After three seasons, the TV series focusing on the nefarious Pope Alexander VI and his wild family is being cancelled. The final episode, The Prince, will air this Sunday on Showtime in the US and Bravo in Canada.
Series creator and executive producer Neil Jordan explained, “For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’, 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.”
Filmed entirely on location in Budapest, the series’ final episode finds Alexander (Jeremy Irons) and Cesare (François 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 castle at Forli.
David Nevins, President of Entertainment for Showtime, adds, “It has been an honor to work with the great Neil Jordan and the incomparable Jeremy Irons on The Borgias. 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,” Jordan noted. “For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’, 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.”
Ratings for the third season The Borgias has averaged 2.4 million total viewers across platforms, about the same it did last year. Coupled with the high cost of producing the series, these numbers meant that a final fourth season of the show would not be made.
Jordan says, “I would have loved to bring all the characters to a conclusion. All of the actors were heartbroken we couldn’t continue, and so was I.”
There were rumours of a two-hour finale being created, but Jordan explains ‘Ultimately the show was designed as a regular series, and I was reluctant to do an extra two-hour disconnected from the whole that could be potentially anti-climactic. Now we have a nice upward build towards the finale. We have a nice ending, a good climax, and I didn’t want to muck it up with an afterthought.”
Jeremy Irons received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by a Television Actor in a Drama for his portrayal of Rodrigo Borgia, while 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.