Sadly for fans of The Borgias, the June 16th season three finale will actually act as the series finale for the Showtime original drama. Starring Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI, the show was originally slated to span four seasons, similar to Showtime forerunner The Tudors. After speculation that Showtime executives were holding off on cancellation based on ratings, and further rumours of a two-hour wrap-up movie in lieu of a fourth season, it is reported that both options proved too expensive for Showtime, and they have instead chosen to end the series as it stands.
Showrunner Neil Jordan released a statement, saying, “I never thought I would make a cable series and have enjoyed every minute of it. For a variety of reasons we won’t be doing a fourth season, but, ‘The Prince’ [the final episode], 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.” Jordan had previously suggested that the wrap-up mini-movie would have been a “totally biblical ending” featuring “the Pope dying and no one willing to hear his confession. When they finally find a confessor and the Pope starts to repent his sins, the confessor interrupts him, saying, ‘I’m sorry, it’s too late, you’re already dead and burning in hell.’”
Showtime entertainment president David Nevins added that “[î]t 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.”
Despite its cancellation, The Borgias most recent episode earned the drama a series high in the ratings, and has been averaging approximately 2.4 million viewers weekly. Earning Jeremy Irons a Golden Globe nomination,The Borgias also picked up no less than 10 Emmy nods, winning in both costume design and theme music categories.
This fall, Showtime will air a new religion-based drama called The Vatican, starring Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights and Early Edition.