The Borgias

The Borgias TV showNetwork: Showtime
Episodes: 29 (hour)
Seasons: Three

TV show dates: April 3, 2011 — June 16, 2013
Series status: Cancelled

Performers include: Jeremy Irons, Francois Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Lotte Verbeek, David Oakes, Colm Feore, Peter Sullivan, Aidan Alexander, Ronan Vibert, Joanne Whalley, Sean Harris, Ruta Gedmintas, Luke Pasqualino, Mickey Sumner, Simon McBurney, Michel Muller, and Mark Noble.

TV show description:      
Set in 15th century Italy at the height of the Renaissance, this history-based TV series chronicles the corrupt rise of patriarch Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) to the papacy, following the death of Pope Innocent VIII. Once in power, Rodrigo proceeds to commit every sin imaginable to amass and retain power, influence, and enormous wealth for himself and his family.

Aiding him in his endeavors are his two sons, Cesare (Francois Arnaud) and Juan (David Oakes). Cesare was forced into the priesthood by his father and yearns to be released from it. Unlike what one might expect from a priest, Cesare is violent, cavalier, and a master schemer. He serves as his father’s Consigliore and carries out the most heinous crimes to advance the family’s cause. He’s often aided by Micheletto (Sean Harris), a low-key but incredibly devoted, cold, and dangerous assassin. Cesare is well-aware of his brother Juan’s faults and believes that he is his father’s favorite.

Juan is a feckless dilettante whom Rodrigo appoints to head the papal armies. He’s filled with swagger and bravado, but in reality is a hopelessly inept coward. More interested in the brothels and taverns of Rome than with defending his family, Juan resents that his brother Cesare is the more apt warrior son.

Daughter Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger) and son Joffre (Aidan Alexander) are married off in early adolescence to members of powerful rival families -– pawns in their family’s fortunes. Lucrezia is a beautiful young girl who is wise beyond her years and the apple of both her father’s and brother Cesare’s eyes. Though she appears to be the the picture of innocence, she has learned much from her her brother and father. Joffre is barely pubescent when he is married off to Sancia of Naples (Emmanuelle Chriqui), a lusty beauty who quickly captures the attention of Joffre’s brother Juan.

Waging their own heated contest for Rodrigo’s affections are Vanozza (Joanne Whalley), his long-time mistress and mother of his children, and the younger Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek), whose cunning is matched only by her astonishing beauty.

Naturally, Rodrigo has many enemies outside of his house as well. The most devoted of these is rich and powerful Cardinal Della Rovere (Colm Feore), Rodrigo’s chief rival for the papacy. When Della loses, he devotes himself to unseating the Pope, whom he sees as lewd, blasphemous, and his vast moral inferior. He becomes so obsessed with his quest that he ends up stooping to the Borgias’ level — and beyond — to achieve his goal.

Series Finale:     
Episode #29 — The Prince
Alexander and Cesare are reconciled at last. The Papal Armies have been fortified with the money saved from the Crusade and the proceeds of the Jubilee. Cesare marches his fearsome army to finish what Juan started — lay siege to Forli. Micheletto reappears. Following a scuffle with Cesare, a drunken Alfonso is near death and Lucrezia turns to her potions to end his life painlessly. Cesare vows that Lucrezia will now be his for good.
First aired: June 16, 2013


What do you think? Do you like The Borgias TV series? Are you sorry that the show won’t have a fourth season?

Canceled and renewed TV show

49 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Deborah says

    I too loved the Borgias, so did my daughters. The actors were physically beautiful, the acting was fantastic, the story was captivating, and I love to watch the episodes over and over. I am very disappointed that the series will not be completed. What happened to Katarina? What happened to Micheletto, did he die of his broken heart? What happened to the big plans of establishing a kingdom for the Borgias? I know the history, but I enjoyed the way the story was being told. Ceseare was not simply a ruthless killer motivated by greed and lust for power. Rodrigo was that guy. There were deep and more intimate reasons for Ceseare’s behavior. I found him irresistable. Lucrezia was innocent and beautiful, with a loving heart, who killed in defense of her child, or her own life. She did not always kill, she simply maimed her Swartza husband. I thought she managed very well for a woman in her position. What of Ceseare’s new wife? Did she never leave France to meet the Borgia’s? Did she ever have a child?

    Too many unanswered questions and we deserved more for making time to be involved with this series.

    • Elli says

      I feel the same as you. The real Rodrigo Borgia, Pope Alexander, died in 1503. The show took us past 1500. I had hoped they would finish at that.
      There are great Wikipedia pieces on many of the real Borgias, and Micheletto, who was a renowned assassin in real life.

  2. Jayne says

    I do not understand why such a successful and compelling drama has been cancelled. The final episode seemed to be a premature ending. The Borgias was one of the best series I have watched. It was of the highest quality. The acting was truly superb. This is a loss and a foolish decision.

  3. Judy says

    This show has to return…I am hooked and need to know the end results. You cannot end a series like this with cliff hangers.

  4. Barbara nolan says

    With so little that’s half interesting to watch
    Why get rid of one of the best shows in a long time.

  5. kathy adams says

    My husband and I both watch The Borgias and can’t wait for the next episode. Captivating, enthralling, beautiful, suspenseful, lots of action, sexual. What more could you want.

    Big mistake cancelling this show. Just like “Deadwood”, they will be sorry to have it go.

  6. says

    Question and Spolier — Did Lucrezia kill herself in the last scene of the last episode? My wife and daughter said yes but my son said no. Can anyone help?

  7. Janice says

    Showtime is making a big mistake not continuing with “The Borgias”. Very disappointed with Showtime. The ratings were on the increase, no reason to cancel, except just some ones whim. .

  8. Tammy says

    How could you cancel such an enthralling show? It was so well written, brilliantly acted and stunning to watch. Epic fail, Showtime. Epic fail.

  9. says

    The writing for the Borgias is the finest on television bar none. The show is perfectly cast; and much of the story has yet to be told. The ratings must be terrific and you’re cancelling it? If the director/creator wants to go on to other projects why cancel the show? It’s the best thing on television. I say get another director and continue the show. I am so disgusted with Showtime. HBO did the same with “Deadwood.” But I NEVER thought Showtime would sink to that level. Why watch cable at all when it’s subject to caprice? Why invest time, suspense, emotional feelings and getting to know and love the characters when the show can be cancelled on a whim? The Borgias is a terrific show you guys should be ashamed of yourselves. We viewers aren’t toys for you to jerk around for advertising dollars. Showtime is a complete farce. I’m certainly not watching your network again. Why bother?

  10. will says

    The show was good. With it not having a 4th season. Will it not have a 2hr movie to end the series or are they Just going to leave the story unfinished. If the Borgia’s has no ending then that’s a day I’ve wasted watching the series. all series should have endings if cancelled & not left unfinished & if you can not finish what you started you shouldn’t start it in the 1st place.

  11. Anthony says

    I’m super bummed that the show has been canceled. It’s been my favorite since it began airing.

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