×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Borgias to replace ‘Tudors’?

Showtime eyes possible successor to show

Murder, adultery, thievery, family intrigue and great costumes: Sounds like grist for a pay cable drama, and that’s what scribe-helmer Neil Jordan intends to make of the infamous Borgia clan for Showtime, DreamWorks Television and Robert Zemeckis’ ImageMovers banner.

Jordan (“The Crying Game,” “The Brave One”) has penned a script and a bible for a prospective series that the pay cabler is eyeing as a possible successor to “The Tudors.” Jordan will exec produce with DreamWorks TV’s Justin Falvey and Darryl Frank, along with Zemeckis, Jack Rapke and Steve Starkey of ImageMovers.

Showtime execs are high on the project, revolving around the notorious Italian noble family that ran amok during the Renaissance, but have yet to formally greenlight a pilot. The pay cabler is in the market for a historical costume drama as it prepares to bid farewell to “The Tudors” after its fourth and final season runs in the spring.

Jordan’s project is the second Borgias project to emerge this year. Tom Fontana, Chris Albrecht and Anne Thomopoulos have been shepherding a Euro production that is awaiting a greenlight decision from the French and German banners set to finance the 12-episode project (Daily Variety, Feb. 27).

Jordan has been pursuing a feature project on the notorious Italian noble family for years. He most recently had Colin Farrell and Scarlett Johansson attached to star in a project for ImageWorks (Daily Variety, Nov. 3, 2005).

DreamWorks principal Stacey Snider is credited with suggesting that Jordan’s vision might be better served as a pay TV series rather than a feature. There’s a wealth of material in the story of Rodrigo Borgia, who served as Pope Alexander VI from 1492-1503 before dying suddenly (reportedly after drinking from a bottle of his own poisoned wine), and his murderous and larcenous children Lucrezia, Cesare and Juan. Cesare’s efforts to become ruler of Italy helped inspire Macchiavelli’s treatise on ruthlessness, “The Prince.”

Perhaps it’s appropriate to the material that there may be a Borgias brawl brewing for the Jordan and Fontana projects. Fontana recently turned in revised drafts of the first two segs, and a final greenlight decision from backers Lagardere Entertainment and Canal Plus, among others, is expected to come within a few weeks. The plan is to shoot the series in English to facilitate its sale to a U.S. outlet.

More TV

  • Five Takes on Canal Plus, Federation’s

    Just Days Left to Catch Canal Plus’ ‘The Bureau’ on MyFFF

    The most lauded of titles on this year’s MyFrenchFilmFestival, UniFrance’s online showcase featured by over 50 OTT services around the world, may not be a film but a drama series. With four seasons aired, and a milestone in world sales on a French TV show, slow-boiling espionage series ‘Le Bureau des légendes’ (“The Bureau”) is [...]

  • Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith

    Walt Disney Archives Founder Dave Smith Dies at 78

    Walt Disney Archives founder Dave Smith, the historian who spent 40 years cataloging and preserving the company’s legacy of entertainment and innovation, died Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 78. Smith served as Disney’s chief archivist from 1970 to 2010. He was named a Disney Legend in 2007 and served as a consultant to the [...]

  • TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA

    TV Writer Christopher Knopf, Former WGA West President, Dies at 91

    Prolific Emmy-nominated television writer Christopher Edwin Knopf, former president of the Writers Guild of America West, died in his sleep of congestive heart failure on Feb. 13. He was 91. Knopf was born in New York and attended UCLA, leaving during his senior year to join the Air Force during World War II. He finished [...]

  • Jussie Smollett The Black AIDS Insitute

    Jussie Smollett Case: Two Suspects Released Without Charges as New Evidence Emerges

    After two days of questioning, the Chicago Police Department announced Friday evening that it has released two suspects in the Jussie Smollett case without filing charges. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said that detectives had developed new information in the case. Police no longer consider the men to be suspects. “Due to new evidence as a [...]

  • GOTHAM: L-R: Guest star Cameron Monaghan

    TV News Roundup: Fox Drops 'Gotham' Final Season Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s TV news roundup, Fox released a new trailer for an upcoming episode of “Gotham” and Disney has announced the cast for its upcoming “High School Musical” series.  FIRST LOOKS Showtime released a new trailer and the official poster for the upcoming fourth season of “Billions,” premiering March 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. In [...]

  • Chris Rock

    Chris Rock to Direct Kenan Thompson Comedy Pilot at NBC

    Chris Rock has come onboard to direct the NBC single-cam comedy pilot “Saving Kenan,” Variety has learned. Rock will also executive produce the pilot, which stars “SNL” mainstay Kenan Thompson. Thompson will play a newly widowed dad determined to be everything for his kids while begrudgingly letting his persistent father-in-law become more involved in their lives [...]

  • Peak TV Saturation TV Placeholder

    Apollo Global Management Buys Majority Stake in Cox TV Stations

    Private equity giant Apollo Global Management has cut a deal with Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises to buy a majority stake in Cox’s 13 TV stations as well as three newspapers and a handful of radio stations in Ohio. Apollo has been in the hunt for broadcast TV stations for some time. Cox’s station group, which includes [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content