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Netflix to bow ‘Borgia’

Fontana 12-parter has sold in nearly 40 countries

Tom Fontana’s 12-part drama “Borgia” is bound for a Netflix bow by year’s end, the netcaster confirmed Monday.

Netflix has nabbed U.S. and Canadian rights to the costume drama produced by a clutch of Euro production companies: Lagardere Entertainment’s Atlantique Prods. in France, Jan Mojto’s EOS Entertainment, which owns Munich-based Beta Film, and Prague’s Etic.

The $30 million historical mini stars John Doman (“The Wire”) as Rodrigo Borgia who becomes Pope Alexander VI.

Netflix has yet to specify a premiere date or a rollout strategy for the mini. News of the licensing pact comes as the netcaster is under scrutiny for raising its prices and for the tug-of-war it has faced with in cutting deals with Hollywood’s majors.

Netflix rep Steve Swasey said the “Borgia” pact is a harbinger of more deals to come. It has another original drama series, “House of Cards,” from David Fincher and Kevin Spacey, set to bow next year.

“We’ve said more content is coming and this is part of it,” said Swasey.

Netflix has more than 25 million subscribers in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.

“Borgia” has sold in nearly 40 countries. In Italy, the series was a big hit for News Corp. satcaster Sky Italia. It premieres next month in France (Canal Plus), Germany (ZDF) and Austria (ORF).

The project was hatched around the same time that Showtime began developing its own series with Neil Jordan about the legendary 15th century Italian clan. Showtime’s “The Borgias” bowed in April and has been renewed for a second season.

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