter. As one series director told me, “There are a lot of things I can imagine, but Martin Scorsese losing here isn’t one of them.” Why He Can’t Possibly Win: This would only be possible had Scorsese’s name inadvertently been omitted from the voting ballot. There is a slight possibility that the Boardwalk vote could be split given the fact there are a pair of nominees, but probably not. The fact the series premiere happened a year ago also could lose him a few votes. But not many. Read More »
Showtime has renewed dark comedy series Nurse Jackie for a fourth season. Meanwhile, it’s the end of the road for fellow comedy United States of Tara, which is being canceled after three seasons. Additionally, Showtime’s drama The Borgias, which … Read More »
The Borgias will be back. Showtime today renewed the costume drama starring Jeremy Irons for a second season with a 10-episode order. The series, from creator Neil Jordan, debuted earlier this month with 1.06 million viewers, the pay-cable network’s largest premiere audience for a drama series in seven years. (The cumed audience for the pilot across multiple platforms has reached 3.71 million). As it moved from 9 PM to 10 PM after the premiere, the original-airing ratings dipped, but the averages over multiple runs have remained consistent and, season-to-date, The Borgias, set in Renaissance Italy, is pacing ahead of the highest-rated season of Showtime’s previous period drama, The Tudors. Showtime had already commissioned additional scripts, which are being written by Jordan. Production of Season 2 will begin in the summer for a 2012 premiere. “Neil Jordan’s cleverly crafted tale of a 15th century papal family has proven quickly addictive,” Showtime’s entertainment president David Nevins said. “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.” Read More »
Kate Bulkley is covering MIPTV at Cannes for Deadline
After several years of doom and gloom, things look brighter at MIPTV this year with ramped-up demand for series and big-event programming, says Jan Mojto, whose EOS companies, including Beta Film, specialize in event productions. “For the first time in two years, we are really hearing nothing about (bad) economics,” he said. “The broadcasters need more and they I think are willing to pay more, at least that is what we hope. Certainly there is a better spirit than last year here.” Read More »
UPDATED: This past weekend offered a flurry of cable premieres, including The Killing on AMC, The Borgias on Showtime, Camelot on Starz and miniseries The Kennedys on ReelzChannel. The ratings for all four came in strong, with two, The Kennedys and Camelot, setting all-time records for their netw… Read More »
From Ray Richmond, who is contributing to Deadline Hollywood’s TCA coverage:
There’s no mystery where Showtime is taking its marketing orders from in promoting its forthcoming historical costume drama series The Borgias that premieres April 3. The tagline hypes it as … Read More »
Showtime has announced January premiere dates for new drama series Shameless, new comedy series Episodes and the fourth season of Californication. Shameless, John Wells and Paul Abbott’s adaptation of Abbott’s British series, will debut on Sunday, Jan. 9 at 10 PM. It … Read More »