Mini exec produced by Albrecht, Thomopoulos

Let the bloodletting begin. Canal Plus and German production company EOS have greenlit production of 12-hour mini “The Borgias,” exec produced by Chris Albrecht and Anne Thomopoulos.

Project, penned by Tom Fontana, will be a co-production with multiple European partners, but will be shot in English to facilitate its sale to a U.S. network. Casting is under way, and production is targeted to begin in Europe in the spring. Canal Plus is eyeing an airdate in the first quarter of 2011.

Albrecht made the greenlight announcement Monday at the Mipcom international TV sales confab in Cannes, where he’s shopping the project to buyers. Albrecht noted it could mark “the beginning of the modern era of European co-productions” because it was not dependent on having a U.S. outlet before it was greenlit.

“As the economy makes it more difficult to produce high-quality projects, this could be a new way to bring interesting projects to the screen and to bring work to (Hollywood) talent,” Albrecht said.

Albrecht’s “Borgias” will face some competish in the U.S. market from a project in the works at Showtime about the fiendish Italian clan from helmer Neil Jordan and DreamWorks TV (Daily Variety, Sept. 18).

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