Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fans battle to bring back The Borgias (TELEGRAPH)

Fans battle to bring back The Borgias

By Caroline Hedley, Los Angeles5:56PM BST 22 Jun 2013

Devotees of the acclaimed historical drama starring Jeremy Irons as the corrupt 15th century Pope Alexander VI are to send hundreds of cans of sardines to the office of Showtime’s head of entertainment David Nevins, after the network announced it had cancelled plans for a promised fourth season of the show.

“Many of us feel that we have been cheated,” said Barbara Christel, organiser of the Bring Back The Borgias Facebook group.

“We were told we would have four seasons originally, but The Borgias was cancelled with just two episodes left of the third season. In one episode, Pope Alexander told his Cardinals: 'We shall dine on sardines’ during Lent. We decided to send cans of sardines to Showtime on June 28th as a sign that we, the fans, feel deprived.” The third series of the drama, written by Oscar-winning filmmaker Neil Jordan, is currently airing on a satellite channel in Britain but has already concluded in the US. The show also stars British actress Holliday Grainger as Medieval Italy’s notorious femme fatale, Lucrezia Borgia.

The lavishly-produced series, which was filmed on location in Budapest, is estimated to have cost almost £2.5 million an episode to create.

Despite a warm industry reception — The Borgias received 10 Emmy award nominations, a Golden Globes nod for Irons, and was described as “addictively entertaining” and “sumptuous” by critics - its third season ratings were steady but unspectacular, with an average of 2.4 million weekly viewers.

An online petition against the premature cancellation of the next series has attracted more than 10,000 signatures, and a Twitter campaign #SaveTheBorgias sparked more than 3400 Tweets in one hour.

One devoted fan has even created a range of T-shirts, bearing the slogan: “We are Borgia (sic) and we feel unloved.” Josef Alti, who plays Pypar in the US fantasy drama Game Of Thrones, is supporting the campaign, and François Arnaud, who plays papal progeny Cesare Borgia, has openly expressed his disappointment at the series’ termination.


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