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Showtime Grants 'Borgias' Third Season

Pseudo historical drama is cable channel's most-watched show

It's not exactly pulling in "Game of Thrones" numbers, but it's not as bad as "Boss," either.

It doesn't matter, because Jeremy Irons will be working at least another year with Showtime giving "The Borgias" a third season.

The series, set during the papacy of Alexander VI, has been billed as a recreation of the world's first crime family. Alexander VI was known to have a family and children, and many believed he manipulated his way to leading the Roman Catholic Church during the days when not just believers feared him, but kings as well.

Although Alexander VI was a real pope who served between 1492 and 1503, the series itself is more historical fiction, using characters known to history, but creating fictional story arcs for them. That means that while Alexander VI was a pope for 11 years in reality, there's no telling how the series will see his demise.

"Borgias" recently earned 579,000 viewers in its most recent airing, according to Deadline.com. However, unlike network television, premium cable channels don't depend on viewers alone for particular programs. Such original series can continue to live as long as they are attracting new subscribers by creating a buzz for the network, or becoming something that people will want to watch, and are willing to spend extra money to see it.

The series is run by Neil Jordan, an Irish producer who also created the show. Known more for his films like "The Crying Game" and "Interview With a Vampire," Jordan turned to television for the first time to create "The Borgias."

It also stars Francois Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Joanne Whalley and Lotte Verbeek.

The first season of the show was nominated for six Emmys, and won two -- Outstanding Costume for a Series and Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. It was nominated for Outstanding Special Visual Effects, Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (Jordan), Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Paul Sarossy), and Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Series.

"The Borgias" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on Showtime.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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