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September 18, 2014

the borgias

Showtime Cancels 'United States of Tara'; Renews 'Nurse Jackie,' 'The Borgias'

by Chris Harnick, posted May 23rd 2011 2:00PM
United States of Tara, Nurse Jackie'United States of Tara' is coming to an end. Showtime has canceled the Toni Collette comedy.

According to Variety, the third season, which is currently airing, will be the last. Fellow comedy 'Nurse Jackie' has been renewed for a fourth season.

Freshman period drama 'The Borgias' has also been renewed.

'Tara' follows Collette as a suburban mom and wife who struggles with her multiple personalities. The show, which is executive produced by Steven Spielberg and Diablo Cody, got Collette an Emmy. However, the series has been shedding viewers since its premiere.

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The Pope Orders Lucrezia's Husband to Prove His Sexual Potency, on 'The Borgias' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 23rd 2011 5:54AM
'The Borgias' season finaleLucrezia's marriage became a fairly important part of this first season of 'The Borgias' (Sun., 10PM ET on Showtime). As was common of the era, hers was a marriage intended to forge an alliance between her husband's forces and the Papal seat. Unfortunately, when France started an invasion march, Lord Sforza reneged on the expected support.

A miserable Lucrezia finds herself suddenly freed of the burden of her rather horrible husband when the Pope calls on Sforza to prove his potency in front of him and the assembled Cardinals.

He brings in two hefty prostitutes to deepen the humiliation, and finally Sforza requests a divorce. "On what grounds?" the Pope asks him, forcing him to utter this lie and seal it publicly with his identity.

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A 13-Year Old Groom and His Much Older Bride on 'The Borgias' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted May 2nd 2011 6:13AM
'The Borgias' - 'The French King''The Borgias' (Sun., 10PM ET on Showtime) has not shied away from the lengths Rodrigo Borgia would go to cement his ambitions. Even his own children were pawns in his power games, as we've already seen with poor Lucrezia married off to a foreign barbarian she didn't even share a language with.

This time, it was 13-year old Joffre who found himself married off to a much older woman. To make matters worse, his older brother decided to sleep with her before handing her off to Joffre. In fact, Juan kept that avenue of fornication open even after she was married to his little brother.

None of this mattered, though, when Sancia arrived in Joffre's bedchamber to consummate their union. You could see the mixture of excitement and discomfort on his face as she began to disrobe. It was more discomfort than anything else from where we were sitting.

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Showtime Renews 'The Borgias' for Season 2

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 26th 2011 1:00PM
The Borgias, Jeremy IronsReady for more steamy, illicit romantic encounters from the men of the cloth on 'The Borgias'?

Showtime has renewed the series, about the scandal-ridden reign of Pope Alexander VI, for a second season.

The series, set in 1492 Italy, stars a charismatic Jeremy Irons as the Spanish patriarch Rodrigo Borgia, who eventually becomes the head of the Catholic Church. David Oakes, François Arnaud, Holliday Grainger, Lotte Verbeek and Aidan Alexander also star.

'The Borgias' drew an audience of more than 1 million to its April 3 premiere, Showtime's best ratings for a drama series premiere in seven years.

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Is That Sexual Tension Between Siblings on 'The Borgias'? (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 11th 2011 5:18AM
'The Borgias' - 'The Moor'You could cut the tension between Cesare and Lucrezia Borgia with a dinner knife on 'The Borgias' (Sun., 10PM ET on Showtime). Upon finding she was to be married off by her father, the Pope, Lucrezia was very concerned.

"I shall never love a husband as I love you," she told Cesare. It's as touching and romantic a moment as you might imagine. Except ...

Lucrezia is Cesare's little sister. She's also not yet of legal age, though that's more a modern trapping. The sibling thing, though, that keeps the sexual tension in this scene and other scenes the pair share hovering somewhere between unsettling and downright creepy.

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Kyle Richards Might Not Return to 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,' 'The Killing' Posts Respectable Debut Ratings and More

by Jean Bentley, posted Apr 4th 2011 5:45PM
Kyle RichardsWould you watch a Kyle Richards–less 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills'?

The Bravo show has been renewed for a second season, but the cast contracts aren't finalized. While past speculation has focused on Camille Grammer as the housewife most likely to pass on season 2, Richards told E! Online this weekend that she wasn't sure if she'd definitely return to the show.

"We're not really sure who's coming back yet, so we'll see," she told E!. "Right now we're deciding. It's a family decision between my husband, my kids and I, and we have a little time to decide and I'm kind of deciding what I want to do."

Bravo usually doesn't comment on cast decisions until right before the seasons premiere.

In other TV news ...

AMC's highly praised 'The Killing' and Reelz Channel's much-maligned 'The Kennedys' both performed well for their respective networks this weekend. 'The Borgias' also drew a record 1.5 million viewers for Showtime. 'The Killing' saw an audience of 4.7 million in two showings last night, while a record 1.9 million viewers tuned in for the first part of the 'Kennedys' miniseries. That's not saying too much, though, since we doubt many people even knew they had the channel before ... [Entertainment Weekly]

Get ready for more Andy Cohen. The Bravo honcho's 'Watch What Happens Live' was just renewed for a fifth season. The 100th episode of the late-night talk show will air after the 'Real Housewives of New York City' premiere on Thursday night. [TV Guide]

At Oxygen's upfront presentation today, the network announced three new series, as well as the premiere dates for its 'Glee' and Paris Hilton reality shows. 'The Glee Project' will bow June 12 and 'The World According to Paris' will debut June 1. As for the new shows, 'Maids of Drama' chronicles the adventures of bridesmaids, 'Lost Angels' follows Olivia Newton John's daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and 'My Post-Grad Life' is about two women trying to find careers in Philadelphia and Boston. [Deadline]

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'The Borgias': Pope Alexander VI Begins His Reign of Corruption by Buying the Papacy (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 4th 2011 6:39AM
'The Borgias' - 'The Poisoned Chalice/The Assassin' series premiereThe members of the Borgia family are famous for their corruption and for the power and influence they wielded through much of the 15th and 16th centuries. None, perhaps, is more famous than Rodrigo Borgia, who became Pope Alexander VI. 'The Borgias' (Sun., 9PM ET on Showtime) follows his rise to power and prominence.

Like 'The Tudors,' this drama revels in its sin, with sex, violence, bribery and worse simply being a regular part of the day for this first family of the Vatican. In the premiere, we saw the means by which Rodrigo ensured his ascendance to the Papacy -- bribing the cardinals until he received enough votes.

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Review: Jeremy Irons Brings Charisma to 'The Borgias'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 31st 2011 1:00PM
If you saw 'The Tudors,' what transpires on 'The Borgias' (9PM ET Sunday, Showtime) won't come as much of a shock. Bodices are ripped, blasphemies are prosecuted, and the rich get richer -- when they're not killing each other, that is.

It's another dose of middlebrow history with a soupçon of smuttiness, but the difference here is that 'The Borgias' has a much better cast than 'The Tudors' ever did.

'The Tudors' had a number of good supporting actors, but at the center of that show was the leaden, one-dimensional performance of Jonathan Rhys Meyers, who appeared to think that pasting a mild sneer on his face constituted "acting." 'The Borgias,' on the other hand, has Jeremy Irons' steely portrayal at its core, and his velvety magnetism allows the viewer to pardon quite a few of this period drama's lesser sins (even if a few serious sins remain).

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Talking TV Podcast Takes on 'The Killing,' 'The Borgias,' 'Camelot' and 'Mad Men'

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 30th 2011 3:15PM
Spring is bringing us a lot of new programs, and in this week's Talking TV podcast, we shared our thoughts on several of them, and we also took on the ongoing 'Mad Men' kerfuffle (or brouhaha, if you will).

In our discussion of 'The Killing,' Ryan McGee and I shared some thoughts on AMC's emerging house style, and in our conversation about 'The Borgias,' we talked about how Showtime is in need of some fresh energy. Other shows discussed in this week's podcast include 'Body of Proof' and 'Camelot.'

For a breakdown of the topics in this week's conversation, see below.

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What to Watch: March 28 - April 3

by Stephanie Earp, posted Mar 27th 2011 2:30AM
Chaos - Friday April 1, 8PM ET/PT, Global/CBS

Does Freddy Rodriguez balance out Brett Ratner? I'm hoping so. This new spy comedy (I think its a comedy) stars the erstwhile undertaker from 'Six Feet Under' as a CIA agent who finds himself on black-ops missions that are underfunded, underplanned and patently ridiculous. With Ratner ('Prison Break', 'The X-Men: Last Stand') on board as producer, things blow up good, but what's kind of neat about this take on the old spy game is the focus on red tape and bureaucracy. Imagine working for Michael Scott, but your job is to save the world. The supporting cast includes Eric Close ('Without A Trace') who is starting to look a lot like Robert Redford in his best 'Out of Africa' years. Way to age well, Mr. Close.

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Swords, Doctors and Sam Axe: 19 Spring Shows You Need to Know About

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 15th 2011 12:20PM
Fall is always crazy in the TV realm, but the middle of the current season has been just as bananas.

As soon as 2011 rolled around, the networks unleashed a bumper crop of new and returning shows, and only in the past couple of weeks did the relentless pace of premieres and returns simmer down to a manageable level.

We can't get complacent, however, because in the next few weeks, cable and broadcast networks will release yet another barrage of notable new shows, from 'Game of Thrones' to 'The Killing' to 'The Borgias.'

To make sure you don't miss anything, here's a handy list of 19 notable March and April programs. I've put a * next to new programs I've seen at least one episode of. Look for full reviews of most of these programs on TV Squad in coming weeks.

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Jeremy Irons on Playing the Pope for 'The Borgias' & the Trouble With Wearing Pants (VIDEO)

by Maggie Furlong, posted Feb 10th 2011 4:00PM
Jeremy Irons, 'The Borgias'Oscar-, Emmy-, Tony-, SAG- and Golden Globe–winning actor Jeremy Irons has always been a believable villain on stage and screen, but his first U.S. television starring role might be his most scheming of all.

In Showtime's epic new Renaissance-era series 'The Borgias' (two-hour premeire Sun., April 3, 9PM ET), Irons plays Rodrigo Borgia, the Spanish family's patriarch who rises to power in Italy and eventually becomes the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Alexander VI.

With that newfound authority, Rodrigo and his family became synonymous with scandal. The show documents their controversial reign with gorgeous scenery (shot outside of Budapest, Hungary) and period costuming -- something Irons really got used to. In fact, when I sat down with him, he was complaining about how difficult it was to go back to wearing pants after shooting. Not to mention how hard it was to not be Pope anymore ...

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Five Reasons Why 2011 Could Be the Year of Showtime

by Laura Prudom, posted Jan 7th 2011 4:00PM
William H. MacyOnce upon a time, premium cable was kind of a one-trick pony. HBO was the go-to channel for original, risk-taking programming without the strictures and irritating commercial interruptions of broadcast network TV, and other pay-cable networks just couldn't rival HBO's subscriber base, impressive production budgets or awards season glory.

Thankfully, this is no longer the case, with both basic cable networks (like AMC and FX) and smaller, edgier premium channels (like Showtime and Starz) having stolen the spotlight from their pay-cable granddaddy over the past few years.

This Sunday, Showtime is debuting two of its most buzzworthy new series -- Matt LeBlanc's triumphant return to TV, the single-camera comedy 'Episodes,' and dysfunctional family drama 'Shameless,' starring William H. Macy. And, to sweeten the deal, the network is offering a free preview weekend from Jan. 7 through Jan. 10, so that 60 million homes will have the opportunity to get hooked on the new shows without subscribing. Three excellent reasons to predict that 2011 might be Showtime's strongest year yet; join us after the jump for more!

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Watch the Trailer for Showtime's 'The Borgias'

by Jean Bentley, posted Dec 7th 2010 2:15PM
'The Borgias'"Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias," reads the official description of Showtime's newest sprawling period drama. Appropriately titled 'The Borgias,' the new series stars Jeremy Irons as the dastardly patriarch of a social-climbing family during the Italian Renaissance.

The tagline of the show touts the Borgias as "the original crime family." And how: a peek at the House of Borgia Wikipedia page (because we're scholarly like that) reveals that the noble family was accused of adultery, theft, rape, bribery, incest and murder during its reign. How very TV-friendly!

The official trailer Showtime released on Monday hints at plenty of those crimes (heavy on the adultery), leading us to believe that the show will be a cross between 'The Tudors' and 'The Sopranos,' with a little Catholicism thrown into the mix. In other words: We're sold.

Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Watch a Preview of Showtime's 'The Borgias'

by Jane Murphy, posted Jun 3rd 2010 3:08PM
Power, sex, and lots of red velvet. Showtime found success with the royal saga of 'The Tudors' and will now reach back a few decades to examine another dysfunctional ruling family. 'The Borgias' is slated for a 2011 debut and will replace 'The Tudors' in Showtime's lineup.

Whether you're 20 years old, or 420, you may have heard "Lucrezia Borgia" used as an insult. Lucrezia's reputation as a promiscuous murderess has endured since the 15th century. But the centerpiece of Showtime's drama will be Lucrezia's father, Rodrigo. Played by Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons ('Reversal of Fortune'), the scheming Rodrigo is elected Pope in 1492.

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