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Showtime’s historical drama The Borgias has been cancelled after three seasons.
The television show stars Jeremy Irons as Pope Alexander VI, the patriarch of the Borgia family. The series was created by Neil Jordan, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for The Crying Game , and has been nominated for 10 Emmy awards throughout its run.
"I never thought I would make a cable series and have enjoyed every minute of it," Jordan said in a statement, as reported by USA Today . "For a variety of reasons we won't be doing a fourth season, but ‘The Prince’ (the series finale) 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."
The news did not come as much of a surprise, as rumors of the show’s demise have been circulating for some time. Last Sunday’s premiere episode for its third and final series only drew 804,000 viewers. The show is drawing 2.4 million viewers across platforms, sources from Showtime report.
The series was initially to run for four seasons, matching Showtime’s more successful period series, The Tudors . However, Jordan said that while filming a scene for a season three episode, Irons turned to him and said, “this feels like the end of something, that the family has come to an end.” Deadline reports that Jordan felt he would have a difficult time coming up for material for the fourth season, and decided ending the series prematurely was the best decision.
“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,” Jordan said.
Though Jordan originally envisioned an ending of “biblical” proportions, in which the Pope meets his end in Hell, the writer is now forced to shelve that story for a possible two-hour feature after the show’s finale.
The Borgias season three finale, the final episode in the series, is set to air on Showtime June 16.